Well, last week we introduced a new series on marriage and today we’re going to pick up where we left off in that series, so you can turn in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 1.
Genesis chapter 1. We set up the series last time by addressing what is really a mistake that many people make by coming into marriage with a set of false assumptions or a set of false expectations, and maybe the chief among those false assumptions and expectations: The chief among those is marriage will make me happy. Marriage will make me happy.
We said last week that God created marriage to be an institution to form and shape the individual. So, when an individual, man or woman, comes into a marriage, which is a formative institution and he or she expects to shape that institution and form that institution around their own desires for personal happiness, that person is heading into a life of disappointment and frustration. It’s not that wanting to be happy is wrong, per se. It’s that people operate with a worldly definition of happiness. And we could say that they kind of put the cart before the horse. They want the results of a holy life without the holy life. They want the happiness, without the holiness.
So, if we start in thinking about happiness and embrace God’s definition of happiness, and if we embrace God’s pathway to happiness, then happiness is really a byproduct of holiness. Then we’re going to live by God’s design and find both things: happiness through holiness. If we don’t do that, we don’t embrace God’s definitions. If we don’t submit to God’s ways, we’re gonna forfeit both happiness and holiness.
The word happy, the word happiness also translated blessed or blessedness in the Bible: It’s the word makarios, in the Greek. That’s the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, Sermon on the Mount. Jesus entered, enters into that sermon, introduces that sermon with blessed are, blessed are. That’s the word happiness makarios, but it’s also the word asher in the Hebrew. And the word blessed, happy, asher in the Hebrew, that is the opening word actually of Israel’s songbook; the Psalter, the Psalms.
First word in Psalm 1:1 is blessed. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of scoffers, but his delight,” and this is again where his blessedness comes from, “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night.”
So, blessedness, delight, happiness is in meditating on the law of the Lord. You go to the law of the Lord. The meditation of the, on the law of the Lord, in the Psalter which is Psalm 119. We can see that that Psalm begins similarly, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.” Blessed, happy, asher are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.
So, meditating on the law of the Lord, Psalm 1, results in walking in the law of the Lord. Walk, you know, is a common biblical metaphor for a way of life. It’s a manner of living one’s life. This is, this is what it looks like. If we’re going to live in a blessed way and walk in a blessed way, it means keeping God’s word. It means seeking God with the whole heart. It means staying away from sin and it means living life according to God’s ways.
So, happiness, blessedness is the result of taking in God’s word through reading, through study, through meditation on it, and then happiness is the result of obeying God’s word, loving God, loving others, doing God’s will.
Nothing in Psalm 1 or Psalm 119 about the need to be married or not married, right? Happiness, blessedness is accessible to anyone, in any condition, married or unmarried. The happiness that the Bible describes, the happiness that the Bible promotes and promises, it’s not a worldly form of happiness. Worldly happiness is superficial. It’s fickle. It’s changing. It’s a fleeting thing. Worldly happiness is always in flux, because it’s situation dependent.
Its changes with each new condition, every changing circumstance. It’s based on, many times, feelings and feelings are out in front instead of the mind and the will. They’re not engaged. The happiness that God gives though it comes forth out of the fount of his eternal, immutable attribute of divine blessedness. That’s something that’s comprehend or, or grasped, or apprehended with the mind. And then the mind is engaged, and it understands God’s blessedness, and then it engages the will to be obedient to what produces blessedness for us, and the emotions then follow.
Divine blessedness is a communicable attribute of God, which is just a big way of saying it’s an attribute of God that God can convey or communicate to us. His blessedness is something that he can give us. He can’t give us his eternality, because we’re creatures, we’re finite. He can’t give us his infinity, because we’re finite. He can’t give us his immutability because we’re creatures, were called into existence at a particular point. We’re not unchanging. God doesn’t give those things. Those are called incommunicable attributes.
Communicable attributes, so like holiness, righteousness, love, and blessedness, these are things he can convey or communicate to us, to those who pursue holiness in the truth. So, the happiness, the blessedness that God gives, that is a state of unspeakable joy, profound contentment, unmitigated satisfaction, unshakable peace, that is blessedness. So yes, in that sense, if we’re clear to define our terms and clear to define the pathway to it, marriage does bring happiness through holiness.
Marriage is the first institution that God created. It’s the institution of marriage that promotes human happiness. But we have to embrace the biblical understanding of happiness. We have to embrace the pathway to happiness. It’s a byproduct of holiness and when we do that, when we embrace those things, we’re on the right track, because it’s holiness that marriage is designed to promote. It’s holiness that marriage, when we accept it as a formative institution to shape us, to govern us, marriage promotes holiness.
Now remember God created marriage for a world that was without sin. He created marriage as the first formative institution. The first institution and a formative institution, he created that prior to the fall. God created mankind in his own image, male and female. He created him without sin. He created man and woman in holiness and righteousness of the truth. God created Adam and Eve, two individual human beings. He joined them together in marriage, uniting them in marriage, as what would form them. What would shape each individual with working with the other and bring about maturity and holiness.
