Genesis 2 – A Guy’s Relationship to God and the Girl
Genesis 1 gave us the creative rhythm of day and night. Genesis 2 introduces us to the rhythm of work and rest by sanctifying the Sabbath day (2:1-3). The remainder of the chapter is about relationships. We see man’s relationship to the earth (2:4-16), to God (2:7), good and evil (2:17), and to the woman as husband and wife (2:18-25). What God created is perfect, and the relationships within His creation are purposeful.
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Genesis 2:7 (ESV)
The Significance of Sabbath
The God who can do all things doesn’t do them all at once. Instead, he works day by day, and then he takes time to rest.
God never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4), so the Sabbath isn’t about sleep. It’s about ceasing.
Sabbath isn’t about doing nothing but about doing something else. Sabbath is about doing something with God.
We will become more acquainted with the word “holy” throughout Scripture (2:3). God will secure spaces and objects like the Tabernacle and its furnishings by declaring them holy. If it is holy, then it is His.
It’s significant that the first thing in all creation God took for Himself was time. Watch the Sabbath as you continue to read through Scripture. God protects it, expects man to honor it, and invites us into it (Heb. 4:9-10).
We need to work, and we need to Sabbath. Because God sanctified the Sabbath, man will always have time for God. The problem is that man will not always take time for God.
The What and Why of Women
Genesis 2 is the seed story of Scripture. The Bible begins with a garden and ends with a city (Rev. 21). In Genesis 2, a tree of life grows in the garden (Gen. 2:9). In Revelation 22:1-2, there are trees of life lining the streets and the river of life. God has been faithful. Man has been fruitful, and he has multiplied.
But one man can’t multiply. So how did he do it? God’s creation is perfect, but there is a problem. In God’s world that is “very good” there is something that isn’t good (2:18). Man is alone. Every other creature has another (2:19). Man has no helper fit for him (20). So God works.
Genesis 2 reveals the Sabbath, but it recalls the sixth day. We saw there that God made man, male and female, in his own image (Gen. 1:27).
The word translated “man” is the Hebrew word a’dawm. It’s a word that refers to the man’s purpose. He was created from the dirt to work the dirt (2:5-9). So God names the first male what he is, Adam. But you can call him Dusty.
So God created Dusty from the dirt and put him in the garden. But how do we get that other version of the image of God, the female one? She doesn’t come from dust. Watch how God makes this one.
God’s solution for the problem of man’s aloneness is to create a compatible version of the image of God. “A helper fit for him” means that she stands to his face (2:20). She doesn’t come from dirt. She comes from Adam’s side (2:21-22). The way God makes her says a lot about her. When the man looks at the woman, he does not see his servant but his equal. She is not just a mate. She is a partner.
She is equal, but she is not the same.
And Then There Was Marriage
Not only is she going to be able to help him. But she can unite with him. Genesis 2 ends with Adam praising God for the woman. The man with no father and mother explains that as the images multiply, they will leave father and mother and cleave together as husband and wife (2:21-25).
Genesis 1 ends with a note that the world is very good (1:31).
Genesis 2 ends with a note that God’s male and female images are naked and not ashamed (2:25).
Man’s relationship with God, with good, with the ground, and with the girl are harmonious. There is no evil, and there is no shame.
Sadly. It’s all about to change.
Had sin not entered the picture, the Bible would have been a story that would have taken generations to unfold, but it would have only taken four pages to write. In Genesis 2, man’s relationship to God, the ground, and the girl is good. However, you and I know a world in which these relationships can be very bad. Genesis 3 will explain why and will also point us to the solution in a Savior. The story of redemption will require generations to unfold but far more than four pages to write. You and I are stuck in this story of a world gone wrong. Genesis 2 is behind us. Revelation 22 is ahead of us. We need a Savior to redeem us (both guys and girls) in our relationship to God, to good, to the ground.
Questions to Discuss
How is the creation of the woman different than the creation of man? What does this say about her?
How does Adam respond to the creation of the woman?
According to Genesis 2, why does the world need humans?
What is the problem with eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
Summarize Genesis 2:18-25 in your own words.
Compare Genesis 2 to your day today. How did you struggle in your relationship with God today? How did you observe nature being destructive against man or man being destructive against the earth? How did you see men and women struggling in their relationship to one another? In what ways has the world gone wrong since Genesis 2? How did the gospel make a difference in your relationships today?