A Beautiful and Suitable Helper For Man
Providence Bible Church
October 19, 2008
A Beautiful and Suitable Helper For Man
Genesis 2:18-25 (Scripture Reading Eph 5:22-33)
Intro: God and His word alone is the cause of all things created. God is supreme and creates according to His divine design. He is the ultimate unrivaled inventor, architect, scientist, contractor, painter and ruler. In His hand is power and might. In His hand is comfort and security. And from His hand comes every good gift.
Throughout Genesis 1 we observe that what God says, God does. This continues in Genesis 2.
In Genesis 2 we find that God creates woman to be a gracious gift to man. The woman, like the man, has dignity and honor because she is made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27).
Though our attention is drawn to the man and woman, let us not miss that God is the one controlling, declaring and providing what is needed to make things good. God in His providence fashions the woman for the man.
In verse 18 God says it is not good for man to be alone. So in verse 21 God causes Adam to enter a deep sleep. God takes one of the man’s ribs and fashions the woman. In verse 22 God brings her to the man.
God is at work and is the giver of excellent gifts.
Text: Genesis 2:18-25
We find in our passage that the woman is built from man, given to man and then named by man.
She is a wonderful gift of God that is made out of man and is given back to Him.
Here are three purposes in creating the woman according to Genesis 2:18-25:
1. For friendship/companionship- it is not good for him to be alone. (2:18a)
2. To be a help-mate/give assistance- Man needed a helper. (2:18b, 20b)
3. For intimacy- to be one flesh, not ashamed and pro-create (2:23-25; 1:28) (affection, closeness, tenderness)
Prop: My prayer for each of us is after studying this passage; we will have a greater degree of thankfulness to God for our spouse and be more devoted to loving our spouse as a good gift from God.
I. Man needs a companion and friend 2:18a
A. Everything was good except for one thing.
i. In verse 18, the all knowing all perfect always correct God makes an observation and declaration.
ii. For man to be by himself is not good.
iii. So far everything God says is that it is good or very good.
iv. Here is the first times the Lord says anything is not good.
B. “Not good” is emphasized in the Hebrew as it is placed in the front of the verb.
i. Usually, in Hebrew the verb is first in the sentence.
C. Man has no friend, no companion and is alone. 2:18a
D. In the garden of delight man is by himself and God says it is not good.
i. From the beginning, God created man to need a companion and special friend.
ii. Yes, man had a harmonious relationship with God.
iii. Yes man ruled over the animals and had a job in the garden.
iv. But in God’s design for man, was the need for one woman.
E. Two is better than one.
i. The preacher in Ecclesiastes stated (Ec 4:9-11) “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?”
F. Having a companion is one of the purposes of marriage.
i. There is to be a special friendship, companionship that cannot be shared with any other created being.
ii. Marriage is not to be a relationship where two people do their own thing.
iii. They are to be companions.
iv. They are to keep company with one another.
v. There is friendship and time spent with each other.
vi. It is not good to be alone, a husband and his wife are to be together.
G. Understand this fact.
i. God did not notice that Adam was alone so He created more men to hang out with one another.
ii. God created one woman.
iii. As Piper says, God created matrimony not a fraternity.
iv. He established marriage, not a good ol boys hang out club.
v. And as popular as the saying is, dog is not man’s best friend, his wife is.
H. For those of us who are married, do you spend time with one another?
i. Besides sleeping next to each other do you spend time with one another?
ii. Do you know what is going on in each other’s lives?
iii. Do you prefer to be with your spouse, or your girl or guy friends?
iv. Is your spouse your favorite companion?
v. Your spouse is given to you by God to be your companion.
I. Do not get comfortable being apart from one another.
i. If you are married, enjoy this good gift.
ii. Do activities together and do not live separate lives.
iii. It is not good for man to be alone.
iv. If you are not married, pray for a spouse that will encourage you to live for the glory of God and is someone you want to spend most of your time with.
v. Marry a good friend and companion.
