Summary: With all the thoughts concering marriage, there might be some who question if marriage is still a gift from God. Take another look at God's institution of marriage and the blessings that God intends to give through it.
“Where do I even start?” That was the question that ran through my mind as I started to write this sermon. Having spent time studying Genesis 2 which you heard as our first lesson for this morning, I looked at the computer screen and thought, where do I even start? There are so many different ways that these words intersect with our lives. So many different topics, situations and decisions that these words speak to. But instead of running chaotically all over the place, like a little child bursting through the gates of Disney World and thinking that they need to see every attraction within the first 30 minutes, I would invite you to take a walk with me today. Take a walk with me through the Garden of Eden, through the pages of Scripture and with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, let’s see what the Lord has for us to see in Genesis 2.
Just one week – seven days – before the words of Genesis 2, the only thing that had existed was God himself. Then suddenly out of the infinite darkness, sprung an entire universe with the words, “Let there be…” Within six days, the eternal and all-powerful God called into existence the world and everything in it – well almost everything. Genesis 2 takes us to the middle of day 6 of creation, the day on which God created the animals and the first man, Adam. God made an announcement on that day that must have stunned the angels. God said, “It is not good…” There must have been a collective gasp by all of creation when God said those words. Up until this point, God closed each day with the declaration, “It is good.” But on this day there was something different, incomplete, something still missing. What was it? God tells us, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
While God knew this, God wanted Adam to realize it. So less than 24 hours after Adam had been created, God put Adam to work. We’re told, “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” (Genesis 2:19). God had created Adam with intelligence and creativity and God now provided opportunity for Adam to use those gifts. But as Adam went to work naming the animals he quickly realized something, “But for Adam no suitable helper was found” (Genesis 2:20). Adam realized something that God already knew – Adam was not part of the animal kingdom – that no animal was a suitable partner for Adam. That word for “suitable” is kind of a neat one. It has the idea of “corresponding to.” Adam realized that nothing in the animal kingdom corresponded him, that no animal could complete him. Yes, there was still something not good, something missing – so God made it good.
We’re told, “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” (Genesis 2:21,22). Just as God had demonstrated that Adam was a special creation, fashioned by God’s own hands out of the ground, and breathing into Adam the breath of life, so God demonstrated that Eve was an equally special creation. God fashioned that first female around the rib that he had taken from Adam.
God then presented his newest creation to Adam and what is Adam’s reaction? Adam takes one look at Eve and realizes that God has given him someone just like him, but different from him, someone who corresponded to and fit him perfectly. Adam looks at Eve and erupts, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). Can you sense Adam’s joy and excitement? He looks at Eve and says that Eve is a special creation just LIKE him, and just FOR him. The name that Adam gives to Eve shows that connection he felt with her. Even in our English words of “man” and “woman” we see the two names intertwined with one another.
But the bringing together of these two individuals was much more than God providing someone for Adam to talk to. This was God giving the world a special relationship between a man and woman which God describes with these words, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). With these words God describes his design for the relationship we call marriage. It’s the formation of family, a man and woman (two people who physically correspond and fit with one another) who publicly commit themselves to being one for the remainder of their lives. God says that by this commitment this man and woman now become one. Their living together and having sex with one another are expressions of that oneness of marriage.