God created marriage to be, then, a gift and he created it as a gift that would keep on giving, so to speak. Marriage shapes the individual, the man as a man, the woman as a woman. And by virtue of that marital union, when they come together, that procreative union, as we just talked about the birth of a baby this morning, mention that, that’s how marriage shapes family and then how marriage in that way producing offspring, children. Marriage shapes all of society.
So, in that sense, we can see that marriage is a cultural institution. Marriage passes on laws and values and the history of the past. It sets a narrative. It sets a framework for thinking. It passes on a worldview. Passes on a way that we think about the world. Passes that onto future generations. It shapes and forms them just by growing up under a marriage. And then by shaping and forming society through the individuals, marriage preserves the entire culture.
So, through marriage, God is teaching future generations what manhood is, what womanhood is, how to communicate, how to cooperate, how to get along, how to thrive together, as man, as woman. When we see the pervasive effect of divorce in our country for decades, generations now. It’s no wonder that people are now lost on what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman. They think the terms are interchangeable now, and we can come up with new ideas about what gender is and sexuality and all the rest.
So, this formative institution of marriage and family, it is a good gift from God. It’s there to mold the mutable creature, to shape and mature couples together. It was given to ensure blessing, and flourishing, and happiness. That couple and also the children and then the grandchildren, and then all posterity, and that effects and influences all of society, doesn’t it? That’s what God designed for Adam and Eve from the very beginning. That’s the design.
We learned last week the Bible tells us that God made marriage good. Marriage is good and God’s goodness is evident. We said in two things. First in the structure of marriage. In the form of marriage, the form structure of marriage, God’s goodness is evident there just in the structure itself. And then secondly, we see God’s goodness evident in what the structure in the form provide for people. The effect of that structure, the effect of the form. God’s goodness is evident in the structure of marriage, and you, you may remember that we formed our outline last time employing a building metaphor from Psalm 127. “Unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain, who do the work?” So, we’re pursuing that same form or structure for our outline.
Here’s the first point, we said we need to build our marriages according to God’s design, that starts with laying a foundation. Laying a foundation for marriage. So, number one, we said, set the foundation according to, together. “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens, and over the livestock, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female, he created them. Then God bless them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” That’s where the structure is revealed in this foundation that God set.
And the foundation we said last time is to understand the teleology of marriage, the purpose for which marriage was created. What is the end of marriage? What’s the goal? What’s the purpose of it? That’s the foundation that we set. That’s the rock on which we stand when we build a marriage together is to understand why. Why does it exist? We started in verse 26 answering that question. “God said let us make man in our image after our likeness”. That verse reveals that the chief end of marriage is to glorify God. God stamped his image upon us, upon man, upon woman, so that we might glorify him. And so, we, as individual human beings and, then, as married human beings, we exist to glorify God, to image God in the earth.
Also, we see part of this foundation that we set. God created man and woman united them in marriage to represent God. If the chief end of marriage is to glorify God, the chief occupation in marriage is to represent God. That’s what it is to have dominion, verse 26, to exercise dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the livestock, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing. We see that repeated in verse 28. We represent God by exercising dominion over the creatures of the sea, the air, and the land. So, the chief end of marriage is to glorify God. And the chief occupation of marriage is to represent God.
We can add to that, that the chief joy of marriage is to perpetuate the image of God. The first hint of a sexual union in marriage is in Genesis 1:28. “God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth”. So, the sexual union here is, its purpose is set right here before anymore unpacking of what sex is for or any hint of it at the end of Genesis 2.
“God created man and woman united them in marriage to represent God.”Travis Allen
The sexual union’s purpose is for procreation. It’s to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill the earth. Perpetuating the image of God throughout the earth means, it really means the spreading of God’s goodness. It really means perpetuating his image and filling the earth with his image, filling it, multiplying, being fruitful means spreading his blessing throughout all the earth. By perpetuating his image, his glory, we convey and communicate God’s blessedness to all the creatures of the earth, and we do that from generation to generation to generation all over the earth.
That’s the teleology of marriage. That is the purpose for which God created marriage. Marriage is an institution that is to shape, to form, to mature the individual. It teaches men to be men, women to be women and its chief end is to glorify God. Its chief occupation is to represent God on the earth and its chief joy is to perpetuate the image and glory of God throughout the earth, spreading his blessing throughout the earth.
Next, we see that the goodness of God in this structure is when we, and here’s a second point, we mentioned last time, number two, we build the house according to God’s design. So, we’ve set a foundation according to God’s design, and now we are going to build the house according to God’s design and for this point we looked at Genesis 2 and following. We looked at the way God created Adam and Eve and there are two basic patterns in the way that God arranged marriage, in the way he created them, the way he organized the constituent elements of marriage, Adam and Eve, and how he brought them together.
So, we might call this the formative organization of marriage. The way it’s organized gives form and shape, the way it’s structured forces a certain shape, a certain form. So, when we examine the way that God organized marriage, the way he structured it, we see two patterns emerge here, Patterns of authority and patterns of intimacy; patterns of authority and patterns of intimacy. It’s by practicing these patterns of authority and intimacy that marriage accomplishes its telos, that it realizes its purpose.