J. Since the fall, some are given the gift of singleness, but most are not.
K. God created a woman to be your friend and companion so you are not alone.
II. Man needs a help-mate. 2:18b, 20b
A. In Genesis 2 it is not good because man has no helper.
B. God says man needs one.
C. Man is created in the image and likeness of God.
i. But man is not like God in that man needs a helper, God doesn’t.
ii. Man is given the charge to keep the garden and rule over the animals and birds of the air.
iii. But he needs an assistant, a helper.
iv. Adam is not adequate to do what God would have him to do by himself.
D. Both man and woman are created in the image and likeness of God (1:27).
i. There is equality in their being, but there is a difference in their roles.
ii. The woman’s role is to help the man.
E. Just like in the Trinity.
i. They are equal in persons, but the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have different functions.
ii. God the Father arranged salvation before the foundation of the world.
1. In His plan and providence He sent the Son to be the substitutionary sacrifice for those He chose to be vessels of His mercy.
iii. Jesus Christ the Son submitted to the Father’s will and accomplished salvation by His sinless life, death on the cross, and resurrection on the third day.
iv. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to apply redemption as He enters into the elect of God giving them new birth and sealing them until the day of redemption.
F. We are not going to take the time to fully develop it this morning, but the husband and wife relationship is to be a visual picture of how the Trinity works together and what the relationship is like between the Christ and the church.
G. The woman was created to help her life long companion.
i. Paul repeats this to the New Testament Church meeting at Ephesus. (Turn there Eph 5:22, 24 p. 1191)
1. As the man’s helper, she is called to submit to His Christ-like leadership.
2. The wife is subject to the husband who is the head, the leader.
3. Just like the bride of Christ, the Church, is to submit to her Husband and leader, Christ.
4. She is his helper assisting him to fulfill his God given responsibilities.
5. We will see later in our study today that woman is created for man, not the man for the woman (1 Cor 11:9).
ii. 1 Pt 3:5 says that holy women are submissive to their own husbands and verse 6 uses Sarah as an example who obeyed her husband Abraham.
1. Being the helper who is submissive to the godly and loving leadership of her husband is a mark of a holy woman.
2. A lady can memorize great amounts of bible verses and read books by men and women of God, but if she is not submissive, she is not holy.
3. That is what Paul and Peter both say under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
iii. What if the wife is married to a man who does not lead like Christ or try to love her as he loves himself?
1. What if he is worldly, not godly?
2. What if he thinks she should work while he plays or so he can play?
3. What if the marriage is just all about him?
iv. She needs to understand that she is only responsible to do what God tells her to do.
1. She will not be held accountable to her husband’s lack of leading or ungodly leading.
2. She is to seek, by God’s grace and strength, to be a holy woman who helps her husband unless he wants her to act contrary to Scripture.
3. Godly women who are married to ungodly men will receive their reward in heaven.
H. God gave Adam/man a helper.
i. Having a helper implies that man, the husband, is doing something.
ii. He is cultivating and keeping the garden.
iii. He is to lead his helper in a loving and compassionate way.
iv. (Eph 5:23¸ p. 1191)
1. Your wife is your helper and you are to lead her as Christ leads the church.
v. (Eph 5:25)
1. You lead her and love her.
2. Christ was a leader and a servant.
3. Christ as the leader, does not seek His own will, but the will of the Father.
4. Men, we are to seek the will of our father, not our own as we lead our wives.
vi. (Eph 5:28)
1. Men, we love ourselves.
2. I know I love me.
3. You love you.
4. And we are to love our helpers in the same way as we love ourselves.
5. Eph 5:28 says, because the husband is one flesh with his wife, to love her is to love himself.
6. No other place should the second greatest commandment be lived out by us men then with our wife.
vii. Turn here- (1 Pe 3:7, p. 1236)
1. We live with and lead our wives not as dogs and slaves, but with honor and dignity as a fellow recipient of God’s good grace.
