Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” — Genesis 2:18
Genesis 1 offers a cosmic view of creation, beginning with the heavens and earth and crystallizing with image-bearing humanity, the crescendo of creation.
Genesis 2 is a bit less “lofty”, and a little more “earthy”. Literally.
In Genesis 1, God creates by the power of His spoken Word. In the creation narrative of Genesis 2, God rolls up His sleeves, gets dirt under his fingernails, molding man out of the dust of the ground. He breathes His breath / wind / spirit into the man, who becomes a living creature.
But Adam longs for something more, a “suitable helper”. Despite having meaningful work to do, despite having a sin-free relationship with God, Adam still yearns for something more, a communion of like flesh. And so God reaches deep into Adam’s rib and when he awakes, he finds another, a companion, a “just right” relationship, the loving gift of God.
In His essence, God is a community: three differentiated persons bound together in eternal love. We stretch the bounds of language to describe God as Father, Son, and Spirit. And this communion is paralleled in the sacrament of marriage, a covenant of love binding three persons (wife, husband, God) as a unity. The Hebrew word for marriage ceremony also means sanctification; to enter into this avowed relationship is a holy matter, if for no other reason than it illuminates the very character of the Triune God.
In other words, this picture is “just right” to show us the heart of God.
I find it interesting that in the telling of the Story, none of Adam’s speech is recorded until the creation of Eve. Now, again, Adam’s relationship with God is sin-free; at the very least, I can say his devotional life is better than mine. But nothing is recorded of this interaction between Creator and created, as rich as it must have been. But at the sight of Eve, something bursts forth in Adam’s heart and the words fall from his lips like poetry:
“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.”
Last week, a friend of mine shared a sobering statistic with me. An attorney in the Dallas / Fort Worth area told him that 40% of the divorce papers filed in the DFW area contain the word “Facebook”. For 40% of these couples, something as seemingly innocuous as Facebook has become a detrimental force in their marriage. Does this mean Facebook is “evil”? Of course not. But it only proves the point that Genesis 3 will reinforce: Satan will use anything in his power to lead us astray. We would do well to be on guard against such threats, particularly as it regards the sanctity of marriage.
In these early chapters of The Story, we find the ultimate cause for all things. The world doesn’t begin with a bang, a cosmic accident, or a pre-evolved amoeba crawling out of the primordial sludge. All things find their origin in the heart of a loving Father, one who fashions humanity in His own communal image and gifts us with tools for relationship.
He gives us language.
He gives us emotion.
He gives us each other.
He gives us Himself.
As the curtain draws on the second chapter of Scripture, the setting is blissfully rendered: “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” The next chapter, we know, is the beginning of the end. Our blissful utopia unravels at the seams as sin works its systemic dark magic. This tragic turn will color all that will follow, necessitating a promise of someday, a day when God will bellow forth in triumph: “Behold, I am making all things new,” (Rev. 21:5).
All of this will follow.
But here, at the end of Genesis 2, it is enough for us to take in this scene one last time.
A scene of loving communion between husband and wife, covenantally bound to one another and to God.
And this communion is perfect.
Or, we might say…just right.