When we practice these patterns, marriage does what God designed marriage to do. When we practice a pattern of authority in our marriage and a pattern of intimacy in our marriage, marriage does what God designed it to do. Got into the first pattern last time, the pattern of authority, which is, which we see in how God created Adam, how he created Adam, we said before he created Eve. He created him before he created Eve and then he did a lot with Adam before Eve came on the earth.
It’s significant because this shows us that God intended Adam for the role of leader from the very beginning. He intended Adam for the role of teacher from the very beginning, to be the authority in the marriage, and then he intended Eve to be Adams’ compliment, his partner, his helper, who, a helper, who corresponds to him. So, by creating Adam before Eve, God has established a pattern to expose Adam to the world, to introduce the world to him, to help him to learn things about the world, to teach him, and that teaching pattern goes from God to Adam and then from Adam to his wife, to Eve.
That’s the same pattern we’re to practice in our own lives in marriages. After God created Adam in Genesis 2:7, you just let your eyes scan the text there. God created Adam in Genesis 2:7. He introduced Adam to the world in, in Genesis 2:8-14. We see that exposure to the world. That’s again, all this is before Eve was created and then God, verse 15, God gave Adam his work assignment, told him to work the garden to keep it.
Again, that’s before Eve was created, and then we see another significant before Eve was created, something that God exposed Adam to. In verses 16 and 17, God draws Adams’ attention to two things. First in verse 16, to his generous provision and then in verse 17, secondly, the priority of devotion to God. That’s accompanied this issue of devotion, setting a priority on devotion to God above all other things, it’s accompanied by a severe warning.
Look what it says there in verses 16 and 17, Genesis chapter 2, “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Verse 16, it’s “You may surely eat.” Surely you can eat of every tree in the garden. Don’t miss the magnanimity of that. Don’t miss the, the goodness in that. There’s an entire world filled with vegetation. Things that sprout and produce fruit. And God is saying, have at it, enjoy everything, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: one tree. In the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.
What’s God doing here? Two things, first and fore, foremost, most importantly, God is setting up Adams’ probation. God is setting up a testing for Adam in his role as federal head, in his role of representing the entire human race. We’re going to see more about that next week, but this is a test for Adam and Eve, but Adam is in focus here. And ag, against the backdrop of God’s magnanimous, generous provision God adds a single restriction. One little prohibition. One little no. One little tree among the innumerable trees bearing plentitude of good food, all kinds of taste.
Remember this is the pre-fall world, everything is organic, no pesticides, nothing. All to eat. All to enjoy. All to nourish the body. All to rejoice the palate. One little tree. One little tree. Right, you’d tell your kids you can have at it the whole house, just see this room over here. Don’t go in that room. Got mommies sewing stuff, dads, you know, tools or whatever. Where do you think that kids gonna go soon as you’re out of the house? Right, one little restriction. One little tree.
This is a test. A test, to prove the priority of devotion in this first couple and for Adam in particular. Will Adam put God first or not? Will Adam magnify God’s goodness in this or will he magnify God’s restriction in this? What will be emphasized in his heart? As we said, happiness comes through holiness and holiness comes through being properly and righteously aligned in our hearts. So it’s always God first and then one another. It’s God first, his heart. He, the heart of the giver. It’s him first and then it’s what he gives.
This issue of holiness, this issue, this matter of righteously aligning our priorities. It’s no trifling matter either. An element of danger, of grave danger is introduced into this perfect pre-fall world. There’s a warning here about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which you shall not eat for in that day you eat of it, you shall surely die and the warning here is about a misplaced devotion. It’s about misaligned priorities. It’s about divided loyalties. God uses this warning to teach Adam about his Holiness, about what’s most important. We understand this, don’t we? We can see the tests that God gave Adam. This is a test that you and I walked through every single day. Will we elevate in our minds God’s goodness? Will we magnify as goodness or as restriction?
When we magnify the fact that we, that God is worthy of our worship and praise and honor and glory, and will we rejoice in him or we neglectful of him. Does he go out of our minds as we just enjoy what he’s given? And that’s really all we want. See, that’s, that’s what’s in the test there in the garden. God also uses this warning to teach Adam about how he’s to use his own authority. God teaches Adam that having knowledge. This knowledge that God has given him in Genesis 2:16-17. He teaches Adam that having this knowledge is not to be inert or passive in his life. Knowing the truth comes with responsibility. Knowing the truth comes with a duty to teach the truth, to pass it on. Because it’s a matter of life and death.
In Genesis 2:16-17, God is preparing Adam to be Eve’s husband and God is preparing Adam to lead her, preparing Adam to guide her, to teach her so. Together they’re going to enjoy the world that God gave him. God is preparing Adam to be Eve’s teacher, to pass on to Eve everything that he has learned from God. And in preparing Adam to be his wife’s teacher, or leader, her authority, God goes right to the heart of it and starts with the base thing of motivation. He’s making sure that Adam is motivated by love for his wife, concern for his wife.
So, this warning about this very dangerous tree, this is going to awaken Adams’ love and concern for the wife he has yet to meet. Who would want this wife that’s brought to him to, to die by eating the wrong tree? It’s going to be motivated from the heart to say, I gotta tell her. I gotta warn her, I gotta pointer to the right stuff to eat and that one wrong thing. So, he’s motivated by love. That’s the way we’re to use our authority.