2. If not your prayers will be stopped and ignored.
3. Your prayers and my prayers are hindered if we do not honor the helper God has given to us.
viii. We are to live with her with understanding (1 Pt 3:7a)
1. “Understanding” ( γνῶσις) is a noun which means knowledge.
2. The KJV translates this verse “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge . . .”
3. This is not the word to know in an intimate and physical way, but to know her with your mind.
4. It is to have a comprehensive knowledge of your helper and wife.
5. It is to know her as she truly is.
6. We need to be student of the helper God has given us.
ix. As “someone weaker” or a “weaker vessels” (1 Pt 3:7b) does not speak of her being weak in her intelligence but in her physical strength.
1. In general, men are stronger and are to be the protector of the women.
2. In my home, my wife has a much more powerful mind than I do. But I can take her in arm wrestling.
3. In the OT it is the men who go off to war.
4. In Gen 3 it is the man who brings home the food by toiling and the sweat of his brow.
5. The woman is the helper, but the man it to carry the greater physical burdens and protect her.
6. Kistemaker and Hendriksen in the Baker Commentary Set states this, “The adjective weaker is comparative and implies that husbands are physically stronger. Therefore, as the stronger of the two marriage partners, the husband ought to shoulder the heavier burdens, protect his wife, and provide for her according to her needs. Although the husband claims authority, he nevertheless honors, sustains, and loves his wife. We detect an apparent contradiction: the physically weaker wife submits to her husband’s authority, yet she receives his honor and respect.”
7. Man is the leader who cares for and protects and honors his help-mate.
x. In the godly marriage, there is love and respect with leadership and submission.
xi. Eph 5:33 “. . . each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
I. Man is the leader as Scripture clearly teaches.
J. He is to lead in the Garden, in the home and in the church.
K. So God gives him grace and gives him a woman to be a helper suitable for him.
L. Man did not evolve from the animals so none of the animals are a helper suitable for him.
i. They are very much unlike him.
ii. Man is in the image of God, they are not.
iii. So in order for man to have helper suitable to him, the helper must be specially crafted and also be in the image of God.
iv. So God creates the woman not from dirt like the animals were or like the man is. She is a unique creation.
M. The wife is God’s gift to man to be his special friend and helper.
III. Man is given a wife to share in intimacy. 2:23-25
A. God created woman so the man and his wife can experience affection, and closeness
B. It was not good for man to be alone.
i. He had no companion and no help-mate.
ii. So God supplies man with a helper suitable for him.
iii. From the dirt God created animals and then the man.
iv. But the woman is not created from the dirt.
v. She is created from the man to distinguish her from the animals and to be made of the same substance as the man.
vi. This gives the man and woman unity and equality as she compliments him.
vii. She is a unique creation in that this is the first time God makes from another living being.
C. God, in His sovereign exercise and authority over man, causes Adam to go into a deep sleep. 2:21-22
D. In 1 Sam 26:12 this deep sleep is used to describe the slumber God caused to come upon Saul and his army as they pursued David.
i. When Saul and his warriors were in this deep sleep David snuck into their camp and took the spear and jug of water that was near Saul’s head (1 Sam 26:12).
E. In Isa 29:10 it is used figuratively for judgment as God causes a deep sleep to come upon the people of Jerusalem and shuts the eyes of the prophets.
F. While Adam is made to sleep, God forms the most beautiful helpmate.
G. God is the potter who creates another piece of pottery.
H. God is the great physician and here we have the first surgery.
i. God opens up his flesh, removes a piece of the man, seals up the flesh and brings forth a woman from the man.
ii. The focus is on God and what He is doing.
iii. God causes the deep sleep, God takes the rib, more literally, his side (side is how the word is most often translated in other passages), God fashions the woman, God brings her to the man.
iv. It is about God who is at work and what He is doing for the good of man.
