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Saturday, March 10, 2018

“Throw the Woman Out!!”

Genesis 2:18-25

This is a beautiful passage which too often is neglected.  A number of key points are made here.  The first is God’s comment that “It is not good that the man should be alone.”  This is a general truth which goes beyond the subject of marriage.  Human beings are created for community.  It is not good for us to be alone.  Men and women are complementary.  They both are made in the image of God.  A social reality is affirmed here.  Men and women do not only interact in marriage.  They complement each other in every aspect of life.  They share equal roles.  This is God’s intention from creation.

God says that he will make “a helper as his partner” for the man.  God then brings all the animals to the man (Adam).  None of course is a suitable partner.  In the familiar story God then causes a deep sleep to come upon the man after which God takes a rib from the man’s side and literally, “builds” a woman.  When Adam sees Eve for the first time he essentially cries out in joy, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.”   The marriage relationship is not only intimate.  It is joyful.  And a key point is that the man is no longer alone.  Nor for that matter is the woman.

The expression of this intimacy is even stronger given that the two become one flesh.  Jesus then makes the statement, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matt. 19:6).  The image of marriage is so powerful that it is used as a symbol of God’s relationship with his people (Ezek. 16:1-14; Rev. 21:1-2).  Adam and Eve are naked and unashamed.  Sex, to say nothing of marriage itself, is neither dirty nor shameful in itself.

We live in a world where many forces work against marriage.  Whether we are married or single we need to support the covenant of marriage.  As we saw in the apostle Paul all Christians are symbolically the Bride of Christ.

Faithful and gracious God I thank you for the gift of marriage.  Whether I am married or single may I support all those in whose marriages I share either as family or friends.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.