Genesis 2:18-25 • September 6, 2023 • w1411
Pastor John Miller begins our series “Marriage and the Bible” with an expository message through Genesis 2:18-25 titled, “How God Created It.”
2:18 And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
In Matthew 19 (we’re going to get there in a couple of weeks) some Pharisees came to Jesus and asked a question. They were trying to trick and trap Him. It wasn’t a sincere question, they were trying to get Him in a pickle. They said, “Is it okay for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” They were trying to get Jesus to take a stand on divorce, and they wanted to actually get Him in a pickle where they could bring accusation against Him that He was speaking against the law of Moses. Jesus answered like this. He said, “Have you not read?” Stop right there. They have this question about marriage, specifically about divorce (and we’re going to actually look at that passage, it’s marvelous), “Can a man divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
In that culture, by the way, women could not divorce their husbands, only men could divorce their wives—for any and every reason could he just willy-nilly divorce his wife. What was it that Jesus did? He said, “Your problem is you haven’t read the Word of God. Have you not read?” Here are these self-righteous Pharisees who boasted in their knowledge of the Word were actually ignorant of God’s Word. I would recommend to you that that’s the reason that so many people have problems in marriage today because they don’t know God’s Word. If they do know God’s Word, they’re not putting it into practice by the power of the Holy Spirit. So many people are ignorant of the Bible. I want to, like Jesus, take us back to the Bible. Jesus went on to quote Genesis 2, that we’re going to read tonight. It’s one of the places that this Scripture is quoted in the New Testament. We’re going to go back to Genesis 2, like Jesus.
Genesis is the book of beginnings. That’s what the word “genesis” means, the origin or beginning of creation—of marriage, the fall of man, and all the sin that came in the world. It’s all birthed or begins in the book of Genesis. We see that Jesus took them back to our very passage, Genesis 2:24-25, and affirmed the permanency of marriage, that it was male and female, and then said, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” He gave some marvelous commentary on top of Moses’ words to the words that we’re going to read in the book of Genesis. Our great need is that we need to read and understand what the Bible says about marriage.
Marriage today is under attack. Do I need to say that? Marriage today is under attack like never before, and the reason why—and I don’t think this is an oversimplification—is because it is an attack against the God who created and designed marriage to honor and glorify Him. The essence of all the attacks against marriage is an attack against God, the One who created and designed marriage. When we try to redefine marriage or eliminate marriage, we are attacking the very God who created and instituted marriage from the beginning.
In 2 Timothy 3 it says in the last days that one of the characteristics of the culture around us will be, “Without natural affection.” That word “natural affection” means without family love, so there’ll be no love of marriage, no love of family, no love of having and raising children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Let’s look together at Genesis 2:18-25. If you want to follow my outline tonight, some of the main points will be on the screens as well as subpoints. I want you to see it in the passage. We see first, verses 18-23, the first section, how God created. That’s where we start with how God created marriage, and we want to know the foundation and beginning of it. Begin in verse 18. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him,”—it is actually a helper suitable or suited for him. Verse 19, “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”
Adam was a man of great intelligence. He had just been created, fully as a man, and I believe because before the fall his mind was working properly, it hadn’t been tainted by sin. What an amazing thing to be able to name all of the animals. Some say that maybe it was just the animals locally there in the Garden of Eden. I don’t know, but what a feat that was to be able to name all the creatures.
Verse 20, “And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet,”—helper suitable—“for him.” This was the very beginning. I want to make mention of the fact, and I don’t want to get too sidetracked in studying the book of Genesis, but this is a repetition or repeating of God’s creating man and the woman in Genesis 1. Some people think there is a contradiction there, they’re created in Genesis 1 and now again in Genesis 2. It’s mentioned in Genesis 1—the details, the information, the particulars—the specifics are in Genesis 2. If you look carefully, it’s not contradictory, it’s complimentary. A lot of critics of the Bible like to attack Genesis in these first couple of chapters.
