The Woman, Part 2 (Genesis 2:21-25)

She shall be called woman

You may or may not know the name “Will Thomas”, but he is the young man at the University of Pennsylvania who has recently been smashing national records in women’s swimming.  Women’s swimming.  Will, who goes by “Lia”, is a young man who believes he is a woman and therefore he is allowed to compete against other real women.  And he’s cleaning house.  

Now we could spend time on a lot of areas of this issue, from the politics of it, to the science of it, to the devastating effect of it on female sports and athletes.  So far, at least 2 female athletes on the team have come forward anonymously to say how crushing this has been for all of the girls on the team.  There are a lot of tears but the school administration has told the girls to be quiet and not say anything negative about Will, also known as “Lia”.  

It seems the furor over Will centers on how he’s essentially robbing other real women athletes of their sport.  And there should be.  Because it isn’t fair.  

But is there any indignation over the ungodliness of it?  Is there any concern for how God is seeing this?  God has created male and female in His image.  Men are men and women are women.  Their bodies reflect that.  

We live in a day where people who believe they can remake reality for themselves because they believe they can make God however they want too.  More than that, society has degenerated further in not just “allowing” people to identify this way, but normalizing it across society, and requiring everyone to affirm these perversions.  

Consider the fury that erupts if anyone speaks out against what’s going on in society.  Consider the female athletes at UPenn who are not just devastated but frightened to speak out because of the backlash that will come from the activist and Main Stream Media.  

Don’t you find it ironic that we live in a day where people can demand you see them how they want to be seen while at the same time people don’t give God the same “rights”.  God seems to be the only One who doesn’t get to define Himself.  Everyone seems to feel like they get to make God out to be whatever they want Him to be.  Of course it is anything and everything other than what He reveals about Himself in His Word. 

At the end of the day what you are seeing is a full on spiritual rebellion against the created order of God:  man and woman.  Male and female, where their “expression” correlated with their physical bodies.  In other words, how they attempted to “present” their gender on the stage of life was consistent with their physical bodies.  God created men to be men, to think like men, to act like men, to see themselves as men, and to present themselves as men.  And women to be women.  

The ideas of transgender, non-binary, intersex, genderqueer, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, gender expansive, gendervoid, agender and on and on are nothing more than another perversion of the Biblical description and prescription of male and female.  They are attempts by men and women, created by God in His image, to shove God aside and redefine themselves on their own terms.  

Here you have people rising to the heights of rebellious, narcissistic self-indulgent idolatry where “SELF” is enthroned upon the Mount of God, where self has risen to be seated above the heavenlies, where self has ascended to dethrone the Creator and cast Him down as God – all to establish self as God.  To rule, to “create”, to bring what you imagine into reality, to the most extreme self-determination possible where God is utterly cast out, and the human acts as though they are like sovereign like God – totally and utterly free.  Free to choose for themselves who they are without the slightest regard for who God is and what He says about them.  

According to the Word of God there are only two genders:  male and female.  READ GENESIS 1:26-27.  Gender is not just biologically based.  It is divinely ordained.  God created the man’s physical body and the woman’s physical body and inherent in His design is the nature of a man and the nature of a woman.   

THE WOMAN (21-25)

After showing the animals are insufficient companions for Adam, God puts him to sleep to perform a surgery.  He takes a rib from Adam’s side and forms the woman from that rib.  

First, this is all God’s doing.  Notice that God puts Adam to sleep.  He doesn’t get to be part of the process of creating Eve.  All he does is take a nap and provide the raw materials she will be formed from. 

Actually that’s an interesting thought isn’t it?  Did God tell Adam ahead of time what he was going to do?  Did He explain, “Hey, you’re going to take a nap and then I’m going to remove that rib right there  – hope you’re not too attached!  Ha ha, just a little Creator humor – and then I’m going to form it into another human like you.”  “You’re going to do what?  Then he’s snoring. 

I think it emphasizes that woman is God’s creation.  He is her Maker.  He made her and He made her for man.  Her life comes from God and her life is for Adam.  Adam passively provided the materials, but God intended her, formed her, and breathed the breath of life into her just like with the man.  Then he just woke up and while he’s rubbing the sleep from his eyes here comes some beauty.  He had to have been like “Am I still dreaming?!  If so I don’t want to wake up!”

Second, we can also notice that the woman was not created the same way Adam was.  She was not made from the dust of the ground.  Think of what this would have meant:  she would not have had that built-in connection and interdependence with the man.  If she were made the same way as him, there would have been an inherent independence from him.  But coming from the man’s own flesh is profound – it means they are connected in an intimate way, a dependent way, and somehow form a whole when they are coupled together.  This is why “one flesh” is not purely a physical statement, but a partnership statement just as much.  God took part of Adam’s flesh and created Eve with it, and then returned his flesh back to him.  His rib came back better than it left him.  (Maybe this is why we like “baby back ribs”….Adam was like “Baby come back to me!”)

Third, notice God didn’t create another man from the ground to be Adam’s buddy.  The Garden of Eden was not to be a bachelor pad.  Another dude was not a suitable helper.  Friends are very important, but, they cannot substitute the relationship God designed man and woman for.  A friendship between a husband and wife surpasses that of another man.     