Men in the home. Women in the places that God gives you authority. This is how we use our authority as out of love, out of concern. Now with Adam ready to receive a wife, God raises this sense of need. Adam sense of lack. Adam sense of want. He raises this in Adam’s mind. Look at Genesis 2:18. “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” In the world that is all good, this is the first not good aspect of it. It’s Adams aloneness. It’s the fact that he is without a wife. He’s without a fitting suitable helper to be by his side to be with him. God emphasizes his need by having Adam, then name all the animals.
Genesis 2:19, and then by the end of verse 20, the point is made, “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” Again, what are we seeing here? What does this have to do with building our marriages according to God’s design? What is this pattern of authority, Adam created first and then Eve. What does it have to do with building our own marriages? First, God established a pattern of authority by creating Adam first. God exposed Adam to his world, his environment. He assigned him his work. He revealed the danger. This area of concern. He magnified his goodness in the midst of that. He taught him to exercise a selfless authority, naming all the animals in view of his role of exercising dominion over them. He categorizes them. He gets familiar with what he’s to rule over, to what he’s exercised dominion over. All this comes before Eve ever comes on the scene before she’s even created. So that’s the pattern of authority creating Adam first.
Secondly, God instilled in this pattern of authority the mindset of a teacher. The mindset of a teacher. As God taught Adam about his world. Adam is going to do the same thing for Eve. The only creature among all the creatures that corresponds to him who’s able to receive his teaching he’s going to introduce her to everything.
The bond of a teacher to a student is based on the joy of the exchange of truth. The imparting of truth, the exchange of ideas, the back and forth of learning that creates a bond between teacher and student. The bond of the student to the teacher is based on the appreciation for learning the truth. Receiving and understanding the truth.
Ladies, you want to know how to make your husband’s heart soar: Like listening to what he teaches you. Don’t be critical. Don’t put him down for what he’s messed up. Don’t make him feel it when he gets something wrong. Rejoice in the fact that he’s trying and he loves you, that he wants to pass on things to you. Listen, learn, interact, exchange ideas, you will make him feel like a billion dollars.
God introduced to Adam the bountiful goodness of the world, as well as a potential danger of the world and why did he do that? Because he loves Adam. He loves him. God wants Adam to avoid the inherent danger that comes with the world. That is, to love God’s good gifts rather than loving the good giver. God knows it’s a, that’s a problem. Everything he creates is perfect and beautiful and lovely. It attracts attention and so he creates all these things and he realizes that the heart of a creature might be drawn to the creative thing.
So, he exposes Adam to the danger, tells him to avoid that danger, in order that he might enjoy God’s full goodness, the bounty of his, his creativity. To be in communion with God first and then his wife. And then enjoy the, the two of them enjoying the goodness of God together in the world that he created them to enjoy. Created for them to enjoy. And so, in the same way, and it’s for the same reason that Adam is to do the same thing for his wife. He’s to be motivated by the same love that God has shown to him. It’s a love that warns about the danger of disobeying God. It’s a love that points to the goodness of God. First in the worship of the God who is good and then in the grateful enjoyment of all that God has given.
So much more we could say about that, but that’s just a brief look at one basic pattern, the formative organization of marriage. It is a pattern here of authority, and when husband and wife practiced this pattern together in their marriage, they will learn to fulfill God’s intention for their marriage, to glorify and represent him, and perpetuate God’s image throughout the earth and baked into this cake, so to speak, is the happiness and blessing of God. It promotes holiness in the fear of God. It puts God first and then a human being, and then all of God’s goodness besides.
Those who neglect this pattern of authority, reversing that order, and they revert, when they neglect the pattern of authority in marriage. They do, they do so to their own detriment, to their own sorrow. They severely compromise the ability to glorify, represent, perpetuate God’s image. They forfeit the promise of happiness and blessing. They let it all go.
Men, this is how you should use the authority and the knowledge God gave to you. You have a responsibility to pass on what you know to your wife. You can’t just let her go. You can’t just overlook her sin. You can’t just neglect to deal with her emotions when they get out of control. You must help her. You must take the things that you know from God’s word, the things that God has taught you. Which means first of all, you must be a student of God’s word.
You have to delve deeply into God’s word for yourself and learn it and know it and worship God, love him from your heart and then out of that plentitude of learning and understanding and devotion and obedience to God. Then you pass that on to your wife. Why? But you’re going to lord it over her? No! Because you want her to enjoy all of God’s goodness, all of God’s blessing.
Men don’t be selfish. Don’t be a cul-de-sac of knowledge. Where knowledge goes in, then just kind of swirls around the cul-de-sac. You’d be a conduit of knowledge. But everything that flows through you and flows through your heart you benefit your wife. You help her. You love her. You cherish her. You appreciate the gift that she is to you. Help her to be a good helpmeet to you. Help her by being, by being that formative influence in her life.