Let me say something right off the bat as well. Genesis 1-11, and the whole book for that matter, especially Genesis 1-11, is history. I don’t believe the first few chapters of Genesis is mythology or fairy tale or allegory, I believe it’s history, written by Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that God actually gave to him to write. We have an historical record of the origin of the universe, the origin of man, the origin of woman, the origin of marriage, the origin of the fall.
Next Wednesday night we’re going to look at Genesis 3, “How Satan Corrupted It,” so “How God Created It,” and then next week “How Satan Corrupted It.” We’ll look at all the corrupt things that Satan has done to marriage next Wednesday night.
We learn also that marriage is the divine institution. As we break down this text, this is one of the foundational truths that we learn tonight: Marriage is a divine institution created and designed by God. It’s not a cultural thing. It doesn’t change with time. It doesn’t ebb and flow with the modern culture today where we gotta get with the times and redefine marriage. You cannot redefine marriage because God is the One who created it, God is the One who designed it, and God’s Word doesn’t change. Amen? We need to understand that.
The Bible is God’s instruction manual. Sometimes we get a product and there’s an instruction manual to use to put it together. If we follow the manufacturer’s instructions, we get the best results, right? Usually guys are so macho they don’t read the directions, they just try to put it together and then start freaking out because it doesn’t go together. They have to look at the picture on the box or try to follow the instructions, and they realize they have to take it apart and go step by step to put it together properly. I think of how much more important it is for our marriages, amen?, that we would follow the Manufacturer’s instructions. For the best result in marriage, follow God’s manual for success.
We see first of all Adam’s almost perfect world in verses 18-20. I want to break this section down. Notice in verse 18 where it says, “And the LORD God said,” now catch that phrase again. A little footnote here is that this is actually directly what God said. This is a claim in the Scriptures that God is speaking. When the Bible speaks, God speaks, but here is direct reference to God speaking. This isn’t just a human author writing words under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is that, but it is actually a record of the actual words that God spoke. Now, I don’t know about you, but that excites me. “And the LORD God said,”—Jehovah or Yahweh hath said—“It is not good,”—that’s the word that stands out as you study this passage—“…not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet,”—helper suitable—“for him.” This is why I called it Adam’s almost perfect world. He was in the Garden of Eden, he had all these cool animals, and he was in fellowship with God. Everything was awesome. No devil had come yet to tempt them to sin, yet he had no helper that was suitable for him.
The phrase “not good” is in direct contrast. Look at Genesis 1:31. After God had created all things, it says, “…it was very good.” After each successive day of creation, and I believe in a 24-hour day, 6-days of creation with the 7th day rested. I don’t believe that there are epochs of time or millions and billions of years. God doesn’t need billions of years to create, right? God can just speak, with His fiat and His omnipotence, things into existence. He is the Creator, and that’s a marvelous truth.
So, “not good” is a direct contrast to Genesis 1:31, “…it was very good.” After every day, God said, “…it was good…it was good…it was good…it was very good,” but then He sees man without the woman and says, “It is not good,” verse 18. What is “not good,” verse 18? That man should be alone. Man was without a companion or a counterpart. “Not good,” in the Hebrew, “man’s aloneness,” is what it says.
In what sense was man alone? He had God, how cool is that. He walked with God and talked with God. He had all of the animals. I mean, think about that. He could pet and play with them, ride on them, do cool things with them. You talk about having a lot of pets to play with and mess around with in a perfect environment. He had a garden to work in and to till, and everything was just really great. But God says, “No, it was not good.” How? In what sense? Well, he had no helper, no counterpart who was a helper spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. He could look up to God and have fellowship with God; he could look down on the animals, and they were in subjection to him; but he had no one to look straight at eye-to-eye. He had no one to pull near his side. He had no soulmate, no companion as I said, to help him, who was in reality his counterpart both spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically; so God says, “Not good, man’s aloneness.”
