What would make paradise seem like a desert? What would make even the most ideal of situations seem like torture? Being alone! Adam was the ideal man, but yet being alone was not a good thing as we will see. It’s doesn’t matter how tough you are, being alone is not good. Even Chuck Norris would cave under these circumstances. Now, I know that saying this, I’ve just put myself in the risk of possible death, but it’s true. I know Chuck Norris doesn’t believe in Europe, that he doesn’t believe in Evolution, but only a list of animals that he allows to live, that he sets ants on fire with a magnifying glass, at night, that he has counted to infinity, twice, that his tears could cure cancer, but he has never cried, but even after all of this, paradise would be a desert if Chuck Norris was alone. That’s why Chuck is married! He’s no dummy! Enough said. Get married or deal with Chuck!
God created a real paradise for man to live in, put all things at rest with himself, but one thing was missing, woman. We were all made for relationships. Just as God is a community of people, so God made us in his image to be in community with other people. One of the most vital aspects of our being in community with other people is being married. The Bible teaches that marriage is fundamental to being a man or woman and crucial to any lasting human community. Marriage is good!
Genesis 2 presents us with the pattern for marriage. This marriage occurred before sin entered into the world. Marriage is not the result of sin, but it is the purpose of God for all mankind. Genesis 2:18, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Is this not shocking to you? God says that it’s not all good here! After every other day, God said, “It is good!” But here God sees that man is alone and proclaims, “It is not good.” God wants to draw our attention to this issue.
So, the Lord devises a plan, “I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now, I know that when you hear the word ‘helper’, you might think that this is oppressive to women and degrading, but this is not what it means at all. Actually, this same word is used of God himself. Of course, we would never say that God being called our helper is oppressive to him or degrading to him. Psalm 20:2 says, “May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!” So, here the Lord is described as giving help to his people and support. So, in the same way, man was in need of support and help. This is the woman’s God-designed role, not making her inferior, but vital. God sees that if man is to truly represent him to bring him glory on the earth that he is in need of support and help to do this. It is not good for man to be alone! Matthew Henry, a puritan writer from back in the day said, “Perfect solitude would turn a paradise into a desert, and a palace into a dungeon. In our best state in this world we have need of one another’s help.”
So, look at what God does, Genesis 2:19, 20, “So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Notice the language here, “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field.” What does that sound like to you? It’s is the same language that was used of God sculpting the man, like a master work of art. God also forms the animals the same way from the ground, just like a potter. Genesis 2:19 says, “So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” God creates all these animals and parades them before the man for a purpose and the purpose, is so that the man would name them. In the Ancient Near East and in the Bible, naming is a sign of authority and leadership over something or someone. Just remember what God did with the things he created in chapter one. Genesis 1:5 says, “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” God is ruling over the heavens and causing them to exist, by making them do his will, and by naming them. In the same way, man is representing God, by having authority over creation. Genesis 2:20, “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Is this not strange? God said that he was going to make man a helper, but what has he done? He has brought the animal world before the man to exercise authority over it. What is God doing? God is trying to show man that there is nothing else in all of God’s creation that he was made to have a relationship with, only a woman. God is showing him his inadequacy of accomplishing his God given task without help, a wife. God is teaching him to value his wife! You are not to treat her like these animals! But it says, “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.”
Awhile ago, I was watching The Colbert Report. His guest was David Levy an author and title of his book was Love+Sex with Robots. This guy was serious too! He was talking about how the technology would soon be available to where someone could have a physical relationship with a robot. Because in this world people are becoming more and more individualized and isolated from one another, the author was saying there would be need for something like this. This screams the truth of Genesis 2! Man cannot function in this world without relationships and will go to great lengths to have community, even buying a robot!
Genesis 2:21, 22, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” You see what the Lord does here? God caused Adam to go to sleep and took one of his ribs. Look at the material the woman was made from? All the animals and man were made from the ground, but woman comes from the man’s side. She is not made from the ground, so that she would be trampled on, or from his head to dominate the man, but from his side, to be protected by the man, to be under his arm, to be loved, and provided for by the man. She is equal with him, but to have a distinct role from him, one of support and help. She was made to be with him and him with her!
Isn’t this what a woman wants? I mean I’m not an expert here, but it seems like women want to be treated with kindness, cherished, protected, know that you will never leave them, nurtured, encouraged, and provided for. They want a man who will actually be a leader and not a stinking sissy! They want a man who is not passive and indecisive, but at the same time cares about and respects their opinion. They want someone who they can respect. This is the picture we’re given here!
Genesis 2:23, “Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.'” So, God creates the woman and presents his daughter to the man and the man speaks his first recorded words. Is that not amazing? Man’s first words were a love poem to his wife. He sees her and says, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” There is someone fit for him, fit to have a relationship with. Just as Adam names the animals, he now names the one God has created for him. Genesis 2:23, “She shall be called Woman!” The point here is that man is to be the leader in the relationship. Naming is a sign of authority. Man is to exercise loving God-honoring leadership in the relationship. His role is different that the woman’s.
At work one night, I was talking with this girl. We talked for awhile about all kinds of things and she was telling me about her childhood and how her parents were divorced, when she was young. Then she went on to talk about her boyfriend and I asked her because this passage was fresh on my mind, “Do you want to get married?” She said, “No, because I saw my parent’s relationship and how it didn’t work with them. I want to do things more non traditionally.” You know I could really feel what she was saying and I know so many other young people out there resonate with her. I mean, I have witnessed my parent’s marriage as well and all the pain, hurt, and fights. But let’s stop here for a minute, just because we have seen it done poorly doesn’t mean it’s bad, broken or we should throw it in the trash. This isn’t the way marriage was designed to be. I’ve also witnessed marriages and when being around these couples, thinking to myself how I wanted what they had. Marriage is good!
Genesis 2:24, 25, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Men should not be alone. It’s not good. We were designed by God to get married. Look at this. Notice the initiative the man is to have here. He is to leave his father and mother. In other words, grow up, get a job, and move out. Launch the ship baby! He is also the one who is to initiate the relationship. He is to leave and cling to his wife like super glue, no other woman!
Genesis 2:25, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Doing things God’s way is good. Marriage is a good thing. It’s a beautiful thing. Outside of a marriage between a man and a woman there is shame. There is pain. This is an honorable thing. When you do relationships God’s way, the result is a trip back here, a trip back the garden where there is no shame, where there is rest for your soul!