Well, there’s another pattern that got established in the beginning when he created the first formative institution called Marriage, and it’s a pattern of intimacy. So, the pattern of authority and then joins together beautifully with the pattern of intimacy. We said earlier that marriage is good because it manifests the goodness of God in its structure. Marriage is also good because of what the structure provides. God’s goodness is manifest in the paner, pattern of intimacy in marriage, that’s what marriage provides is intimacy.
Back to our building analogy, if the pattern of authority provides, like the framing of the building, pattern of intimacy, is everything else: it’s the wiring, it’s the plumbing, it’s the lights, it’s the heat, it’s the warmth. Pattern of intimacy is the heart of the building. It’s the heart of marriage. And it starts with, if you just want to write down like one, two, three. I don’t know how many of these I have, but number one.
It starts with number one, God showing Adam his limitation. Adam has to see he’s limited. Adam asked to see that he, he’s, he’s not the end all, be all of, of, of human creatures, but that he has a lack. He has a need. We see that in verses 19 and 20. Look at verse 19. “Now 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.”
To exacerbate Adam sense of need. God deploys Adam in naming the animals. This is an exercise of authority that God has given to Adam. Adam is here God’s representative in the work. Notice verse 19. God brought each of the kinds of the animal to the man to see what the man would call him, so you could see in God bringing them or God bringing them over to Adam. Well, God is involving Adam in this work. He’s, you could say, he’s teaching him, he’s discipling him in how to exercise dominion.
So, Adam gets to work, Adam exercises his authority by naming the animals. And as Adam exercises authority for the good of those animals to serve, he exercise of his dominion over the animal kingdom. Getting familiar with them, categorizing them. Oh, these have four feet, these have two, these have whatever and this one is a, you know, mammal, this one, what’s, what’s a reptile? So, he’s just he sees all the different categories. He’s getting familiar.
All this is going to serve his dominion over the animal kingdom, but it’s clear through all this there’s no correspondence of understanding in the animals. No sharing in his duty. There’s no rejoicing in his doing his duty. Just the sounds of the barnyard or the pasture, or the field. Forest. Adam names the cow, a cow. The only response he gets in return is, moo, right? He names the pig, a pig, and the only thing he gets back is an oink.
There’s no thank you, Adam. There’s no, hey, what a great name. Thank you, that perfectly suits me. Totally captures my essence. None of that. Mr. Hippo, Mrs. Hippo on and on it goes all throughout the day. In the end of verse 20: “For Adam, there was not found a helper fit for him.” Not only is Adam unable to find a suitable helper to complete what he lacked. He’s powerless to do anything to remedy that situation. He has no creative power, got limitations.
“You’re powerless to choose your spouse. God chose your spouse.”Travis Allen
The Adams powerlessness to remedy his predicament is evident, made evident to us in verse 21, where God puts him to sleep, before God performs the very first surgery. “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.” God provided, while Adam was sleeping. Single men out there. Single women out there. Are you listening to that? God provided, while he was sleeping.
Like Adam, you also are powerless to find a companion one who is suitable for you. You rest just as Adam was made to rest, and instead of striving, you should pray and ask God to bring a suitable marriage partner to you. Rest in faith. Wait on God, let him fulfill his perfect will for you as he wills in his perfect timing. And while you wait you give your attention to being God’s kind of man, God’s kind of woman. Align your heart with devotion to God.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. And believe me all these other things will be added to you as well, including a marriage, a suitable marriage partner. Rest. You’re powerless to choose your spouse. God chose your spouse. Many times, while you’re thinking about it, he’s forming that spouse for you. Wait. Rest.
Back to Adam. Adam would never be able to fulfill the creation mandate, would he? To procreate, to exercise dominion. He’d never be able to do that on his own. God knew what he created at him for. What mankind is intended to do in glorifying God and representing him and perpetuating his image. God knew all this.
At this point, all Adam knows is he’s supposed to cultivate a garden. He’s looking around all these animals. They’re in pairs. He’s no dummy. He sees the different anatomy, plumbing. He’s not a dummy, he senses his need, but he is unable to fix the situation in his own power. He has to wait upon God to remedy the problem. He has to wait on God’s power. He exercise of his power according to his wise and perfect will. This lack that Adam sensed. This lack, this void that he started to notice, that God made him aware of in naming all the animals, God fulfilled that.
God filled the void and so we see next number two, two: God fashioned Eve from Adam, versus 21 to 22. Number two, God fashioned Eve from Adam. If you’re still wondering what number one is, number one: God showed Adam his limitation. Versus 20,19 and 20: number two, God fashioned Eve from Adam versus 21 to 22. While he slept, God took one of Adams ribs and he 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. Man is the image and glory of God. First Corinthians 11:7 says, a “woman is the glory of man.” She’s extracted from Adam. By the skill of this perfect surgeon. Fashioned by the skill of a divine artist. And she is formed, shaped into a perfect, priceless work of art.
There’s an observation about the fact that God fashioned Eve this way. How God took her from Adam’s side, and I’d say it’s not so much an exegetically driven observation than it is a bit of a tender reflection, may be true reflection. The saying has various forms. Maybe you’ve heard one of them. It’s attributed to various men Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, Peter Lombard, Augustine even further back from him, but whoever said it the thought bears repeating.