I don’t want to get sidetracked, and we’ll touch on it in a few weeks, but what about people that aren’t married, they’re single? I think that God basically, fundamentally designed us to be married, yet there is in the New Testament a clear teaching that some people are called by God to not get married. Some of you are saying, “That’s not me! That’s no me. That’s not me.” If it is, you’ll be fine with that, and God gives you that ability and that gift to do that for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. But certainly marriage is something that’s good, it’s designed by God. We’re going to see the blessings and the benefits that it glorifies God and the reasons God created marriage.
Marriage is basically a gift from God and a blessing to meet that need for companionship and fellowship with an individual becoming one in holy matrimony, so God actually brings to Adam a bride. Notice in verses 21-23. It’s interesting, too, that God says, “I will make him an help meet,”—a helper suitable—“for him.” The word “help,” I don’t want to miss it, is the same word used in Psalm 46 where it says, “God is…a very present help in trouble.” If you’re a wife and you think, Well, that’s not fair that God created the wife to be the man’s helper. Think about it this way, the man needed help. Don’t forget that. I mean, that could be your mantra, ladies, “You need help, dude.” Read Genesis.
Someone said, “God created Adam, and then said, ‘I can do better than that,’ and created Eve.” I’ve always thought that’s interesting. Or, He created Adam and knew that he would be too proud to ask for directions when he got lost, so He created Eve. He also knew that his fig leaf would wear out and needed Eve to sew another one to take care of him. I will solemnly confess I couldn’t do half the things—or any things—that I do without the help and support of my wife. What a blessing! I thank God for that “helper suitable” to meet my need. I need help. The same word, as I pointed out, is used of God. So, ladies, remember that your calling is godlike. It’s divinelike that God made you to be that helper.
Now, what God does is meet the need here in verses 21-23, here comes the bride. There’s so much we could say about it, but I don’t want to get bogged down. Notice, verse 20, “…but for Adam there was not found an help meet,”—a helper suitable—“for him.” The animals didn’t cut it, and he needed another human being. Verse 21, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
The first wedding ever performed was performed by God. I love that. How amazing, Adam took a nap, frustrated by the animals not meeting his need, “The aardvark isn’t going to work. The giraffe isn’t going to work. They’re cool, but I need somebody else.” He takes a nap, wakes up, and he’s married. God is the great Provider. God made the woman out of the man. By the way, man was made out of the dirt, so, guys, you’re just a big dirt clod. The woman was taken from his rib, his side, so she’s called “woman.” You have the word “man” in the word “woman.” They’re from one another—even as the man is from the woman, the woman came out of the man. Adam saw Eve and said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
An interesting thought, and it just kind of blew me away when I realized it years ago, the very first recorded words from Adam’s lips or from man in the Bible is Adam saying, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The very first words uttered by man were about the woman and the marriage relationship. I think that’s important and significant. God is the One who put Adam and Eve together, verse 22. Notice it there. It says that He, “…made the woman, and brought her unto the man.” Just a little spiritual application there, if you’re single and praying about getting married, pray that God would bring that person to you or into your life. There’s nothing wrong with kind of looking around and being open, but you don’t want to go crazy. You don’t want to go beating the bushes to find a spouse. I’ve often said that if you do, you’ll find someone that looks like they’ve been beat out of a bush. It’s like, “Where’d you get that dude?” “He was in the bushes behind the church.” God is able to bring a person to you.
Years ago, before I met Kristy, I was living in San Bernardino, and I was teaching the Bible. I was already in ministry teaching the Word of God. There were no prospects, nothing—slim pickings in San Bernardino, for sure. I just prayed, and she ends up right on my front porch coming to my home Bible study. We knew each other in high school. We weren’t hanging around each other, but we had mutual friends. I knew who she was, and she knew who I was. I heard that she’d gotten saved and become a Christian. I thought, She’s really cute. That’s pretty cool. Praise the Lord. Not, “I’m glad she’s a Christian.” I’m glad that she’s cute and a Christian, though. It wasn’t too many weeks later that we had a Friday night Bible study, and there she was with another friend. The Lord brought her right into my living room, so you talk about God bringing the woman to the man. I’ve experienced that myself in such a wonderful, wonderful way.
