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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

From Adam's Rib

by Jill Christianae on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 10:39pm

Responding to some unexplainable urgency to read the Bible today, I decided to read Genesis again. I have read it before but today God has given me fresh wisdom and insights,specifically about meeting my lifetime partner.

Genesis 2:15-20 says:

15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” 18 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.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man[c] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs[d] and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 23 “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.

Verse 18 speaks of God's decision to provide a partner for Adam. I expected that from verse 19 will be details of Adam meeting Eve, but no. From verse 19 - 20, the Bible describes how God made Adam name all the creatures around him. This to me describes the work-orientation of man, their delight in succeeding, seeing results and innovating. Somehow, in the course of a life of working, man realizes that he needs a partner. The last sentence of verse 20 says, "But still there was no helper just right for him."

"Helper" is the term used in the Bible, neither lover, nor girlfriend. It dawned on me then and it becomes even clearer as I write, that God's first purpose for joining two people as husband and wife is to HELP each other. Help doing what? Remember that the help came out from the context of Adam naming the creatures. Therefore, Eve being the helper of Adam and Adam being helped by Eve tells us that husband and wife must work together for a specific purpose, at a certain time, in a specific place, also known as calling. In the time of Adam and Eve, it was naming the creatures, tending Eden, watching over it, etc. (v.15). This is a calling not only for an individual but for a couple. In verse 21, we see that God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. I ask, "Why didn't God give Eve to him while he was awake?" We notice that it is not just a sleep, it was a DEEP sleep. What happens in a deep sleep? Well, deep sleep simply means the absence of discomfort while sleeping because the body and mind are in a relaxed condition. This event in the Bible tells us that man has to relax in waiting for his partner because God is the one who orchestrates everything. We notice in verse 21-22 that God did so while Adam simply had to be in a deep sleep. This is a picture of Adam resting from his minsitry of naming creatures and tending Eden. God provided Eve for Adam while Adam was pursuing his calling, which reminds me that as a single christian, my first priority is to pursue my calling and God will take care of the rest including providing my lifetime partner. After all, God is a creative God who will work wonders in my life/relationships like how He wonderfully formed Eve out of Adam's ribs.

It is not new knowledge that Eve was formed from Adam's rib. But I asked, "Of all the body parts, why the ribs?" There could be many reasons why God chose the rib but God revealed to me that this rib formation illustrates the one to one relationship of a husband and wife, meaning that I, a woman like Eve is paired by God to only one rib, to only one man.This is a cliche but this means that there is only one man for me. God will bring me to his side and I don't need to do the orchestration on my own nor should I pray for God to make a man (who appears to be the perfect catch) be the one because long before, He had already prepared 'the one' for me.

Like Adam, my role is to wait, relax and make sure that when I am brought to the side of my Adam, I would love the helping role I would be playing. In other words, the best indication that he is the one is that we have the same calling and we could spend the rest of our lives not only enjoying each other, raising a family or preparing for a retirement, but 'helping each other out' in the purpose God has called us for. This truth should make me become still, relaxed and free to follow the direction God has set out for me. After all, Life is about God and His purpose and the rest, including my lifetime partner, are the details.

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