Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

Relationships – Day 3

Relationships: Play together (2)

Bible text(s)

8When Isaac had been there for some time, King Abimelech looked down from his window and saw Isaac and Rebecca making love.

Genesis 26:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

16“Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the market place. One group shouts to the other, 17‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!’

Matthew 11:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

Yesterday we talked about the benefits of playtime and how children and Jesus express it.

When adults want to play, it often requires a change in thinking patterns, a stepping out of comfort zones and a boldness to storm out courageously and exuberantly, like children, to seize the moment and play — despite the fact that life happens.

Recently during a visit to a nursery, I heard somewhere behind me the noise of trolley wheels and someone shrieking with laughter: “Oh, this is life! Go faster, young man! Faster!” On the trolley stood an elegant elderly woman while a worker dashed her and her plants between the wide nursery aisles. Silly? No! Just a woman who seized the moment to celebrate her relationship with life and people!

How do older people play? In nature near to God’s creation, with good books, joyrides on a motorbike, art, dancing, hobbies, music, daydreaming and more.

In short, you play when you intentionally walk away from your daily routine and do the unusual. However, when you have these experiences with others, you open the door for enriching these relationships.

It also involves those occasions when a couple cheerfully play like children, dancing and singing — something Isaac and Rebekah succeeded in doing very well, so much so that it attracted the attention of the king: “Abimelech king of the Philistines looketh through a window, and seeth, and lo, Isaac is playing with Rebekah his wife” (Genesis 26:8b, Young’s Literal Translation 1898).

Some Bible translations interpret play in this sense as cuddle or caress, but the Greek word for play literally means “to play like a child” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). Whatever the case may be, the Holy Spirit considered this incident important enough to inspire the writer to eternalise it.

I want to remind you of yesterday’s Scripture where Jesus confronts the people: “They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn’ ” (Matthew 11:16-17). Indeed, smooth-talking people into playing was not Jesus’ intention, but this section of the Scripture strikingly describes the passivity and apathy of adulthood — we stand still while the music of life is playing.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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