Summary: Genesis 2:24. The conclusion of a look at the biblical covenant of marriage.
IN THE BEGINNING
GENESIS PART 1 – ANTEDILUVIAN HISTORY
THE DOCTRINE OF MARRIAGE PART 2: ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN, ONE LIFETIME
- During our look at the doctrine of marriage last time we began to lay the foundation for a biblical view of this great covenant. We began by noticing that everything was good in God’s creation except for the aloneness of Adam. This was not an issue for long, however, because the LORD God formed a helper corresponding to him. She was like Adam, and yet unlike Adam. Eve, created by God as Adam’s sexual counterpart, was given to the man so that together they could obey God’s command to be fruitful and multiply – to fill the earth and subdue it.
- Our first point of emphasis was that sexual intimacy is only to be enjoyed within this relationship. We looked at the concepts of adultery and premarital sex; noting that Scripture everywhere condemns these practices. I would remind you of Hebrews 13:4 where the Bible says: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. The true God, who created and initiated this institution in the garden with our first parents, is intensely concerned with keeping marriage pure. It should remain as he designed it. All other aberrations are ungodly and sinful.
- That lead us to the question of who can be married. We stated, unequivocally, in accordance with Scripture that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman. Polygamy is not an option. Homosexuality is not an option. The Bible is clear that those behaviors are abominations before God. You will recall that the word of God does not mince words, especially as it addresses the issue of men having sex with men and women having sex with women. It is an unnatural behavior. Not unnatural because it goes against an individual’s “natural” desires, but unnatural because it goes against God’s natural creation design. In fact, the phrases “men having sex with men” and “women having sex with women” are really oxymorons, aren’t they? Those things cannot actually be done. The actions that take place in such relationships, while sexual in nature, pale in comparison to the God-designed real deal.
- We return, then, to the text of Genesis 2 to fill in some of the missing pieces. I say “some” because marriage is such a huge topic that there will doubtless be things we pass over or miss. Last time we saw God giving Eve to Adam in order that they might fulfill his command. We drew out from that the implication that their relationship as husband and wife, one man and one woman, is the biblical norm. Now we are going to look closely at the actual wording of that key verse in chapter 2.
[READ GENESIS 2:24]
- The first thing I want you to notice from this verse is that:
MARRIAGE PROVIDES FOR A SPECIAL AND UNIQUE COMPANIONSHIP BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN
- The first phrase in this verse is: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother... “Therefore” of course points us back to the content preceding this verse. Because God formed Eve especially for Adam; because he gave her to him as a suitable helper; and because Adam was pleased with Eve as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, all men after Adam follow this same pattern. It’s as if Moses is explaining to his readers: this is why we do what we do. This is why a man leaves his father and his mother and takes a wife for himself. Why not run wild on the earth and participate in whatever sort of sexual behavior you want? Why not have multiple women or multiple men? Because God has a specific design that he enacted from the very beginning.
- Now this phrase clues us in to the special relationship that marriage provides for two individuals. Remember in v.18 of this chapter God said that it was not good for the man to be alone. The implication is, now that man was not alone, things were back to being good. In fact, it is only after mankind is created as both male and female that God says at the end of creation day 6: behold, it is very good. So what does this phrase tell us about the unique relationship of marriage?
- It tells us that the marriage relationship is so special and so powerful that it initiates the forming of a whole new family. When a man and a woman decide to be married, they leave their parents and form their own family unit. Now we need to be careful not to misunderstand what is being said here. In our culture, when a man and a woman get married they literally leave their parents and move into their own home – in most cases. But during this time when Moses is writing that did not happen. The family unit looked very different than it does today in America. Most sons stayed and lived either with or next to their parents and eventually inherited a portion of their father’s land.