Tag Archives: marriage

Blame

Studies in Genesis 3

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12 ESV)

Everyone who reads this Genesis account knows the man is shifting the blame from himself to the woman and then to God. His answer is an obvious “it’s not my fault” response to God’s interrogation. He does admit he ate the fruit. But follow the progression of blame.

“The woman you gave to be with me” tells God He is most at blame. If He had not given the man the woman as an equal then the man would not have rebelled and eaten the forbidden fruit. Does he not remember his owns words after seeing the woman for the first time? He is given dominion over the earth. God presents to him all of the animals and he names them. But none of the animals are a suitable partner for man. None of the animals are equal to man and it was impossible for man to be fruitful and multiple with any of the animals. He needs a she. God gave the female to the male and made them one flesh

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.” Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:23-24).

The man declares the woman “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” when she is presented to him by God. He knows from where the woman came. He knows that all of the animals he has named are male and female and God’s blessing for them is to multiply and fill the earth. Then God proclaims the spiritual condition of the pair, declaring them one, a unit, together making a whole. It is God’s intent that the man and woman be husband and wife and that their relationship be unique, healthy, whole, free from anything which might divide them. They are “one flesh.”

When the man indicates that the “woman you gave to be with me” was the cause and reason for his rebellion he was speaking truth. God did make the woman so the man would not be alone and would fulfill His blessing to “be fruitful and fill the earth and subdue it.” The woman did give the man the fruit she had plucked and eaten so he could also have a bite. But, the man was not forced to eat the fruit by either God or the woman. Even the Deceiver did not force any to eat the fruit. He ate of his own volition. Now, confronted by God while he is hiding, the man points his finger at the woman and says it is her fault while facing God saying it is also His fault.

Not only is the relationship between God and Man broken but also the healthy relationship between the man and woman.

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Godly Institutions

Studies in Genesis 2

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:25

The man and the woman, created by God for relationship with Him and with each other, wore no clothing other than the skin in which they were created. They had no need for clothing. Yet, this verse adds a negative. They were not ashamed. They were doing nothing to cause guilt but were wholly within the design and purpose of God. Why the negative? This negative echoes the declaration of God that “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18 ESV). It would also appear that a negative is normal in the creation of the heavens and the earth. There was darkness in the beginning (see Genesis 1:1) then God created light. For our benefit God, who is perfect in Himself and all He does, declares the negative along with the positive and make all perfect.

There many things this chapter tells us, but two stand out. God establishes two institutions designed to point us toward Him individually and corporately. First, God tells us to rest on the seventh day because He rested. This weekly rest points us toward God and toward our place with Him in eternity.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3 ESV)

Secondly, God establishes and sanctifies marriage. He set apart the man, Adam, from all the other creatures and gave him responsibility to name them. Naming a thing means control and authority. We do not name God. He names Himself. God then took a piece of Adam and created Eve. From then on a piece of a man and a piece of a woman is used, according to the natural laws emplaced by God, to make more people. This is done according to the moral and natural laws instituted by God. Neither of these sets of laws are dependent upon circumstance or culture. From Adam and Eve throughout the generations of all people, God embedded all with His image just as all have the same likeness.

God wants all to rest in Him. God wants all to know Him intimately. Where there is a negative He provides a positive. Yet, relationship is a two-way street. Having the image of God each person now has the duty and responsibility to respond to God and each other according to God’s design. And, since God, who is unconstrained by time, knows all, knows what will happen in time with those He created in His image. His creation is ordered in such a way to sanction the sacrifice of His Son for those He loves.

 

Unity of Marriage

Studies in Genesis 2

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 ESV

These are not Adam’s first words. These are not Adam’s words at all. Adam does not have a father or mother but is the father of the entire population of humans. Eve is the mother of the entire population of humans. These are the words of God, written by the author of Genesis, declaring His purpose and direction for all who follow, who will be born.

There are three parts to this statement, each with eternal consequences. Each statement declares the eternal intent of God showing the relationship all who carry the image of God have with their Creator. Yet, this statement is proceeded by a “therefore.” Everything God has said and done impacts the statements which follow. God has shown methodical purpose in the work of creating the Earth, the plants, fish, birds and animals, and Man. He has intentionally made a garden, the home for those He created. He gave Man, and consequently all humans, the “image of God,” so He might have a relationship with them and they with Him. This was done by eternal design. He purposefully created the man first, and then the woman from a piece of the man. All He does is according to His design and purpose with no trial and error or mistake. With these thoughts let us briefly examine the three parts to this statement.

