I’ve been prompted to share an excerpt from my Bible study today, so go get your Bible.
Before you open it, answer this question: Who was created first, Adam or Eve?
You said “Adam,” right? Everyone does.
Now read Genesis 1:26-27, 31.
Who was created first?
That’s right, they were both created AT THE SAME TIME!
Together. On the sixth day.
Why does almost everyone answer incorrectly?
This might shed some light: Look at Genesis 1:11-13. When were plants created?
Now read Genesis 2:1-7. According to verses 4-7, when did the plants “spring up”?
Not until after man was placed in the garden to care for them.
I love to host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I spend many happy hours poring over recipes in order to create the perfect menu. The menu is completed weeks before the meal is actually prepared. Long before the first potato is mashed, I know exactly what will be on the table.
The point is, God created everything in those 6 days but some of what He created didn’t appear until later. As soon as He speaks something into existence, it exists, even if it cannot yet be seen. Take a minute to think of other things that God spoke into existence long before they appeared on the earth? What comes to your mind?
This concept is key because many think God created man first and woman was an afterthought – someone created later to fulfill man’s need.
That misunderstanding has caused a lot of pain and suffering and is a big factor in sex trafficking.
The important truth is, we were created at the same time.
If you’re still not convinced, look closely at the third phrase of Genesis 1:27.
What does it say?
What pronoun is used?
Yep, the pronoun is plural. Them. Two were created.
According to Genesis 1:26-28, why was “man” (humankind) created?
See? Woman wasn’t created for man; man and woman were created together to represent God’s image. Stop and think about that for a minute.
List some words that describe God’s image:
One of the words on my list is royal. After all, He is the King of Kings.
What is the royal color?
We were created purple.
What color do you get when you combine blue and pink?
It takes both male and female combined to represent His image.
Both pink and blue are an equal and integral part of God’s royal image. Woman can never be purple alone and neither can man. It takes both, working together, to fully represent the image of God.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
Genesis 1:28a says, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
God blessed us and spoke His purposes for us as a unit – before we were separated. These purposes were for purple, not for pink or blue alone.
Read the rest of Genesis 2.
In verse 15, the Hebrew word that has been translated “take care of” or “keep,” depending on your version, is shamar, which means “to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect.”
If everything God created was good, from what/whom did the garden need to be protected?
If you said, “Satan” then you are correct.
Hold that thought and move on to verse 18: “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” [emphasis added]
Why did things go from “very good” in Genesis 1:31 to “not good” here?
I wondered so I looked. And I discovered that a more accurate translation of verse 18a would be “It is not good for the man to be as one.”
The word for helper here is the Hebrew word ‘ezer. ‘Ezer appears 19 times in the OT and in all but one occurrence it is used in reference to divine help, as in:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
So when did the church twist divine help into subservient help?
God is our helper, but He is certainly not our servant.
Some translations call woman a “suitable” helper, King James calls her a “help meet.”
The Hebrew word translated “suitable” or “help meet” is neged. The definition: “in front of, in the sight or presence of, before the eyes of, face to face.”
Man and woman existed together as part of the “mankind” God created on day 6 and formed in chapter 2, all wrapped up into one.
Now God was about to separate them out so they could see one another face to face. They would no longer be as one. Now they would be two, representing God face-to-face, side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder.
(I’ll tell you about the fabled rib tomorrow.)
You’re not in a hurry are you, because I am about to pull it all together.
God created mankind in His image and His image is triune. Three separate but equal parts. Therefore it makes sense that man and woman would be separate but equal parts.
I love Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. I had it engraved on the inside of my first husband’s wedding band. (Oh well.)
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.” Separate but entwined we are stronger than if we had remained as one.
I believe things went from “very good” to “not good” because there was an enemy lurking against whom we would have to defend ourselves.
Look back at Genesis 1:27-28 and 2:15. God gave us two purposes – represent His image on earth and protect His garden (Genesis 2:15) by subduing His enemy (Genesis 1:28).
The word subdue in Genesis 1:28 is the Hebrew word kabash. It means “to subject, force, bring into bondage, tread under foot.” If everything was good at that point, what on earth would need to be “forced, tread down, brought into bondage,” except His enemy?
So let’s recap: God created mankind purple. But there was an enemy lurking so He separated us out into pink and the blue and then what did He do at the end of the chapter?
He entwined us right back together again.
God entwined the wisdom of woman with the strength of man because two can defend better than one. He intended for us to join arms and conquer the enemy – parents protecting their families, congregations protecting their communities, the church at large protecting the world.
We have a purpose people.
In what ways do you dream of joining arms with your present or future spouse (and/or church) to represent God in your community and keep the enemy at bay?
The hub and I dream of owning a lodge where we can host retreats and minister to anyone who needs spiritual refreshment. (He would do that by taking them fishing.) The lodge would have a large kitchen where I would cook for our guests, nourishing them physically as well as spiritually. I dream of it being a place where young adults can learn to eat well and love well. I see it as God’s peaceful presence in whatever community He sets it. Excuse me while I create some menus…
- Excerpted from Spider Lake © 2010 Julie Hintz