Last updated on February 26, 2020
In the previous blog post (“Created in the Image of God: The Power of Our Words“), we left off watching ‘adam, as he named the animals that God had created and brought to him.
Would you join me once again in the Garden? I have been sitting here for many days, observing, asking questions of Holy Spirit, and listening to what He drops in my mind and heart. Please pull up a rock and sit with me as the scene continues to unfold:
No words can fully describe what ‘adam experienced while working side by side with his Creator, as he developed a close bond with the creatures that he had just named. Any one of us would have gladly traded places with him.
And yet … ‘adam still felt that yearning in his heart that had not been fulfilled by any one of God’s amazing creatures, a companion who was uniquely made in the image of God, just as he. Although he was surrounded by so many living creatures, he must have experienced a common human emotion — loneliness.
Remember what God said in Genesis 2:18 (VOICE)
“It is not good for the man
to be alone, so I will create a companion for him, a perfectly suited partner.”
The word, translated “alone“, is the Hebrew word “bad”, which means “separation, something separated; a part”. It is from the root word, “badad”, which means “to disjoin, to divide, to separate, to be solitary.”
This is the first time in the record of Creation that God looked at what He has just created and said, “It is not good…”
‘Adam was lonely because God’s creation of the beginning of human life was not yet finished. He was only half done.
Genesis 2:21-22 (VOICE)
“So the Eternal God put him into a deep sleep, removed a rib from his side, and closed the flesh around the opening. He formed a woman from the rib taken out of the man and presented her to him.”
As we sit here together in the Garden, what do you see? Maybe it looked like this…
Creator God knew what ‘adam was feeling and He took his hand. “Come over here ‘adam, and lie down”. God released the powerful shalom of His presence and put the man into a deep sleep. Joy crossed His face as He thought of what ‘adam would soon behold when he woke up.
The Eternal One, the original Master Surgeon, removed a rib from ‘adam’s side, along with some of the flesh, then closed up the site. I wonder if the wound healed in an instant, or perhaps with a scar. We are not told, but I am reminded of the wound from a soldier’s spear in the side of our Savior, Jesus the Anointed One, when He was crucified.
John 19:34 (NASB)
“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”
‘Adam’s rib and flesh contained all that God needed to build the first woman. He had already wisely provided all that He needed when He formed ‘adam from the dirt of the earth.
Did He use the stem cells that He had previously created and placed in the rib and surrounding tissue?
“The rib, in particular, represents an anatomic type of long bone with a wide, spongious component rich in hematopoietic bone marrow, containing multipotent, pluripotent, and unipotent stem cells.”
“Adam’s rib and the origin of stem cells” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ajh
- “Form” is the English translation of the Hebrew word, ”yatsar”, which means “to mold into a form, as a potter”.
It is fascinating that the Creator “formed” ‘adam, the land animals and the birds from the dirt of the earth outside the Garden, but He “built” the first woman from the side of ‘adam, inside the Garden.
- “Built/ fashioned/ made” are the various English translations of the Hebrew word, “banah”, which means “to build (literally and figuratively); build or erect a city, temple, wall, defenses, etc.
- “The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon (found at www.blueletterbible.org) also makes this comment about an application of “banah”:
- “… to build a house for anyone is equivalent to, to give him offspring and descendants… House is by a common Eastern metaphor applied to family and children, and he who begets children is said to build a house.”
- …“a woman is said to be built, if her house is built, i.e. when she has offspring…”
With this in mind, let us look at:
Proverbs 24:3-4 (NASB)
“By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.”
And in The Passion Translation:
“Wise people are builders—
they build families, businesses, communities.
And through intelligence and insight
their enterprises are established and endure.
Because of their skilled leadership the hearts of people are filled
with the treasures of wisdom and the pleasures of spiritual wealth.”
Built to build.
Women, together with men, were gifted and equipped to build and bless:
- homes, families and generational lines
- individual lives, through
- as teachers, counselors, and advisors
- giving a helping hand or an encouraging word
- businesses and other enterprises
- places of healing and resources for growth (for the spirit, soul, and body)
- social and legislative structures
- creative cultures of righteousness, justice, compassion and truth
Let’s take a closer look at Genesis 2:18 in the NASB:
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
- “Helper” is the English translation of the Hebrew word, “‘ezer“, which means “one who aids or helps”. It is interesting that in the Old Testament, “‘ezer” is most frequently used to describe God, how He comes to our aid. An example is:
Psalm 121:2 (NASB)
“My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”
Obviously, “‘ezer” does not refer to an assistant, present only to do the other’s bidding. It is one who chooses to bring their unique strengths, abilities, and gifting into a situation or relationship that supports and fills a void for another, to bring victory and completeness.
Even before the fall, recorded in Genesis 3, the man and woman were not complete in themselves. The need and desire to be joined as one was not a result of the fall.
It was a result of God’s wisdom and purpose, that, separately, we each were made in the image of God, but, together, joined as one, as husband and wife, a greater and more complete manifestation of the image of God would result.
Man and woman’s oneness in a marriage relationship would not only be complementary and symbiotic (a mutually beneficial relationship), but synergistic (synergism is when the “total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects” —www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synergism).
- “Suitable” is the English translation of the Hebrew word, “neged“, which means “a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate” (Strong’s Concordance). This is an interesting word. It’s uses in the Bible connotes “standing in one’s presence, opposite them, face-to-face”.
With those definitions in mind, let us now continue.
We turn our attention once again to the event unfolding before us in the Garden of Eden:
Genesis 2:21-23 (VOICE)
“So the Eternal God put him into a deep sleep, removed a rib from his side, and closed the flesh around the opening.
