‘18The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19Now 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. 20So 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. 21So 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. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23The 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.”
24That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.’
The beginning of this passage has always been interesting to me. This is the first time that God says that something is not good, and it is before the fall. It is not good for man to be alone. Why does God wait for this moment to bring this up? Obviously God knew that it wasn’t good and who would be a suitable helper for Adam, but He chose not to just directly do it like He had for the rest of creation. Up until this point He had provided all that Adam could possibly need and then some, as said previously:
“8Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12(The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.”
He provided a garden full of good trees, rivers of water, one of which had gold and resin and onyx—really, what need had Adam of such things at that time? But it was signs of God’s immeasurable desire to bless Adam abundantly. He isn’t just about providing needs but giving gifts. He gives everything to Adam, there is nothing that man does not lack. Except a suitable helper.
Yet even when God ‘comes to this conclusion’, He still doesn’t act to fix it right away. First He brings the animals to Adam for Adam to name. Something that is learned from the Old Testament is that whoever names another has dominance over that person, like when God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. It is interesting that God doesn’t name His own creation but leaves that honor to Adam. And it is in this way that it is ‘discovered’ that out of all the animals there still is no suitable helper for Adam.
Now at last God acts, but again He doesn’t act in the way He has with the other creation. With most of creation He spoke them into being or He manipulated what He already had formed to move aside (like the water for the dry land). In Adam’s case, He formed him out of the dirt of the earth and breathed into him life. But He doesn’t do that here. He first puts Adam into a deep sleep, and then cuts into him, removing a rib from his body. It is out of Adam’s rib that the woman is formed. And Adam is fully aware that he lost a rib in this process, because he says, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” This is the whole reason why he names her woman. This makes me wonder if he was in pain from the surgery or if his loss was just very noticeable. Imagine you had lost one of your ribs, I’m pretty sure you’d notice.
I wonder why God chose to create woman this way. Some have said it is because of symbolism; all the time I hear about how a woman protects a man’s heart or that the man needs to keep her close to his heart as his equal. Perhaps so, but God gives another reason for it in the next verse: “24That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The man leaves his family to become united with his wife, they become one flesh. They complete one another, but also it is referring to the idea of loss. The man is losing something to gain the woman.
I am not pretending to understand this, but it does make me think of in Ephesians, the fifth chapter. Paul is talking about the roles of the wife and husband. The wife has a very small list, but the man is given a much bigger one. And the theme in his commands? To be like Christ and how He serves the church. And Christ gave up A LOT to gain her. He sacrificed his home, He lived among us as a human, and ultimately gave the ultimate sacrifice to make us pure. Whenever I read the passage in Ephesians, I suddenly don’t envy men their role given in the sight of God. In fact I feel the burden for them and wonder how in the world they manage it. Of course, the answer is God.
So be encouraged today, all you readers. I know I covered a lot of ground in this passage J I talked about how much God wants to bless us abundantly as His children and I talked a lot about the role of man and woman. I just wanted to stress that I do not believe that marriage is for everyone, this is not a devotional intended to make you feel sorry for yourself if you are single. Instead be encourage; God provides all you need for life, and whatever you are lacking He knows about it. He will provide for you, and sometimes you don’t even know what it is exactly or how He will accomplish it. He might drop it into your lap like He did for Adam in the garden, or He might take you through a process that ultimately makes you have to lose something to gain it. But whatever He does, it will be worth it. Just trust in Him.
Have a wonderful week!
“14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” ~Ephesians 3
“21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” ~Ephesians 5