Daily Update #212

Pause:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

18 The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

‘This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called “woman”,
    for she was taken out of man.’

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Genesis 2:18-25

Our passage in Genesis contains what has to be the first love poem!  The Lord God brings the woman to Adam and he immediately sees and appreciates that she is the true helper and companion he has been seeking.  God’s gracious provision of companionship within the created order is part of the fact that we are made in his image.  As we learn through the cumulative revelation which God provides in scripture, God is three persons in one.  The three persons of the Trinity relate to one another perfectly.  In the same way, man and woman are created to relate to one another perfectly.  It’s all part of God’s beautiful creation plan which is certainly very good!  

Briefly on the word “helper” – this by no means implies subservience.  Another use of this same Hebrew word later in Genesis 49:25 states “your father’s God, who helps you” so it is clear that helper does not imply any lower status.  

This passage also clearly takes forward God’s plan that the man and the woman should be rulers over his creation, under him (Genesis 1:28).  The act of bringing all the wild animals and birds of the sky to the man so that he might name them establishes his authority over, and responsibility for, them.  But none of these creatures is the suitable helper, so God takes some of the man’s side and creates woman.  

The relationship is intended to be complementary, orderly and satisfying.  The institution of marriage is established, as the man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and the two become one flesh.  No shame is to mar the beauty of God’s creation.  

As we rejoice in the balance, harmony and beauty of this account of creation, we can’t help but compare and contrast how we all live today.  Even if we set aside more sensational accounts of the conflict between the sexes and extreme cases of disharmony, isn’t it our daily experience that we often experience conflict and impaired relationships?  While our hearts yearn for the idyllic harmony which Genesis describes, our self-centred thoughts and actions at the same time make it impossible for us to realise this gift which God intended each of us to enjoy forever.  David will refer to this tomorrow, but in the meantime let’s rejoice that God has a perfect plan to restore each one of us to the harmony he intended.  This beautiful creation order is our destiny and the old order which we currently experience will pass away.  All praise to Jesus whose obedience and sacrifice enable atonement, reconciliation and restoration!  

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’    

Revelation 21:3-4

Tomorrow’s passage:  Genesis 3:1-8

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