I’ll just give you Matthew Henry’s version. He said, “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him under his arm, to be protected and near his heart, to be beloved.” As I said, there may not be exegetically driven, but it is a good thought. In the way that God brought Eve into existence, fashioning her this way: forming her. Adam made from the dust of the ground: Eve made from Adam.
There’s a perfective aspect to this, isn’t there? And we can see it as we look around us. I mean, there’s no slight on men to say that women are fashioned, more beautiful, there’s curviness, a flowing of the hair, there’s a beauty in the face, in the form, we understand that. I mean the whole fashion industry is built on that. We get that, just intuitively, and that’s what God wants us to see. In the way that he brought Eve into existence, its evidence, self-evident, what God wanted to evoke from Adam.
Number three, God evoked from Adam a deep sense of gratitude. God evoked from Adam a deep sense of joy. God evoked from Adam a deep sense of appreciation. You can just choose one of those words, you know, you don’t have to write them all down for number three. But God evoked from Adam a sense of appreciation about this beautiful creature that he’s been given in a wife. You maybe wonder, what the precedent is for a wedding. This is it.
God brought her to the man. God is like a father, bringing this beautiful bride to the groom. Giving the bride away. Performing the first wedding. Verse 23, Adam gets it. He is filled with a deep sense of joy and gratitude and appreciation and excitement. He says, this is the man, said verse 23, “This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of a man.” Think he’s happy? Yeah. After looking at animals all day, yes. You bet he is.
Language here is demonstrative, it emphasizes rapturous joy. “This one,” finally, at long last, is a time element, in the, in the particles used. It’s about time. All these animals. You’re killing me here, Lord, you’re killing, all these animals, at last, my true fitting helper. True partner, my wife. Why God, had Adam do all that, name all the animals before introducing him to his wife, helped him discern his lack, his void, his need, help him, help him see the want that he had there. It built anticipation. Which evoked, then, from him exactly what it was meant to evoke. It’s a deep appreciation for his wife.
Just pause and make a little comment here. Men, appreciate your wife. Men, tell her you love her and appreciate her, you vocali, you verbalize that. You cherish her, cherish your wife. Cherish her for things superficial and profound. You cherish her for what she does, who she is, how she acts, how she speaks: you cherish her. God has formed her for you. He’s made her suitable for you. You enjoy her. She is a dear creature. When Eve arrived, this perfection of a beautiful creature, his compliment in every way, her beauty far above his own. Adam is rejoicing in the skill and the care of a good and kind creator. He sees the gift and he looks to the giver. He sees his goodness.
Once more, Adam uses his knowledge and his authority here to figure out what to call this loveliest of creatures. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. He is mankind, and she is womankind. They are humankind, together, male and female. Genesis 3:20, you may wonder there, it says there the man called his wife’s name Eve because she was a mother of all the living. So, which is, is she woman or is she Eve? Well, Eve is her name, her personal name. This woman is called Eve. She’s the mother of all the living.
That’s a feminized form of the verb of being hyada. The word Eve, eva comes from that hya verb. The word woman, though, is related to the word man. It’s the kind of creature that she is. There are different views on the etymology of the term woman, one view with very strong exegetical support, and it’s according to exegetical scholar George Zemek. He says, “The term comes from a root that has three basic semantic fields in this root verb: to be weak.” It’s just to be, you know, weak in physical stature to be friendly and social, and to be soft and delicate, that’s the root.
Weak, friendly, social and then soft and delicate, and Zemek goes on to say this, “All three of these could well pertain quite naturally to female image bearers. Furthermore, each of these nuances potentially illustrate how the female image bearer compliments the male image bearer. In any event, Adam immediately recognized and appreciated this female love gift from God.” End Quote.
Feminists of our day protest and they cry foul get very shrill in doing so. Whenever the Bible refers to women as weak. 1 Peter 3:7, though, says that the woman is a weaker vessel. It’s what evokes from a man his protective sensibilities. That she’s a creature in need. Modern feminists, fail to see the genuineness of femininity and what the Bible says about that attribute of a woman. Qualities and attributes that are to be celebrated in a woman, rejoiced in, in a woman. Beloved, don’t get caught up in the world.
Don’t be embarrassed by saying what the Bible says. Speak it loudly. It would seem that feminists would prefer to turn the softer sex into a harder form. More like a man, actually. Which is actually anti-woman. They set out to protect women from the harshness of the world. And to do so, they try to strip and emasculate their protectors. Feminists try to strip their protectors of all their masculinity and try to turn them into women and then they tried to turn women into more manly versions. It’s actually anti-woman. It’s actually completely opposite of what they’re trying to accomplish.
And that is not the answer. The answer is, for each marriage partner to recognize and rejoice in and magnify and glorify how God made each one. To see their innate virtues and qualities and characteristics and dispositions, and to rejoice in it, never to make fun of it, never to pick on it, but to enjoy, to rejoice in, to give thanks for, to learn, to appreciate.
We need to see, so desperately today, don’t we? We need to see how God’s complementary design brings the man and woman together. It makes the two one flesh. It makes the two useful together, purposeful together. By contrast, the world takes offense and drives men and women apart, turns them on each other, turns them against each other. There’s beauty in God making the woman to be, issa. Man, the is, her the issa.
