Yada. Yada. Yada.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. A phrase used to finish sentences about things that are so familiar to us that we don’t even need to hear the rest of the story. It replaces words such as:
so on; and so forth, etc., etcetera, blah blah blah.
Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘boring or empty talk’. There was even a sitcom years ago that devoted an entire episode around those three little words.
Yada, yada, yada.
If we’re all familiar with what or who is being talked about then why bother filling in the blanks with real words? Am I right? Well, maybe not.
It’s been said that familiarity breeds contempt, but I say familiarity breeds assumption. We are so familiar with something or someone we assume we know the rest of the story, or we assume we know the intent behind a friend or family member’s actions. We assume to know someone’s heart in a serious matter. After all, when we hang around someone long enough we become familiar with them. But familiarity does not necessarily give us insight into a person’s heart.
When Jesus began to teach in the synagogue in his own hometown, many who were familiar with him, who had watched him grow up, and knew his family assumed he could not and should not be doing the things he was doing and took offense at him. Listen to what they had to say about him:
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sister’s here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” -Mark 6:2b-6
I’m sure they went on talking about Jesus and how he couldn’t possibly be who He proclaimed to be. “After all…he comes from a simple family, we know the family, isn’t he that carpenter? We know him, he’s one of us, who does he think he is…yada, yada, yada.” Because of their familiarity with Jesus their assumptions brought about their contempt.
But maybe familiarity was not as much of the problem as the fact that there was nothing beyond that. No true intimate knowledge of who this Jesus was. There was no ‘Yada’. Not the yada, yada kind in the sitcoms. I’m talking about the Old Testament Yada.
While we flippantly use this word to mean basically, “drab, boring, not worth even repeating, yeah, I already know this”, God had a much different meaning. He first used this word in Genesis 4:1, which says, “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” That word lay was the Hebrew word yada. That’s right. Bet you’ll think twice the next time you might be tempted to finish a sentence with Yada! Yada! Yada!
So wait, it’s more than you might think. Yada meant, “to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.” Yes, it is often used throughout the Old Testament to describe the act of sexuality between husband and wife, in the context of the holy covenant of marriage. In Dannah Gresh’ book, The Secret of the Lord, she describes it this way, “It speaks of spiritual and emotional connection. It is the act of being naked emotionally and spiritually before a person. It is the ultimate act of laying all your secrets out to be known.” So as you can see this word goes far beyond the mere act of sex. There are other places in scripture that speak of sex using the English word, lay…as in Lot’s daughter’s who made the really bad decision to get their dad drunk and have sex with him in order to carry on their family’s name…seeing as how their mom had turned into a pillar of salt. But the word lay in this case(Genesis 19:33), is not yada, but sakab, which means “to exchange bodily emissions.” Yuck and gross! Absolutely no intimacy in this act. This was not sex as God designed. This was not intimacy.
God’s design for sex involves true intimacy…to know and be known spiritually, emotionally, and physically by your spouse. My husband knows me better than anyone else. We’ve been married 38 years now and we’ve experienced all the ups and downs of married life…and then some. And yes, we are familiar with each other’s ways…and that can sometimes cause problems. Because…assumptions. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that he knows my faults, my imperfections, and most of my deepest darkest secrets, he still loves me. He doesn’t put me down in order to lift himself up in other’s eyes. He respects me. He sees every side of me. He sees me. We have learned to love and respect one another and that allows us to experience true intimacy with joy. This is yada!
Yada! It has even more meaning when we are talking about our relationship with God. We find this word, yada, throughout the entire Old Testament. It is used nearly 900 times!! Here’s just a few of the ways it is used.
“He knows [yada] the secrets of the heart.” -Psalm 44:21
“Search me, O God, and know [yada] my heart.” -Psalm 139:23
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know [yada] me.” -Psalm 139:1
Even though my husband knows me better than any other person on the planet…God knows me even more intimately. When we slow down the word intimacy we get something that sounds like “into me see.” God sees into the depths of my very soul. Yada implies a desire to know more. An intentional knowing. I believe the deepest desire of the human heart is to be known, to be seen. Nothing hidden. Our deepest longings known. All laid bare in the secret places of the heart. God can be trusted with all of that.
But here’s the thing. We were created in His image and because of that I believe that God desires that same intimacy with us. We have that in common with God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Crazy right? He desires to be known by me and by you! He created us to experience yada with Him.
God walked intimately with Adam and Eve in the garden right up until that fateful day when they chose Satan’s lies over God’s true word. God knew they would fall, but He already had a plan…that’s how much He loves us.
We have only to accept His plan. His son. Jesus. The work that Jesus did in His sacrificial death on the cross…the act of redemption in 'buying back' our very heart, soul, and spirit…covering the sin in our lives with His life's blood so that we could be forgiven and restored not to religion, but to a very real and intimate relationship with God and to a life of real and lasting joy. Yada! Yada! Yada!
That’s how much He wants to be known. Let’s not disappoint Him.
Written By: gay Idle
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