A “man shall leave his father and his mother.” To leave means to depart from. It can carry the meaning of abandoning but we would be hard pressed to think of God wanting anyone to so completely separate themselves from others as to abandon them. God will not abandon us though He will discipline and even punish us. Parents are to care for their children and, as parents grow older, children are to care for their parents. This is a natural consequence of growing and maturing to responsibly reproduce, build a family with responsible children who will grow and continue the design and purpose of God fill and subdue the earth.

The Authorized Version, the King James Version, uses the word “cleave” to describe what the man does when he leaves his father and mother. The word “cleave” is the phrase “hold fast” and means to stick to, or cling to something. The man is to “hold fast to his wife.” Marriage is the divinely dictated, ordained and approved foundation for the family.

The consequence of leaving and holding fast is that two are now considered one, “they shall become one flesh.” Where the woman was taken out of the man’s flesh, and the woman bears children who are of her flesh, so the father and mother of the children are in God’s sight a unit, one person. This is a spiritual truth represented by a physical reality that points to Christ and the Church, not to the eternal marriage of two physical people. This verse points to the unity of those who have the image of God with God by revealing the necessity of unity of husband and wife.

 

God’s Seventh Statement

You shall not commit adultery. [Exodus 20:14 ESV]

Adultery is seeking and experiencing sexual intimacy with a person other than your husband or wife. If the focus of murder is the destruction of those who carry the image of God as a way of killing God then adultery is an attack on the intimacy of a relationship with God. Again, since God cannot be destroyed the attack is against those who are enabled to have a relationship with God. Where those who have been given and receive the grace of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, sexual activity outside of marriage compromises their testimony of God before the world.

Physical intimacy experienced by husband and wife is a physical representation of the spiritual intimacy everyone may have with God. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” [Genesis 2:24-25 ESV]. God’s original intent for a husband and wife is for them to live in a mysterious union, making two into one. This union involves the whole person unencumbered by anything outside of themselves.

In the garden nothing could break this union. Just as Adam and Eve had intimacy with each other they had intimacy with God. He created them in His image for this reason and walked with them in the garden as evidence of their relationship. They were unashamed before each other and before God. The word “ashamed” in Genesis 2 means disappointed, confounded or dry. They did not disappoint each other or God. Nothing they did confounded or compromised their relationships. Their relationships was fertile and growing and full of life.

We have fallen far from God and from each other.

Is there within the heart a lustful intent to engage in sexual activity with one who is not your righteous husband or wife?  When you hunger and thirst for unrighteousness you drive yourself away from the One who created you and the one who is given to love you. We cannot be joined with the world and joined with Christ. Nor can we explain to the world what it means to be joined with Christ. Through the centuries many have called the relationship had with God through Christ a “mystical union.”

Paul describes the symbolism of the marital relationship and the spiritual joining of those who belong to Christ with their Savior.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. [1 Corinthians 6:15-20 ESV]

God’s seventh statement lays bare the heart of relationship with Him. The evidence of the strength or weakness of our relationship with God is found in many places but especially is the motivation of our sexual self. Separation and suffering is the result of the sinful, sensual heart, inflicted upon those with whom the person is to have an intimate relationship. Sin has compromised and made people incapable of having a true, undefiled, intimate relationship with either God or a spouse.

There is within a deep desire for true intimacy in everyone. There is no ability on our part. There is complete ability and desire in God. The “mystical union” the believer has with God does not remove any from the world but does guarantee intimacy with God for eternity, our recreated spirit in union with His eternal Spirit. This is the heart of the matter.

Those who persecute the righteous do so to break the intimate relationship had with God. Our world is driven by the quest for power and control and the prevalence of the idolatry of the sensual. From ancient temple prostitutes to the current visual depictions of the international concubine through pornography, the temptation to compromise and indulge in illegitimate sexual activity is constant. It is an overt attack on righteousness, which is persecution. It is not pointed persecution directed against a specific individual or group but a blanket attack on righteousness pointed at God. Which means it is also pointed at the citizen of the kingdom of God.

Have you noticed persecution toward those who will not embrace the “right” to their preferred “sexual” orientation? Have you noticed the demand to redefine marriage and the words “husband” and “wife” and “family”? This is persecution for righteousness. There is no difference between one sin and another. Sin separates from God and divides those who belong to God from each other. It is the intent of those enslaved by the world to silence God. Persecution is one way they think they can silence those who represent God.