I. Later, because of sin, God will, on account of grace do another surgery.
i. God now opens up the chest and does heart transplants.
ii. He takes the heart of stone that is in rebellion to Him, and replaces it with a heart of flesh that will obey Him.
iii. Those with this new heart follow Christ and are made into a new creation.
iv. They are no longer slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness.
v. They are no longer condemned spiritual convicts who have broken the Ten Commandments and are alienated from the Lord, but are sealed with the Holy Spirit and adopted by God.
vi. When a person is given faith to follow Christ, the righteousness of Christ is accredited to Him and He becomes a child of God.
J. What must you do to have this heart transplant and become a citizen of heaven?
i. Repent of sin, repent from loving this world, repent from loving pleasure, repent of trying to earn your way to heaven, repent of hating and disobeying God.
ii. In faith, deny your self and follow Christ.
iii. In faith and humility, submit to the Word of God which is able to save your souls (Ja 1:21).
iv. In faith, give your complete allegiance and devotion to Christ.
v. Call upon the Lord to save you and to change you and do spiritual surgery on you and He will.
K. Has God done a work in your heart?
i. Do you follow Christ at school, at work, when you are alone?
ii. Do you obey the truth you find in Scripture and seek forgiveness and repent if you fail?
iii. James says it is the doers of God’s word who have faith.
iv. Do not settle for being the knowing fool who learns what God says but does not apply it to himself.
v. Demons in hell have biblical knowledge without obedience.
vi. Ask God to grant you repentance and faith and He will give it to you.
vii. Beg Him to save your soul and give you a new heart and He will.
L. God is the great physician.
M. We know it spiritually when a sinner repents and follows Christ and we see it physically in the Garden.
N. God brings the woman to the man 2:22.
O. After God brings the woman to the man, we hear the first words from one other than God. 2:23
P. The first spoken words by man recorded in the Scripture are expressions describing the dignity, the beauty and goodness of the woman God has made.
i. Adam finds an excellent helper not in the cattle and the birds, but in his wife who is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
ii. This calls for the writer of Proverbs to say (Pr 18:22) “He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord.”
iii. Woman is a good gift to man. Pr 19:14 declares “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord.”
iv. Adam recognizes this favor that has been given to him.
v. She is of his flesh and bone and is taken out of him.
vi. Man names all the animals.
vii. And he names his intimate companion and helper.
viii. He calls her woman.
1. The Hebrew name for man is ish (אִישׁ).
a. Ish can be translated as man, person, husband.
2. The name Adam gives to the person made from him is isha (אִשָּׁה), woman.
a. This is ish with a feminine ending attached.
b. Isha can be translated woman, wife, female.
ix. Man naming woman shows that he is to lead her.
x. Man is the one God has given authority to, just like when God gave Adam authority over the animals to name them.
xi. Paul emphasizes this point in 1 Cor 11: 8-9 “For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.”
xii. She is made from him to help him.
xiii. And being one flesh, they serve one Lord and live for one purpose, the glory of God.
Q. Moses adds to this narrative with some application.
R. In this one flesh relationship there is loyalty, intimacy, closeness and affection.
i. Jesus will also come back to Gen 2:23-25 in Matthew to defend the permanence of marriage between one man and one woman as the design of God.
ii. Anything else, divorce, homosexuality, fornication, etc, is undignified and is an act of depravity that must be repented of.
S. When Adam calls her bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh this is also a declaration of loyalty.
i. When David is placed as king over Israel, the people declare in 2 Sam 5:1 “we are your bone and your flesh.”
1. They are pledging their loyalty and support to David as their ruler and king.
ii. When Adam declares that Eve is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh he is declaring the loyal and faithful relationship they will share as an intimate couple.
T. Moses informs us how the creation of woman from man impacts us today. 2:24-25
i. It is a lesson on separation from parents to joining another in marriage, allegiance and intimacy.
ii. When the man and his wife marry, they are no longer bound or to be dependent upon their parents.
