Yesterday we considered the situation at the beginning of the world… God was not alone but all three Persons of the Trinity were there creating the earth. Next They wanted to create someone like them to actually administrate Their creation… to live there and enjoy it, as well as to take care of it for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The next chapter in Genesis gives the account of one of the couples God had created… beginning with Adam, the first man. I love that God wanted to put someone on the earth to enjoy what They had made and to watch over things but, even more, I love that God saw that the man needed more than just the beautiful place and a walk in the Garden with the Father! God made Adam to need more.
God in Three Persons knew already that it would be lonely for only one human being to be on Planet Earth with all of the other species of His creation and God set about improving Adam's lot in the Garden! Adam inspected the whole lot of created life but there was none that he found could be his partner in the work or in his life. They were individual and interesting but, well, none of the other creations seemed to really be able to share their thoughts with him or understand the thoughts that he had wanted to share. None of them could help Adam; he needed someone like himself.
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18, NIV)
Skipping the inspection and naming of the creatures verses here, drop down to verse 21:
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 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. 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." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24, NIV)
I sometimes wonder if this last verse about the man and woman committed to one another in marriage being one flesh might not, also, be a likeness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? They have three different personalities, three different jobs to do but all three are of one mind and have the very same purpose to their labors. Seems like if God is going to make the two one, perhaps, They might have thought it should work the same with couples? Just a thought, I have not published any articles or books to prove this!
A tangential note here: Don't go looking for men to have one less rib than women do because of this passage in the Bible. Counting the ribs to find only that they have the same number, will not disprove the truth of this passage of Scripture, though some have tried to use this approach! When I worked with reconstructive surgeons during my time in Virginia I learned that they often take a rib out to make a forehead or repair another area that needs that flat kind of a bone. The reason is that the rib will grow back within a year so it will not make any difference to the patient who is either letting the surgeons "move" his rib from his chest to his forehead or, if his child needs it, "donating "his rib. He will never know the difference after it has grown back!
Alas, Singles, you have not been forgotten! God knows that a single person also needs relationships on this Earth besides the most important one, your relationship with God! King Solomon took note of this in Ecclesiastes Chapter 4.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. (Eccl. 4:9, NIV)
We do much better and are more productive if we have like-minded and motivated co-laborers with whom to work
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Eccl. 4:10, NIV)
This is true anytime, not just when we are working! It is true in private life, as well as our working life: If we are tempted to do something not quite according to what we know the Lord would approve, having a co-worker watching may just make the difference. If we are working and are distracted or, for any reason at all, find ourselves hurt on the job, it is really comforting to have someone right there to go for help, right? For me, just walking along a road with a colleague proves comforting as I can be distracted from the condition of the road and stumble because of it. When my colleague who is walking with me, stretches out a hand and steadies me, it is a great comfort and I can draw my attention back to listening and feeling the road!
Of course, under all circumstances be it of a sinful temptation situation or an actual physical danger, God is watching, too as he had promised to never leave us but to keep His eyes upon us. Of course, God could stretch out His hand to steady my stumbling gait but he has given me friends to do that for Him and I so appreciate the relationship with them! For those living in places where the sidewalks and street crossings can get icy… we all appreciate that helping hand on a winter's day!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? (Eccl. 4:11, NIV)
I had not really known the truth of this verse more than one very cold Ohio night! My colleague and I had been riding a Greyhound bus and had been more than a little warm on that conveyance as we traveled from South Dakota through to Ohio. However, the folks in whose home we would be sleeping had not yet turned the furnace on for the winter. We spoke to them late into the evening hours and they seemed plenty comfortable in short sleeves, while our knees knocked together and our teeth chattered when we tried to speak. At last, it was Midnight and time for bed. This was really the first time we were so incredibly grateful to have but one bed for both of us. This is often the case during our itineration times in the States when staying in the homes of family and friends. It is not a problem, most of the time and, as one friend put it when waking us up the following morning, "You two are hugging the edges of the bed so much that we could put another person between you!" Not this night! We might have been able to put two more people on the edges of the bed because we were so tightly pressing our backs together in the very middle of the bed! It did not take long to begin to warm up, which gave us the heat we needed to begin to move away for the more natural, restful sleeping position. Neither of us can read this passage without thinking of Ohio!
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. (Eccl. 4:12a, NIV)
That goes without saying, right? Who doesn't want someone with him when being threatened!
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Eccl. 4:12b, NIV)
If two is a good thing, think how good it would be to have three friends to join together with us! That would make it possible for one to call in sick sometimes!
So, dear Reader, the bottom line is this: God understands our need for relationships with people, both those who are very close to us and others who join us in projects such as working relationships. God does not need to be your only Friend. He is secure in Who He is so no need to have exclusive rights to our attention. He is, however, a jealous God according to the Bible, so He does mind a lot if we make someone or something other than Him stand in that "only one God" spot! There, truly, is no one else but the Almighty God who can stand in the place of our God. However, the One Who made us knows us best and He has made us to need people, His other children, too! No guilt needed if you are sometimes feeling like God just doesn't seem to be enough! God understands and He is okay with that!
****Answers to Questions Tomorrow