Summary: 3 things from Genesis 1-3, one from each chapter (adapted from Andreas Kostenberger's book: God, Marriage, and Family, chapter 2 Leaving and Cleaving, pgs. 31- 39)
At Sunday school there were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, “Johnny, what’s the matter?” Little Johnny responded, “I have a pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife.”
Series on marriage and the family. Let’s start at the beginning
Need to know that the Bible is not designed as a family manual. Even though Marriage and family is an important topic in the Bible, the primary focus is different. The Bible’s primary focus is salvation for humanity through Jesus Christ. In the OT we see God making a people from whom the Messiah will come. In the New Testament we see the Messiah coming in Jesus Christ and providing salvation and forgiveness for humanity.
In the OT as the history of Israel unfolds, we see examples of godly and ungodly marriages, as well as the Law of Moses outlining differing aspects of and combatting deviations from God’s pattern for human relationships. (Look at this more tonight) While salvation history, not marriage, is the focus of the Bible, the Scriptures contain must material for study on this. “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us,” 1 Corinthians 10:11, NIV.
Thesis: 3 things from Genesis 1-3, one each chapter
Genesis 1: Created in God’s image to rule the earth for God
On Day 6 we find this: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”” Genesis 1:26-28, NIV.
A lot that we could discuss from this, just need to know that God made man and woman to rule over the earth. In one sense, human beings are “like God.” Just as God rules over a large area (all of creation)- so humanity is given charge of the earth to rule it for God. We see here the principle of stewardship, God is ultimately the owner of the created realm; the man and the woman are simply the appointed caretakers. Together the man and the woman are to exercise stewardship according to the will of God and for the glory of God. Together they are to multiply and be stewards of the children given to them by God. This multiplication is to help humanity rule the earth and subdue it.
Genesis 2: The Ideal Marriage
Genesis 2 is an extended version of Day 6. We find that the man is created first. The man, before the woman is created, is the one who received the command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:16-17). Also before the creation of the woman, the man had already began to fulfill the mandate to subdue the earth, naming the animals
God’s creation of Eve demonstrates that God’s plan for Adam’s marriage, and for all future marriages, involves a monogamous heterosexual relationship. God only made one “suitable helper” for Adam, and she is female. God knew Adam’s solitude is not good and so God created the woman. The Bible gives no inkling that Adam himself is even aware of being alone or sad in his seclusion. Even so, God takes the initiative in fashioning a compatible human companion for the man. For this reason it can truly be said that marriage is God’s idea and God is the one who made the woman of his own will as a “suitable helper” for the man (2:18-24).
“Suitable helper”- On one hand, the woman is compatible to the man in a way that none of the animals are (animals 2:20). On the other hand, the woman is placed alongside the man as his helper, assistant, aid, associate. On a personal level, she will provide for the man’s need for companionship (2:18). With God’s mandate for humanity to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth and subdue it, the woman is a suitable partner both in reproduction (one flesh, Genesis 2:24) and in the earth’s control (1:28). Her role is distinct from the man’s, yet unique, significant, and essential. While assigned to the man as his “helper,” and thus placed under his charge, woman is his partner in ruling the earth for God.