U. In Gen 2:24, the verb “leave” is used at times in the Old Testament to leave or break a covenant with the Lord.
i. This is observed in Isa 1 where the Hebrew people (Isa 1:4) act corruptly and have abandoned the Lord and despised the Holy One of Israel and turned away from Him.
ii. And in Jer 2 where the Hebrews have forsaken God, the fountain of living waters for broken cisterns and the fear of God is no longer in them (2:13, 17, 19).
V. The verb “joined” also in Gen 2:24, means to cling and hold fast.
i. It describes the maintaining and keeping of a covenant with God.
ii. We observe this usage in Dt 10:20 “You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.”
iii. And in Ps 119:31 when the Psalmist says “I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame!”
W. So Moses is saying when the man marries his wife, he leaves his father and mother, he cuts off one relationship as primary in his life, and he joins and clings to his wife.
i. That is, he begins a new relationship where she is the primary earthly relationship he now has.
ii. The couple says “yes” to one another and “no” to their parents.
iii. He does not abandon his relationship with his parents all together.
iv. It is just they are no longer his primary relationship (1 Tim 5:3ff).
X. They leave that relationship they have known since birth in order to cleave to their new life long friend and spouse.
i. Unlike the relationship with the parents, this marriage relationship lasts until death, and there is to be no leaving, only clinging.
Y. Jesus emphasized this point when the Pharisees, the religious legalists of His day, asked Him about divorce.
i. The question and answer were this in Mt 19:3-6 “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
ii. Marriage is to be a permanent intimate one flesh relationship.
iii. The married couple’s parents are not to try and separate them, the courts are not to, another person is not to.
Z. Moses says that the new priority for the man and his wife is each other, not their parents.
i. Certainly not their friends.
AA. The woman is made from a portion of Adam’s side.
i. This is the place close to his heart which figuratively is the seat of his emotions and affections.
ii. She was not made from his leg or arm but his side.
iii. Matthew Henry writes “That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
iv. God created the woman from man and then He brought the woman to the man.
v. She is not only the man’s companion and helper, but they are to be intimate with one another.
vi. God created the man and woman to be intimate in procreating and filling the earth.
BB.In 2:24-25 we see that being one flesh included being naked.
i. They are joined together.
ii. This is God’s good gift to be enjoyed in a monogamous heterosexual married relationship.
iii. The husband and the wife are to share each other’s body with the other and not deprive one another except for a brief time by mutual consent for prayer and spiritual growth.
iv. Paul commands in 1 Cor 7:2-5 “But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
v. Coming together is for pro-creation and the enjoyment of both, so is not carried out in a manner that harms or degrades the beloved spouse.
CC. The relationship that is shared between a man and his wife is sacred.
DD. Marriage relationship is intimate and one of unity.
i. The relationship is so exceptional, that Jesus says if one of the spouses breaks the marriage covenant and is intimate with another and does not repent, the faithful and loyal spouse is allowed to divorce the unfaithful and treacherous partner (Mt 19:9).
· We need to protect, honor and treasure the marriage relationship God has given us and not let anything or anyone pull it asunder.
· In all things God cares for us and supplies us with what we need giving us the most excellent gifts.
· James says every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
o What does God says in Genesis 2 is a good gift for the man?
o It was not materialism and the accumulation of more stuff.
§ Adam already had all he could possibly need.
o It was not freedom from turmoil.
§ There wasn’t any.
o The good and best gift for man is having a close intimate helper and friend that is like him, made from him, but also opposite of him.
· God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.
o And He created a woman and marriage to compliment and help the man because it was not good for him to be alone.
· Husbands, be the biblical lover, leader, provider and source of strength in your home to the glory of God.
· Wives, be the loving, submissive, helping wife to your husband as an act of worship to the Lord your God.
· Both of you, enjoy intimacy with one another keeping your marriage bed pure, enjoying it as a gift from God.
· On day 6 God says it is very good
· Adam probably looked at Eve and then to God and said “yes, it is really good!”