God put Adam and Eve together. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” God will make your paths straight. Amen? Trust in the Lord, He will bring it to pass. Proverbs 18:22 says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour from the LORD.” I love that verse. He who finds a wife, finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. The woman was not made, as it’s been said, from man’s head that he might be above her or from his feet that he might walk upon her, but she was made from his side, that she might be close by him and with him.
We see the creative order as well. I just want to make mention that man was made first, then the woman was made. I know that this is not something that our culture would like to accept or understand. It doesn’t mean—listen very carefully—that intrinsically that the man has more value. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. They are both, male and female, of equal value before God, but God is the God of order and design. You’ve got first, you’ve got second, so the Scriptures, and we’ll get to some of them as we go through our series, indicate that the man is the head of the woman; the husband is the head of the wife.
It also uses that in 1 Timothy 2:12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” In the public assembly and the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, I believe God has ordained that men do the preaching and teaching, women teaching women, and so forth in different situations. Again, this is not even en vogue in Christian circles. I didn’t really want to tread out in that area, but this is part of the foundation of marriage. Pastors, elders, bishops, overseers, and the pastors who teach the Bible in the church, the congregation, are to be men, “If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work,”—he must be—“the husband of one wife.” All of the qualifications are in the masculine, not in the feminine. I think that it’s so sad and so tragic today that even churches have lowered their standard to not maintain God’s Word to accommodate the culture, and it’s a sad and tragic thing because it has ill effect on both the church and the culture that is around us.
Now we find, verses 24-25, God’s fundamental foundational building blocks for marriage. This is the heart of the passage. Follow with me. “Therefore,”—you notice that there’s a ‘therefore’ because we just read the historical narrative of how God caused Adam to sleep, took the rib, made the woman, brought her to the man, and he saw the woman and said, ‘..bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Verse 24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Believe it or not, those two verses are probably the most important on marriage in the whole Bible because what’s most important in the building of a house? The foundation, right? If the foundations are destroyed, then the house will crumble.
The reason the book of Genesis is under attack, especially the first eleven chapters and its historicity, is because Satan hates marriage. When you understand what marriage is for and how it brings glory to God and it’s a mystery showing Christ and the church, is it any wonder Satan hates marriage. Satan hates God, Satan hates people, and so he hates marriage and wants to destroy it. We see that God lays the foundation in this text.
Verses 24-25 are Moses’ commentary on the history that we just read. Whenever you find a “therefore,” ask yourself what it’s there for, right? What we just read about God creating the man, creating the woman, bringing them together, now this is the commentary that Moses has on the historical narrative. Let me mention this, it’s important, that this is quoted in the New Testament very clearly, twice at least, first in Matthew 19:4-6 by Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus endorsed the permanency of marriage as being one man, one woman, male and female, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Jesus put a stamp of blessing on that based on the commentary of Moses here in Genesis.
Let me read it to you, Matthew 19:4-6, “And he,”—Jesus—“answered and said unto them, Have ye not read,”—that was my opening quote—“that he which made them at the beginning,”—notice He points out that God created—“made them male and female,”—and He uses those terms—“male and female.” There are only two genders, male and female, and that’s what marriage is, one man to one woman. He said, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain,”—two—“but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This is right out of the mouth of Jesus Christ, Matthew 19:4-6. Paul, the apostle, quoted it in Ephesians 5:31 where he says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.”
I want to break it down for you with five building blocks for the foundation of marriage. I want to give you key words that describe these building blocks. The first is “severance,” verse 24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother.” The closest relationship on earth is between a husband and a wife. This is why you should never allow any other human being to drive a wedge between you and your spouse, even your children. I know that may sound a little radical, but your children will eventually leave and cleave, and you will still be glued together. Don’t forget that.
