Thursday, June 30, 2016

Alone (Genesis 2:18-20)

So far everything God has made has been declared by Him to be good. The only hint at something being not good has been the prospect of man acting against God’s plan; the whole knowledge of good and evil thing. But now, in the process of making man, God declares something to be not good. It is not good for man to be alone.

This is not a case of God discovering a flaw in His plan. In chapter one we see the creation of humanity summarized in one verse. Here we get to see more detail, over the course of some time. God makes the man first, and places him in his prepared home. He teaches him the rule and gives him a purpose. Then He lets man discover the missing piece before He gives it to him. Man needs to know what it is to be alone before he can appreciate what it is to be together.

That leads us into one of my favorite parts of the creation story. The man is told to name the animals. Adam was the first zoologist. Man’s naming of the animals does not just exhibit his rule over them. Adam had to study the animals—get to know a bit about them—before he could adequately name them. Names in those days said something about the thing that they named. And, in studying all the animals that God brought to Adam, he began to sense his incompleteness.

The animals had a community of sorts. They lived in herds or families or, at the very least, in couples. Adam was alone. They had male and female aspects. Adam was just a man. The companionship and community that he was created to be in was missing. None of the animals could supply man with the friendship that he required. Man could befriend certain animals, but they would always fall short, not measure up to who man was. And man had a friendship with the Creator, but God would always be far beyond man. Adam had no equal, and as such he was alone. At this point in creation, humanity was incomplete. God let us discover that before God completed His creation of humanity.

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