And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. — Genesis 2:18
Just days after their marriage on February 5, 1812, Adoniram and Ann Judson set out to India as missionaries. It was unthinkable in that era for a young woman to work among the heathen in primitive surroundings, but Ann had carefully considered the promise she made in taking the marriage vow, and was determined to support her husband in what she knew God had called him to do.
Ordered by the government to leave India shortly after their arrival, the young couple began their missionary work in Burma, a land of over fifteen million people who had never heard the message of salvation. Their work was stressful, and initial results were almost non-existent, but Ann’s purpose to support her husband never wavered.
In 1823, war between Britain and Burma broke out, and Adoniram was thrown into the death-prison at Ava along with other missionaries. Surrounded by the vilest criminals in the Burman capital, the men suffered unspeakably for nine months. Chained together with iron bands about their ankles, and laying in filth like pigs in a sty, their unbearable situation was alleviated only by the efforts of Adoniram’s caring wife.
Ann was unremitting in her self-sacrifice during this horrendous time, proving her devotion to her husband in spite of incredible personal danger. She hid his translation of the New Testament so that it was preserved for the Burman church. Heedless of threats against herself, she traveled in blazing sun from office to office and valiantly pled with government officials for her husband’s life with such earnestness that at one point even the rough old governor of the prison was moved to tears. In spite of the fact that she was pregnant at the time, she secretly brought supplies and food to Adoniram and his fellow prisoners, who had been left to starve and die. Her sweet face and gentle presence so won over the hearts of the people that she was called the “angel” of the prison. What a comfort and encouragement she must have been to her suffering husband!
In today’s text, we read the account of God creating the first woman, Eve, to come alongside the first man, Adam, and be a helper to him. Just as Adoniram Judson had many opportunities to thank God for the helper God gave him in his wife, men and women through the ages of time have proved the wisdom and beauty of God’s designed plan for marriage. When God’s plan is honored and practiced, the result is always the same: one man and one woman living together in a union of mutual support, respect, and loving care until death separates them.
Today, think about the beauty of God’s plan for marriage, and like Ann Judson did, purpose in your heart to uphold the principles He has ordained for this unique and precious union!
In this text block, greater detail is given about what God had already created.
Verses 4-6 describe a greenhouse-like effect, where condensation in the form of a dew-like mist watered the ground.
Verse 7 offers additional details about the creation of man, recording that man was formed from the dust, or soil, of the ground. The word translated formed indicates a shaping by hand, as a potter would shape clay. Man was unique among all of God’s creation, for it is specifically noted that God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” — something that was not done in the creation of the animals.
A description of the Garden of Eden is provided in verses 8-14. Despite the identification of some familiar landmarks, such as the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, the exact location of the Garden of Eden is unknown. Included in this section is the first mention of the “tree of life” as well as the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
In verses 15-17, God instructed Adam to dress and keep the Garden of Eden. God also commanded man not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Hebrew negative used in verse 17 indicates a permanent command, and the restriction was indicative of man’s subordinate relationship to God, his Creator. The importance of God’s command was revealed by the severity of the punishment.
Verse 18 records the only time in the creation account when God announced that something was “not good” — and that was the fact that man was alone. The remainder of the chapter describes God’s creation of woman to be a suitable or “meet” helper for man. She was not formed from the earth, as Adam was, but “made” or “built” from the rib of the man. The rib contained all the genetic code God had already created in Adam, and thus the first man’s genetic code was supernaturally transmitted into the first woman.
Eve was designed to be a uniquely appropriate companion for Adam. At that point, God in effect instituted the marriage relationship, ordaining that the needs of man would be met in an exclusive and intimate bond where two separate and distinct individuals would unite and become “one flesh” (verse 24).
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The early history of the human race
A. The creation of man
2. The particular of creation — man (2:4-25)
a. Prologue (2:4-6)
b. The creation of man (2:7)
c. The placement of man (2:8-15)
d. The responsibilities of man (2:16-17)
e. The companion of man (2:18-25)
God recognized that it was not good for man to be alone, so He provided companionship for Adam through the creation of woman.