He formed a woman from the rib taken out of the man and presented her to him.
Adam: At last, a suitable companion, a perfect partner.
Bone from my bones.
Flesh from my flesh.
I will call this one “woman” as an eternal reminder that she was taken out of man.”
When God had completed the final details of the first woman, she opened her eyes for the very first time. She found herself face to face with the One from whom all life begins and is sustained. She experienced the Light of His Presence for the very first time. What joy and love she beheld!
Taking her by the hand, the Creator led her over to where He had left ‘adam sleeping.
‘Adam, wake up! As the voice of the Eternal One brought the man out of a deep sleep, he opened his eyes.
And his eyes opened wider!
Standing before him was the very one whom God had promised! The one that no other created thing could replace, for she, too, was made in the image and likeness of God and shared His Spirit breath!
Genesis 2:24 (VOICE)
“Now this is the reason a man leaves his father and his mother, and is united with his wife;
and the two become one flesh.”
“For what reason?”, I asked.
The narrative of the creation of man and woman ends with this eternal truth.
This is what we need to more fully understand.
- God did not form the woman out of the ground as a separate creation from the man.
- He did not split the first human into two and form the man and the woman from the halves as mirror images.
Our Creator is intentional about everything He does.
His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
He took ‘adam, who knew (although there had never been a second person up to that time) that he was alone and separated from something. Then God took away a piece of ‘adam to build the woman, who was then brought back to him to join with him as “one flesh”.
Now .. they were complete and whole. Now it was possible for the fullness of the image of God to be expressed in humankind.
Remembering our discussion above about “ezer” and “neged”, what do we see? Holy Spirit, help us as we “look” with the eyes of our spirit.
We see the first man and the first woman standing face-to-face, bringing into the relationship of “one flesh” the unique God-given strengths, giftings, abilities, perceptions, and wisdom that God has placed in them.
In addition, God adds into the mix the unique personality, destiny and calling that He has conceived in His heart for each individual before creation began.
It is said that there is a book for every person, recorded in heaven — how God has seen us before we ever existed. The subject is too much to unpack here, but it is an interesting aspect of our journey that will be for another blog post. Stay tuned.
As stated before, God is intentional with everything that He does and says.
What He has done is often a picture of greater truths to be revealed. And this is the case with the picture of the “one flesh” union of a man and a woman, in the marriage covenant of husband and wife.
Ephesians 5:31-21 (TPT)
“For this reason a man is to leave his father and his mother and lovingly hold to his wife, since the two have become joined as one flesh. Marriage is the beautiful design of the Almighty, a great and sacred mystery—meant to be a vivid example of Christ and his church.”
The context of this scripture is a subject for another time, but the point to be made here is that the pure, unaltered picture of “one flesh” marriage found here in Genesis 2 is a shadow of what God intended for Christ and His church (the true Bride of Christ, believers in Christ who are sold-out lovers of God).
Just as the source of the first woman was from the wounded side (rib) of the first Adam, the source of the Bride of Christ was birthed from the wounded side of Christ (the last Adam), from whom blood and water came forth (as mentioned above).
(See John 19:34; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5)
Anything that skews and distorts this foundational truth of “one flesh” covenant between one man and one woman as established in the Garden, robs the world of a life-giving picture that brings the understanding and experience of all that God created us to live in. Our heart and spirit connection with our Lord Jesus the Anointed One is why we are here. It is why there is a hunger deep within us that cries out, even before we understand it, just as ‘adam experienced a loneliness that he could not put into words.
1 Corinthians 6:17 (TPT)
“But the one who joins himself to the Lord is mingled into one spirit with him.”
Oh, wow! There is so much truth that flows from this one verse. It will be the basis of many discussions we will have in future posts. We need this understanding in order to fully and successfully navigate our life’s journey as God intended when He created us. We will return to this revelation of truth, I promise!
As we have spent this time together in the Garden of Eden, you may be thinking about your own relationships, past and present.
- For some, life has held much trauma and disappointments. Be encouraged. In Christ, there is healing and hope.
- For others, life and relationships, especially marriage, have been good, better than good. In Christ, there is more!
Ephesians 3:20 (TPT)
“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this.
He will achieve infinitely more than
your greatest request,
your most unbelievable dream,
and exceed your wildest imagination!
He will outdo them all,
for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”
It has been my intention, as our journey brought us into the Garden of Eden, to stay focused on God’s purpose for the human race (male and female He created them) as seen here before the fall. It has been difficult not to slip into the awareness of what we actually see and experience now through the lenses of a fallen world.
At one point, I found my heart saddening over the difference of what God’s heart had purposed for us, and what humankind has experienced. As I sat in the Garden with a saddened heart, watching the Son of God work, I “saw” Him turn His head toward me, with a reassuring smile on His face. He dropped this reminder into my heart:
“… I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5 – NASB)
And His words and Presence have once again restored and refreshed my heart. (Psalm 23:1-3)
In Genesis 1:26-28, we will further explore our God-established identity and purpose. Join me next time in the blog post, “Created In The Image of God” Our Original Identity and Purpose”
Notes and References:
- Hebrew and Greek words and their meanings were taken from www.blueletterbible.org
- Abbreviations for Bible translations, as used at www.biblegateway.com
- NASB = New American Standard Bible
- TPT = The Passion Translation
- VOICE = The Voice Translation
- Letter colors:
- Green = what the author is sharing as she meditates on the scripture and receives from Holy Spirit
- References for sources of information mentioned in the video about ‘adam vs Adam