Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday, May 23rd

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  2 Samuel 15-16; Psalm 103; Acts 14
Today's scripture focus is Genesis 2:18-25

Genesis 2:18-25

English Standard Version (ESV)
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Accompanying Bob Deffinbaugh sermon:  The Meaning of Man: His Duty and His Delight
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Creation of Woman

In today's passage we see more detail about the sixth day of creation.

The garden, with its pleasures and provisions for food and meaningful activity was not sufficient unless these delights could he shared.
God brought the animals to Adam for him to name - giving him the opportunity to see that each animal had a mate, and that he didn't.

And after giving Adam the opportunity to see his need, God created a helper for him.  Deffinbaugh gives some insight into this word helper - ezer.

Adam’s mate was to be a very special creation, a ‘helper, suitable for him’ (verse 18). She was to be a ‘helper,’ not a slave, and not an inferior. The Hebrew word ezer is most interesting. It was a word that Moses obviously liked, for in Exodus 18:4 we are told that this was the name he gave to one of his sons.

And the other was named Eliezer (El=God), for he said, ‘The God of my father was my help (ezer), and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh’ (Exodus 18:4).

The other three times ezer is found used by Moses in Deuteronomy (33:7,26,29), it refers to God as man’s helper. So also in the Psalms (20:2; 33:20; 70:5; 89:19; 115:9; 121:1,2; 124:8; 146:5).

The point of the word as it is most often employed in the Old Testament is that the help given implies no inferiority whatsoever. In a way consistent with its usage, God is helping man through women. What a beautiful thought.

And when God presented Eve to Adam, he broke out into poetry.
In this expression there is a mixture of relief, ecstasy, and delighted surprise.

Deffinbaugh has this to say about v24...
Man is to leave his parents, not in the sense of avoiding his responsibility to them (e.g. Mark 7:10-13; Ephesians 6:2,3), but in the sense of being dependent upon them. He must cease to live under their headship and begin to function alone as the head of a new home.

The woman is not commanded similarly because she simply transfers from one head to another. While she once was subject to her father, now she is joined to her husband. The man, however, has the more difficult transition. He, as a child, was dependent upon and submissive to his mother and father.

When a man marries he must go through the more radical transition from a dependent, submissive son to an independent (from a parents) leader, who functions as the head of the home.

As many have observed, the husband-wife relationship is permanent while the parent-child relationship is temporary. Even if the parents are unwilling to terminate the dependent relationship of son to parents, the son is responsible to do so. To fail to do so is to refuse the kind of bond necessary with his wife.

Now, perhaps, we are in a position to see the relationship of this command to the creation account. What is the reason for its mention here in Genesis? First of all, there are no parents to whom Adam or Eve have been born. Eve’s origin is directly from her husband, Adam. The union or bond between Adam and his wife is the union of coming from one flesh (Adam’s) and of becoming one flesh (in physical union). This bond is greater than that between parent and child. A woman is, of course, the product of her parents, as the man is of his. But the original union involved no parents, and the wife was a part of the flesh of her husband. This first marriage, then, is evidence of the primacy of the husband-wife relationship over that of the parent-child relationship.

He has this to say about v25...
a sexual side of this relationship was a part of the paradise experience. Sex did not originate with or after the fall. Procreation and physical intimacy were intended from the beginning (cf. 1:28). Also we see that sex could be enjoyed to its fullest in the divine plan. Disobedience to God did not heighten sexual pleasure; it diminished it. Today the world wishes to believe that they have invented sex and that God only seeks to prevent it. But sex, apart from God, is not what it could or should be.

Ignorance, if you will forgive me for saying so, is bliss. In our generation we are cool, if you prefer, sophisticated, only if we know (by experience) all there is to know about sex. “How naive are those who have never had sex before marriage,” we are led to believe. There are many things it is better not to know. Sex was never enjoyed so much as it was in sweet ignorance.

MacArthur adds that Adam and Eve were originally naked and unashamed because they had no knowledge of evil, therefore they had no capacity for shame. And it is so sad that knowledge of evil created shame between Adam and Eve, who originally had the purest husband/wife relationship there ever was.  In the beginning it was not that way.
In the beginning in the perfect environment there was perfect love, there was perfect rapture with each other. And the perfection of wondrous creation by God. It was a shameless love that God gave these two. They had that kind of union that God has designed to be the pinnacle. Peter even calls it the grace of life. One man, one woman leaving their parents; cleaving together in a strong bond for life becoming one flesh.

And of course becoming one flesh means coming together as one and that is certainly manifested when children are born, children being the very symbol, the very reality of the one flesh because they bear the life of both the father and the mother. So woman was made for man and there is where relationship begins. And folks I want to tell you this is the purest and greatest and most blessed and wondrous relationship that God has ever given. That's why Peter calls it the grace of life.
Day 6 not only included the creation of man, but of marriage.  And God has defined marriage as a lifelong relationship between one man and one woman.  Homosexuality, adultery, fornication are all excluded from God's design. Sex, when used with the parameters set by God, is a beautiful gift.

The glorious perfection of a pre-fall world is beyond our imagination - but is something we can look forward to experiencing for all eternity on the New Earth.

Monday's scripture focus:  Genesis 3:1-7
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Samuel 17-18
Sunday's passage: 2 Samuel 19-20
Monday's passage: 2 Samuel 21-22, Psalm 104, Acts 15

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