Thursday, August 29, 2013

Genesis 2:15-25 Adam and Eve

"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it.
And the LORD God commanded the man,
'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
for when you eat of it you will surely die.'

The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make him a helper suitable for him.'

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground
all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air.
He brought them to the man to see what he would name them;
and whatever the man called each living creature,
that was its name.

So the man gave names to all the livestock,
the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep;
and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs
and closed up the place with flesh.
Then the LORD God made a woman
from the rib he had taken out of the man,
and he brought her to the man.

The man said,
'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,'
for she was taken out of man.'

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother
and be united to his wife,
and they will become one flesh.

The man and his wife were both naked,
and they felt no shame."

Genesis 2:15-25 (NIV)

I just realized that I got ahead of myself in that last post in the telling of the story of Adam and Eve and their sin in eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  I had been trying to distinguish between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and ended up giving away most of the information of the story before its time.  For at that point, all we had was a man and the Garden of Eden, where God had placed him.  Let me continue:

God had placed the man in the Garden of Eden to work in the garden and take care of it.  He had given Adam permission to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  God warned Adam that if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die.

God brought all the beasts of the field and the birds of the air to Adam and allowed him to name them.  Naming these animals was an act which demonstrated Adam's position of authority.  However, none of these creatures was a suitable helper for Adam.  So God made him one.

Putting Adam into a deep sleep, God removed one of his ribs and made a woman from it.  Then He brought her to the man.  The man realized that she had been fashioned from part of his own body.  The word 'woman' in Hebrew sounds like the word for 'man', which seems to have been Adam's intent in naming her.  She was separate from him, but also intimately a part of him -- "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh".

The text goes on to assert that this is why a man and wife leave their parents and establish their own family unit.  It also indicates that monogamy is God's intention -- that a man and woman would be so united -- so 'one flesh' -- that as long as they live they would be only for each other.  Sexual union is a God-given, physical expression of that oneness.  In the context of a marriage between a man and a woman, there is nothing shameful about it.  However, outside of such a marriage, sexual union would be a perversion of that God-given intent of indicating the 'one flesh' and lifelong commitment which exists between the husband and wife.

Another aspect which should be considered is that a Christian believer is considered part of Christ's body.  In the New Testament, some people were claiming that it didn't really matter what they did with their bodies -- that it didn't affect their inner spiritual life.  However, in I Corinthians 6:12-20, the apostle Paul says that this is not so:

"...The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the LORD,
and the LORD for the body.
By his power God raised the LORD from the dead,
and he will raise us also.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?
Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?
For it is said, "The two shall become one flesh."
But he who unites himself with the LORD is one with him in spirit.

Flee from sexual immorality.
All other sins a man commits are outside his body,
but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own;
you were bought with a price.
Therefore honor God with your body."

I Corinthians 6:12-20 (NIV)

There are some quotes from the NIV Study Bible on these verses (I Corinthians 6) which I found helpful:

"Paul here declares the dignity of the human body:  It is intended for the LORD...a body destined for resurrection should not be used for immorality...It is not merely one's spirit that is a member of Christ's body; it is the whole person, consisting of spirit and body...There is a higher union than the marriage bond:  the believer's spiritual union with Christ, which is the perfect model for the kind of unity which should mark the marriage relationship...Christians should also realize that by the Spirit's presence and power they can be helped against such sins as sexual immorality."

OK, I kind of went off on a tangent there.  However, it does relate very much to our passage.  It also helped me to be able to explain why sexual immorality, in whatever form it takes, is so serious.  Despite what our culture may tell us, God says that sex is not just a physical thing, a temporary pleasure, a meaningless pastime.

Meanwhile, back at the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve felt no shame in their nakedness.  As of yet (Genesis 2:15-25), they had not disobeyed God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

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