Not alone

Last time, we saw that God had made the man, Adam and placed him in Eden with the duty of caring for the garden and guarding it.  God had commanded him to abstain from the fruit of one specific tree.  Against this backdrop, God identifies that it isn’t good for him to be alone.  This suggests that we are not talking about loneliness but about the need for partnership, companionship, fellowship, sharing together.

Read Genesis 2:18-25

God does two things. First, he creates animals from the ground and brings them to Adam to name.  Adam is therefore confirmed in his role of subduing and ruling, starting with the work of classifying.  Adam becomes the father of science!  None of the animals amount to being a suitable helper and of course, God has brought them, not expecting to find one but to prove a point (v18-20).

So, God carries out the first anaesthetised operation, creating another human being from Adam’s rib.  She is the one who is like him, sharing the same nature unlike the animals but she is different to him, she is not an identical clone.  She is to complement him (v21-22).

Adam is moved to song, he describes her as from his flesh and bone. He names her as “woman” -one from/out of man. The emphasis here is on their unity, their oneness so that a husband and wife become one flesh.  This therefore is meant to be the primary relationship in human society and as people come to maturity, the marriage relationship supersedes the parental one. Though note, contra contemporary assumptions, the emphasis is on the husband leaving his parents for his wife not the other way round (v23-24).

Adam and Eve’s nakedness points to their blamelessness.  There is nothing that needs covering, nothing that needs hiding. There is no shame (v25).

This has important implications for our teaching on relationships and marriage.  Marriage has a central role to play in our life on earth. Paul will also insist in Ephesians 5:21-32 that it takes ona  deeper theological meaning as it points to Christ and the church.  

At the same time, it is also important to keep this in perspective.  The purpose of marriage is not for individual completion but rather the fulfilling of the creation mandate to fill and subdue the earth. So marriage should be valued by not idolised.  We should avoid the language of “you complete me” as though single people are incomplete.  It is important to recognise that the whole of Scripture sees the value and place of both married and single, families and childless in God’s society. Marriage according to Jesus is time bound and does not continue into eternity.  Rather, the greater goal is the marriage feast of Christ, the lamb to his bride, the church.

Before Jesus, we find ourselves once again in a place where there is blamelessness, nothing to hide, no shame.

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