Whether, whether issa refers to weak, social, soft or all three. The fragility of the woman’s delicate nature is going to be sure to evoke the providing and protecting aspects of man’s male nature. The conversant communicative aspects of a woman’s nature, it’s sure to draw out Adam’s thoughts and conversation and foster intimacy in relationship. And the soft, delicate aspect of her nature attracts him physically, draws out his tender affections, his own longings for intimacy.
What she is, is vital, desperately needed. He needs her. She needs him. Whatever it is that’s in a woman, God hit the intended target. It’s out of a deep sense of appreciation. It’s in the fulfillment of a need for intimacy. It’s an attitude of respect and desire for this beautiful creature made like him, corresponding to him. Created in the image of God, Adam is thrilled.
So, number four, we see how God instilled within mankind a self-perpetuating desire for intimacy. We see that in verse 24. Number four, God instilled within mankind this self- perpetuating desire for this kind of intimacy. Verse 24 says: ”A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This self-perpetuating desire for intimacy is established for all their posterity.
Adam here sees a future for his race, and it’s a future of weddings, of marriages. It’s a future of fathers and mothers. Without the woman, there’s no perpetuating or extending the image of God on the earth. But with the woman and in cooperation with his wife, God image, God’s image spreads throughout all the earth. His representatives exercise Gods’ good dominion over all the earth, throughout the Earth. Which is why he names her Eve, Genesis 3:20, “the mother of all the living.”
One final point to make. We talked about setting the foundation according to God’s design. And that foundation is set by the teleology of marriage, its purpose, its end, set the foundation, then we build on that foundation. The home is framed by a pattern of authority and it’s finished out. Its heart is put into it through a pattern of intimacy.
Here’s the third point, which is the good stuff, we enjoy the house according to God’s design. We enjoy the house according to God’s design. Let’s not forget to enjoy the house that God had us build. Look at verse 25: “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” This points to the practice of marital intimacy. There is this reciprocal self-reinforcing practice of relational intimacy in marriage, which is appropriately manifest in the physical intimacy of marriage and the one promotes the other.
The physical intimacy promotes the relational intimacy and the relational intimacy. Promotes the physical intimacy. I’ve heard before, some say, it’s use, you know, it’s in a pattern of conflict and anger and bitterness that’s built-up resentment in a marriage and a woman will say I just can’t, I just can’t give myself to this man. I just can’t do that.
Well, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot, because if it’s intimacy you want a relational intimacy that you want, the two feed off each other. Physical intimacy opens the channels for relational intimacy. Relational intimacy, then produces physical intimacy, desires for physical intimacy. The two come together in a perfect design. There’s a one flesh exclusivity to this intimacy, which is obvious to Adam, I mean, she’s the only other human being on the planet, but it punctuates for him, doesn’t it? Emphasizes the point that God intends to make in pairing one man with one woman, and the only other human beings that will show up are the ones that are produced from their marital union.
That’s the pattern. Exclusivity, one flesh exclusivity of marital intimacy and when I say marital intimacy, I’m not talking just about sex, I’m talking about internal feelings and desires and thoughts and things you desire and dream together. Those are to be shared between husband and wife.
Sometimes I see men and women practice this and they say, you know, I, I just need some time with my buddies. I just need some time with my girlfriends because I just need to, I’ve got things to say to them that my husband just won’t understand. You know what she’s trying to do? She’s trying to find intimacy in like kind, apart from her husband. She’s cutting her husband out of the picture. Same way guys do the same thing. I need, I need time with the guys. Just there’s, just things guys can talk about. Kind of getting down to facts and things in life that are true that, yeah, women just shouldn’t be around for that. That is a lie.
Intimacy is to be shared relationally and sexually, exclusively between a man and his wife. This is a complementary relationship of a man with his wife, and it’s based on a lifelong partnership that they share together in procreation and the exercise of dominion and the joy of accomplishing together, doing together, living together. Don’t neglect the blessing of verse 25. It’s foreign to, well, all of us in a world that’s sin saturated and cursed, right? But it says the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed. This is not our experience, is it? We can’t even imagine what that’s like.
But it is the experience of a clear conscience of a mind that is untroubled, untouched by sin and guilt, its attendant shame. Once sin enters the picture, guilt is registered before God and shame is felt. Shame is that tendency to want to hide from others. Hide from God, hide from others that’s shame. But in the purity of marital intimacy here, before any fall, relational and sexual intimacy as they share in a private one flesh union they create a new family together, producing children from their union. God brings this woman to him. He rejoices. His comment is made about the perpetuating of this institution of marriage.
I need to study this a bit further, but I like to imagine that at this point, somewhere in the white spaces between verse 23 and verse 24, was God performs this first marriage, I’d like to think that God speaks the words that are recorded in Genesis 1:28 and following to this couple.
