In Genesis 2, we see the creativity, intentionality, and purpose of God in the creation of man and woman – and it shows us above all that he is good, and we can trust him.
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
In the whole description of creation, this is the first time that God has said something is not good. A man alone is not good. That’s profound. It imbues the woman’s creation with significance. Yet, I’ve realised that a question I don’t ask often enough of this important passage in this question of gender equality is: What’s God doing? Who is he, and what do we learn of him here?
He is Creator. He crafted the woman with love and care. He had formed the man of dust, in all of his glorious God-given masculineness, and breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7). Now, he makes the woman – but this time, not of dust. He makes her from the man’s rib. It’s strikingly different – and, I believe, deliberate. Ours is a God of forethought and purpose; a God of care and detail. Out of this masculine rib he fashioned a woman, in all her stunning God-imagined feminineness. A human who was so alike, and yet different. He gave her a mind to think, reason, and believe, a heart to love and worship, hands to work and serve… a body that was equally human, yet profoundly and wonderfully female in its composition, beauty, and abilities. Two human beings, to stand and work and worship beside one another – equals. Both sharing the creative attention and intention of God, with his breath in their lungs, and his image stamped upon their DNA, their design, their calling, and their purpose.
Genesis 2 reminds me simply that my God creates, loves, and cares about women and men. I catch glimpses of the delight he must have taken in imagining, designing, and crafting each of them. I love that he didn’t make them at the same time, and pretty much the same – except for a few anatomical differences. No – as we can expect from the God of the universe, there is so much more love, care, creativity and purpose in what he has done. Genesis 2 calls us to behold our creative, purposeful God. It calls us to wonder, and to worship.
God declares this final, completed creation not only “good,” but “very good.” (Genesis 1:26-27) And this goodness and completeness shines in the idyllic ending of Genesis 2: man and woman, naked and beautiful in all their similarity and difference, without shame or hostility or enmity. In the image of God. Equals.
I think our starting point in this (sometimes fraught) question of gender equality must be a God who cares, knows, and himself created, the details of what makes us who we are – and who loves his daughters and his sons. He is a good God. He delights in you. He made you, and he has a purpose for you – not apart from, but in your maleness or femaleness.
And we can trust him.
Head: How does this goodness and purpose of God in creation echo through all of salvation history – especially as we look at Jesus?
Heart: Do you believe that God’s purpose and design for your life (as a woman or a man) is trustworthy, and good? Why did you answer that way?
Hands: What are you grateful for, in how God has particularly made you? In how he has made others you love? List a few – and thank God for them.
Prayer: My Creator and Father, I praise you because you are good, and everything you have made is good. I know it’s sin that has caused the brokenness I see in the world, in our genderedness, and in myself. Forgive me. May your Spirit open my eyes to behold you, Lord. There is no greater joy than to live the life you’ve given me, in Christ my Saviour – help me to do that today, submitting to your good purposes for me. Amen.
A song to listen to: Good Good Father
Bloss Wilson- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Springfield