This Sunday we will continue in Ephesians, turning to verses 22-33 of chapter 5. It is a passage that points to God’s purpose for marriage and His design for headship within marriage. Whether we are married or not, this passage takes us back to the beauty and intimacy of original creation. With that in mind, let’s go back to the beginning together.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Genesis 1-2
Focused Passage for Reflection - Genesis 2:18-25
Reflecting on the Text:
Do you ever find yourself longing for the “good ole days?” You remember…those days when things were more simple, less hectic, and people got along with their neighbors. Yeah, we talk about those good ole days. But we’re remembering the past through a pair of rose colored glasses. There were still troubles, still worries, still heartache. But still, we look back. Maybe we need to look back farther. Maybe our true longings are taking us all the way back to creation.
Genesis 1 and 2 really do describe the good ole days. Chapter 1 records the days of creation, and then chapter 2 elaborates upon the theological summary of Genesis 1:27. Put together, they tell us that man and woman have a glorious heritage. We are created in the image of God and have been given the high and holy calling of stewarding His creation.
Genesis 2 provides some of the details. In creation, man was given work that was fulfilling and meaningful. But something was wrong. He was alone. It’s not that he was merely lonely. He was unable to fulfill his calling to rule and subdue creation. By himself, he did not adequately reflect the fullness of God’s image.
Not to worry. God had a plan all along. He gave man a noble helper…one equal in being, yet somehow different. Later, the man would literally sing over those differences (v. 23). It was as if God smiled over this first poetic utterance as He performed the first wedding ceremony in verses 24-25. This ceremony was one part blessing, and one part command as He described their UNION, and sent them out to seal it.
Then, following the chronological order of these first two chapters, God surveyed His completed work of creation, and declared it VERY good (1:31). An important part of the “very good” was God’s timeless principle of headship within marriage. It is a principle we see expanded to include headship in church leadership.
Some will scoff at this notion, but did you notice? Headship is rooted in glorious design, selfless service, and perfect intimacy. It is found in the loving union of husband and wife, equal in being, who are joined together for a life of joy-filled purpose. Much has gone awry since those first days of creation, but the principle remains.
Whether you are a man or a woman, married or not, desiring marriage or not, this passage most likely stirs something in you. What is that something? Many of us will answer differently, but Ephesians 5:32 will give us a unified direction. We were created for intimacy with God, and both the union and headship found in the first marriage are meant to point us to our ultimate union with Jesus Christ.
Questions for personal reflection:
Whether you are a man or woman, how did you react when you first read the word “helper” in Genesis 2:18? Now, go read Psalm 121. “Help” in vv. 1 and 2 is the same word as “helper in Genesis 2:18. In Psalm 121 the Lord is the One who helps. He is the One who is needed for help. How does that understanding impact your reaction to the word “helper?”
In what sense were the man and woman “naked and unashamed” in v. 25? This most certainly refers to more than physical nakedness. If you are married, what keeps you from living naked and unashamed before your spouse? If you are unmarried, what keeps you from living naked and unashamed before your closest friends? For all of us, what keeps us from living naked and unashamed before the Lord?