It’s kind of like, you kind of think of these words as a blessing and a benediction, pronounced on the man and his bride as God solemnizes their marriage, as he brings them together and then points them to the world, he says to them, okay, now go “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the heavens, over every living thing that moves on the earth.” He sends him out to practice their marriage. Go, do it. Go, enjoy, go fulfill the teleology of your marriage. Go build this, this structure, go enjoy it and perpetuate the glory and blessing of God and exercising your dominion over the earth. It’s a beautiful picture.
They got a great honeymoon location for their wedding. Whether they stay in Hotel Eden or they decide to travel around a little bit, explore this brand-new world. Every site dazzling to the eyes. Don’t need to pack any suitcases either, ’cause whether they stay, yeah, whatever they have this, whatever they have on, this kind of wash and wear, so, no suitcases, men. Can I get an amen from them?
They don’t need to worry about food either. God is given, verse 29, “Every plant yielding seed that’s on the face of all the earth, every tree with seed in its fruit,” so it’s good food, organically grown, no pesticides, it’s restaurant eating, way above a three-star Michelin rating. I mean, this is good, good stuff. Along the way, their intimacy, love, mutual appreciation develops, as Adam shows his new wife, the glory of the world that God created for them to enjoy.
He named all the animals, so he gets to introduce her to all of her new pets. He does the naming. She gets the joy of learning their unique natures, taking care of them. I remember reading a Doctor Seuss book to my kids, my daughters, especially there’s a line in one of them that goes “brush, brush, brush, brush, comb, comb, comb, comb. All girls who like to brush and comb should have a pet like this at home.” And it’s a little tiny pet with this flowing hair and a girl with this kind of rapturous look with a comb and a brush in her hand, she’s like, aahh. Eve gets to do that.
Go back to versus two and three of Charter 2. After creation week is over, when the six days come to a close, Adam and his marriage to Eve is just getting started. We see the seventh day is the commencement of what is to be a perpetual rest. “On the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. And so God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
Notice what’s missing, if you’re familiar with Genesis chapter 1. Notice what’s missing here. There’s no evening and morning, right? There’s evening and morning on every other day, every, sixth day, as well. No evening and morning on the seventh day, why not? Because God intended mankind in this marriage, marriage union to enter into the perpetual rest of God. To commune together in the love of God. To commune together in the blessedness of God.
Charles Hodge describes the love of God as “Complacency, desires, and delight. A love that has rational beings for its objects.” That’s the kind of love that God shares with us. That he lets us practice in marital joy. Loving God, loving one another and that’s why love is a communicable attribute of God, like blessedness. God shares it with us. He communicates it to us. He conveys it to us. Hodge continues writing this “love in us includes complacency and delight in its object, with the desire of possession and communion.”
Complacency is a word, maybe we think of in a negative way, but complacency in this sense refers to a feeling of quiet pleasure or security. It’s, complacency is to be pleased. It’s to be contented, satisfied. We think of complacency of like, that guys complacent, he doesn’t do anything. Complacency in the good sense is to be completely at rest. At rest, that’s why he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t stir. He’s not in turmoil. He’s not frustrated. He’s not anxious, worried, angry. He or she, complacency is at rest, quiet pleasure, total security in God, total pleased, totally pleased, totally contented, totally satisfied. That’s the complacency of love. That’s the complacency of blessedness of God.
“Loving us,” Hodge says, “includes complacency and delight in its object with the desire of possession and communion.” To possess God in terms of holding him as our great reward and then to possess one another in marriage. To commune with God in perfect fellowship and then to commune with one another in marriage. These are the delights that God in his goodness, intended for the institution of marriage. This is what he’s forming in us. This is what he’s shaping in us. It’s to be the most basic fundamental institution of society.
How long Adam and Eve enjoyed the state of blessedness, of this, is not known. We’re going to find out what happened to this institution next week and it’s the reality that all of us live through. As you hear all of this, as I have, and had to reflect whether, whether through comparison or contrast to my own marriage, as you all have to do with your own marriages. We realize that so much in us falls short, right?
But it’s such encouragement to go back to the design and see what the builder, what the designer, what the artist, what the skillful God of ours intended. It’s interesting to see that in Christ having experienced the full atoning work of Christ is forgiveness of sins. All the sins that we commit in thought, word, and deed, omission, commission, we commit against one another in marriage, right? Committed in the home, in the family. We know that in Christ, all that is forgiven. All that is taken away nailed to the cross, never to be thought of by God again and instead covered in Christ perfect righteousness.
And now, with a new nature, a new heart, a nature given to us by God, Ephesians 4:24, that’s a nature of holiness and righteousness in the truth. Now we get to go back to the original design knowing what the pattern is, start to practice that. We have new machinery internally. We have a Holy Spirit indwelling us. We have new desires, new affections, new joys. This is the pattern, my friends, walk ye in it, by the Holy Spirit, by his word, by God’s grace, let’s pray.
Our father, we thank you so much for revealing to us this pattern in this beautiful design, we see your wisdom and your goodness through the whole thing. We rejoice to learn this. We, we rejoice even more to try to practice this. We ask that you would give us grace, merciful to us and our stumbling and bumbling through it. But we do ask that you would give us grace and mercy and joy and gratitude in the practice of marriage together, setting a foundation, building and enjoying according to your good design. We love you and give you thanks in Jesus Christ our Savior, amen.