Saturday, September 7, 2013

Love and Marriage

Scriptural Reading: Genesis 2:18-25
Devotional Reading: Psalm 8

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!...what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Ps 1a, 4 NKJV) Last week’s lesson was a study of God’s many creations. In His magnificent wisdom “God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over…So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”. (Gen 1:26-27 NKJV) A woman who proved her love and demonstrated she was his “helper” was Coretta Scott King. In the midst of all the struggles he faced, she let it be known that they faced it as one. They were yet a united front and she stood with her husband, Martin, even as she raised their family. Coretta continued to march in his footsteps after he tragically departed earth keeping his dream alive until her death. They were soul mates and blessed by God in marriage until death did they part. “He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them ‘Mankind’ when they were created.” (Gen 5:2 NKJV)

This quarter of study is entitled “First Things”. We are in Unit I – “First Days” of the three units of the quarter. This is the second lesson of a four-lesson study. It focuses on God as the Creator of the universe and humanity.

In His wisdom God recognized that Adam needed a counterpart as is recorded in Gen 2:18-20a, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ 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. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.” (NKJV) Until now God had acknowledged that everything was good. Adam was His superior creation because he was made in the image of God. It is possible that Adam did not understand he was alone because he was in the company of God. Yet God is a spirit and not physical. Although Adam was made in God’s image; i.e. mind (psychological), body (sociological), and spirit (soul), he was without a helper who would be able to walk and talk like him. He had to have been very intelligent to be able to name all of the living creatures God brought before him. In naming the creatures he had to have noticed there were male and female sets within each species of the living creatures. But it was God who said it was not good for him to be alone in his species of the living creatures.

An active search was made for a helper throughout all of the living creatures while Adam was giving names. Finally God decided to create a helper for Adam. This process was recorded at Gen 2:20b-22, “But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 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. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man”. (NKJV) God knew Adam was insufficient without his helper. So in His infinite wisdom He put Adam to sleep and took a rib from his side. And Adam’s flesh was closed without a scar. God did not take anything from Adam’s feet for him to walk upon Eve nor from Adam’s head for him to be above and rule her. She was meant to be a helper who walked side by side with him to make him complete. Eve was very unique in that she was the only living creature who had not been made from the dust of the ground. Because she was unique, she was to be cherished. She was worthy of the special position made just for God’s superior creation. Marriages are honorable, especially this one. The Lord God was her Father and brought her to the man with His blessing.

Adam’s response affirmed his missing relationship element as stated in Gen 2:23-25, “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.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame”. (NKJV) Adam was overjoyed! He lovingly received the blessing God had provided. No other living creature was able to provide him with the help he needed to be complete. He had a companion with whom he could have walks and talks in the Garden. He could have a relationship with her! They were connected in the same ways, made in the image of God. In some way he knew she was a part of him. So he called her ‘woman’ due to the unity she would have with her man. This resulted in the divine ordinance of marriage (Matt 19:4-5) where a man leaves his parents and all relations to cleave to his wife. The divine ordinance of marriage was God’s plan to preserve the family and all mankind. Before sin entered the world Adam and his wife did not feel shame as to their nakedness. They were innocent and had no need for protection from the weather. Why would they need clothes to be decent since sin had not entered the world? There was no need to slaughter an animal to clothe them.

The undersigned writer reviewed the Scriptural passage of Gen 2:18-25 in 27 Bibles in preparing this lesson. I was curious as to whether the writers of Bibles over time had changed the words “woman” and “wife”. Of the 27 Bibles, three (3) did not have a translation for Genesis chapter 2. Each of the 24 remaining Bibles was committed to the words “woman” and “wife”. I was strengthened in my belief when reviewing the Scriptural quote by Jesus at Matt 19:4-6, “’Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’” (NKJV) Enough said. I should not have to explain the unequivocal, self-explanatory words of our Lord and Savior. It was He, the second Adam who knew no sin, whose side was the area where a sword was pierced as He hung on the cross in obedience to His Father’s will. While He was in the trance of death, his blood flowed into the earth to give all sinners the opportunity to eternal life. His bride (the Church) was formed upon His Death and resulting Resurrection. Halleluiah to the love He had for us! Halleluiah to the opportunity for eternal life given us by the Lamb!

Written by Deborah C Davis

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