the Big Story: Genesis 2:18

“It is not good for the man to be alone.” 
It is God who says that it is not good for man to be alone (Prov 18:22). There is no sense that Adam himself was unhappy. He is oblivious of his need.  God already is Adam’s Helper (but a superior one). The animals are Adam’s helpers (but inferior ones). This helper will be one that will be equal to him.

So God provides a "helper". Jesus used the same word (or its Greek equivalent) to describe the Holy Spirit who would help believers, following his ascension (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). It means one who supports us in our task. There is no sense of it being a demeaning term. God uses it to describe himself (e.g., Ps 33:20; 70:5; 115:9).

As we saw last Sunday, Jesus gathered 70 workers and sent them to various towns to prepare people for His visits (see Luke 10:1). He could have sent each disciple separately and reached more towns. Instead, he sent 35 teams of two. Ministry is performed best by two. When two people work together, one can protect the other. One can encourage the other. Two can split the work, offset each other’s weaknesses, and draw on each other’s strengths. Companionship makes two more effective, not less.

Adam’s wife is to be "suitable" for him. The Hebrew word for “suitable” suggests something that completes a polarity, as the North Pole is “suitable” to the South Pole. One without the other is incomplete.

God made us all individuals. Then he made half of us male and the other half female. Then he created marriage. God uses marriage to enable us to change and grow to our fullest potential as human beings. Marriage teaches you loyalty, forbearance, self-restraint, meekness, and a great many other things you wouldn’t need if you were single.

Socrates said it well, “By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”

The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.” It has been said, “God created man and said, ‘I can do better than that,’ and then created the woman.” Matthew Henry said,

“…the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

The first words of human history are poetry. When Adam says that the woman is “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (2:23) it is equivalent to or “in sickness and in health.” One of the meanings of the verb behind the noun “bone” is “to be strong.” “Flesh,” on the other hand, represents weakness in a person.

Verses 18-25 teach us much about marriage.

    God designed marriage
    All marriages are important: my marriage, your marriage, and the marriages of friends, neighbours, and fellow church members.

    God designed marriage to be monogamous
    One woman completed Adam

    God designed marriage to be heterosexual
    Marriage is one man and one woman!

God created and prepared the world for our good. God desires and expects us to enjoy all that He has created for us. Today, will you express your gratitude to God for the many good gifts that He has blessed you with? (Jas 1:17)

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