Fourth, God brings her to Adam.  He doesn’t bring Adam to her.  Remember there is correspondence of their relationship to other relationships.  Christ comes to the Father, not the other way around.  The Church will be brought to Christ, not the other way around.  The Bride comes to the Groom, not the other way around.  

It portrays gifting.  Genesis 2:18 God says “I will make a suitable helper FOR him.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:9, “Neither was man created for woman, but woman FOR man.”  The woman is a gift to the man, literally a gift from God.  Sit up a little taller ladies!  Presentation to someone shows that you are a present to someone.  The Son is a gift to the Father and is brought into the Father’s presence.  The Church is a gift to Christ and will be brought into His presence.  God has shown Adam that he needs someone, Adam has come to that realization by God’s doing, and Adam is now seeing the woman is God’s doing.  The woman is God’s answer to his need for someone to be his suitable helper.  God brought the animals to him and then he brought the woman to him.  That is not to point out similarity between he woman and animals, but actually contrast.  The animals were brought to show they aren’t what the man needs, the woman was brought to show him she is exactly what he needs.  

It also portrays an authority: the husband is the authority of the wife, like the Father is the authority of the Son, and Christ is the authority of the Church.  We’ll talk more about authority in the next point.

But maybe I can make a very  practical application from it.  If you’re not married, and you’re seeking to be, wait on the LORD.  You don’t know how He will bring someone to you, but, trust Him.

Fifth, Adam calls her woman.  I don’t care what the Hebrew scholars and theologians say, I still believe my interpretation of how he named her woman.  He was waking up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, and she was walking towards him, her hair perfect with a little bit of breeze blowing it, the sun shining just right on her, her makeup was perfect…right?  I mean its not like she tripped on a rock in front of him and fell face first in the mud.  It was perfect.  Anyway, so Adam’s heart starts beating super fast, and he’s like “Whoooa!  Man!” ….”Whoa-man”….”Woman!  I’ll call you ‘woman’!”

Notice who names who:  the man names the woman.  She gets her name from him.  Here we have the basis for one of the customs in marriage where the woman takes the man’s last name.  Her first name is given to her by her father, her first “head” in life.  Her last name is given to her by her new head, her husband.  

Naming her brings us back again to the area of authority.  He was her head, her authority, which is clearly seen by his act of naming her.  “She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”  The complementarian view that woman is equal but under the headship of man is not like, as some argue, a result of the Fall.  It is based in creation.  First Corinthians 11:3 says that “the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”  Continuing with that thread on authority, he says in verse 8, “For man did not come from woman, but woman from man.” indicating the creation basis of a husband’s authority over the wife.  

Making the point further is what we’re seeing in Genesis 2:  the woman’s authority is her husband because that is how God created it.  She was created 2nd, not simultaneously with Adam.  She was made from Adam’s own flesh and bone, not the dust of the ground.  She was made for Adam as a suitable helper.  She was named by Adam.  All of this adds up to authority.

The husband’s authority starts right here in creation and runs straight through the Bible.  We’ve seen 1 Corinthians 11 some.  But we see it in Ephesians 5:22-31…Colossians 3…. 

Let’s clarify something:  it is not “authority” we should have a problem with, it is the abuse of authority.  No Christian should contend that authority itself is wrong.  That would be anti-biblical, and reflect a rebellious heart.  That would prove that you reject any authority over you, and believe that you are the highest authority in your life.  

Now we authority we ought to pause and observe is not a bad thing.  It can be abused, but, itself is not a bad thing.  It is a blessing when someone with authority uses it as God intends.  Man has authority over the earth and the creatures and the Garden.  That authority was intended to be used to cause flourishing of all that was under his dominion.  In the same way, godly authority exercised by a husband will produce a wonderful prospering of his wife.  He will “tend” to her, “cultivate” her, “watch over” her, “care” for her, “love” her, and do all it is she needs for her flourishing. 

So he recognizes she is of his very own body, “Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.”  He recognizes that she belongs to him, and he to her.  

Sixth, we see the man and the woman form “one flesh”.  Together they form something whole.  The context here has two things going on.  First is the fact that the woman was formed from the rib taken out of man’s side.  God took part of the man.  Man was “missing” something.  God brought that something back in the finished form of another human being like him, but different than him, and perfect for him.  She was brought back to complete him.  Together they would begin to fulfill the Creation Commission God had for them to fill the earth, subdue and rule it, and make it flourish.

Secondly in the context is the parting from the parents.  Leave and cleave is the phrase.  Leave mom and dad and cleave to your wife.  Now Adam and Eve had no mom and dad to part from.  But their children, born and raised in their homes, would eventually find spouses and it would be necessary to break from mom and dad to go and form their own family unit apart from mom and dad.  Parents would procreate, then kids would grow up and leave and have families and the process continues in that way to “fill the earth”.  

Application:  the new primary relationship is the husband or the wife.  Not mom and dad.  An independence from parents needs to happen.  A dependence now on the spouse must form.  

Application:  Parents need to let leave!

Application:  Family is the basic unit of society.  Society at a large is built by numerous individual families.  God didn’t grow society from the king down.  God grew it from a single family.  

Seventh, Naked and No Shame. This is not simply physical nakedness. This nakedness relationally. Adam and Even had pure trust and openness with each other. There is no insecurity, fear, shame, inhibition, distrust or anything else that would cause alienation between them. This relational nakedness is ruined in the next chapter.

Application: Trust in marriage makes relational nakedness possible.

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