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Strength was lost only to be regained and extended by the creation of Eve. 

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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.”

 

After God sees that it isn’t good for Adam to be alone, he sets Adam to the task of naming all the creatures in the creation.  Imagine the immensity of that task!  While we’re not privy to the actual names he gave, it’s nevertheless something that would overwhelm most of us. Then, in all that naming and looking at the animals, and perhaps even watching them interact, none could end the loneliness of Adam. No animal could to make relationship complete.  There was no right match.  The level of personal relationship necessary for Adam to avoid loneliness, in God’s eyes, couldn’t be found in any of the animals that went before him.

Many translations speak of this search and use the word ‘helper.’  No ‘helper’ could being found.  Perhaps we can discover the truest meaning of this word ‘helper’ in light of what God does to resolve Adam’s loneliness as well as in Adam’s response.  While Adam was in the deep sleep, brought on by God, God removes a rib from his side, and fills in the space with flesh.  It is important to realize the significance of the rib and where it was taken from.  Our rib cage, in the everyday life of humans, provide protection.  They ‘guard’ the organs that reside in the chest.  The lungs and heart are protected from injury by the ribs, and the lower ribs protect other organs from damage that might come from the side.  Notice how the rib is taken from the side of Adam, not his front or his back. From these, we see two things Eve provided Adam. Eve was his companion. She was at his side – not in front or behind him. Eve was also his protection. She provided a mutual protection so together they might fulfill what God intended.  We might also consider the vulnerability in Adam given the ‘surgery.’  His side was weakened by the removal of the rib.  Strength was lost only to be regained and extended by the creation of Eve.

Now, notice Adam’s response to his new-found ‘helper.’ He communicates the precious nature of Eve, captured in the words, “bone of my bone” and “flesh of my flesh.” He recognizes the deep bond forged with Eve. She is part of him and he is a part of her. They exist with an intimacy only observed within the triune God before this moment.  Marriage can be the most beautiful experience a man and a woman can share, providing strength for each other.  As you go through your day, think of a married couple who provides you with an excellent example of this story. Write them a quick message to encourage their marriage.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Rich Obrecht

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