When you’re neglecting your marriage or neglecting your spouse, that’s a very dangerous thing because when they finally reach that empty-nest situation, you’re going to be looking at each other like, “What do we do now? Don’t you have something to do? Why don’t you go somewhere.” We need to see that we’re glued together. Our children are like arrows, “…in the hand of a mighty man…Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” Jokingly, I’ve said that we are to take arrows out of the quiver, put them in the bow, and shoot them as far as we can, even though I love to have my kids live on my same street or nearby. They’re all about an hour away, and one of our daughters and her husband are about five hours away in Phoenix. But that’s the way life is, you’re glued to your spouse, the kids leave and they glue to someone else as well. The word is “severance.”
Adam and Eve had no parents. This is for us. Why would He put that in the Bible? Adam and Eve didn’t have parents, “…leave his father and his mother.” “I don’t have a father or a mother. I’m the first human being ever created. Where’s my mom? Where’s my dad?” This is for us, repeated by Jesus, repeated by Paul, so this is foundational for us.
That word “severance” means that we leave our dependence on our parents. It doesn’t mean we abandon them. It doesn’t mean we kiss them goodbye and never talk to you again. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” right? so we should respect them, honor them, and do what we can to see that we take care of them and help to provide if need be for them in old age, but we are to sever the dependence emotionally, financially upon our parents, and we now have an adult relationship with them. It means that your relationship with them must change, your spouse becomes your priority. I’ll let you just try to follow logically the implications of that. Don’t let your mother-in-law or your mother or father, don’t let your parents divide you in marriage. You can listen to their opinions, their ideas, but you should value your spouse’s opinions and views above your parents. How many marriages are destroyed because they haven’t really broken the ties and the severance hasn’t really taken place. Ask yourself, “Have I let my parents be a detriment to my relationship to my spouse?”
Here’s the second word of building block, that is, “permanence,” verse 24. There’s “severance,” “…a man leave his father and his mother;” the second building block of foundational marriage is “permanence,” “and shall cleave unto his wife.” Hebrew scholars tell us that word “cleave” means to be glued together. If you’re into woodworking, you know that when you take two pieces of wood and glue them together, or multiple pieces of wood laminated together, it strengthens that wood, right? The two become one, you’re glued together. But the concept of being glued together speaks of permanence. Ephesians 5:31, Paul said it this way, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife.” Husbands and wives are actually glued together. Often we preachers have used the analogy of glueing two pieces of paper together, and we understand that once they are dry that if you try to separate them, it tears, right? There’s that tearing if you try to tear that which has been joined together. Marriage is a covenant, “Until death do us part.”
Marriage is not a consumer relationship like, “If you still provide and meet my needs and do what I want you to do and make me happy, I’ll stay married.” I once heard a pastor officiating a wedding, and he used the phrase, “As long as you both shall love.” Excuse me? “As long as you both shall love?” How long is that going to last, especially if you think love is an emotion. You wake up in the morning and the birds aren’t singing, the eggs aren’t glistening in the pan, the sun isn’t coming in the window, and they snored last night, “I don’t love you anymore.” True love doesn’t change when it alteration finds. It’s not just a consumer mentality, it’s a covenant. It’s an agreement before God.
This is why I think that it’s essential in marriage to have a public wedding. That’s the purpose, to say before God and witnesses, “I solemnly pledge you my love.” It’s important. You don’t just the two of you go out into the field under the tree before the birds and the bees and say, “Okay, I promise to stick with it,” or whatever. You make a solemn pledge, a solemn pledge before God. I think it’s wise to remind yourself that you signed a covenant agreement that you would be joined together until death do us part.
Jesus said in Matthew 19:6, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,”—take apart. Marriage is God joining the two together. Warren Wiersbe said, “Love is not a passing emotion, it’s a continual devotion.” I’m going to have an evening when we talk about divorce and the biblical reasons for divorce, which I believe is the divine concession to human sin. Divorce is not God’s original design or ideal. He never designed marriage, planned marriage, ordained marriage with the idea that if you are incompatible—don’t get along, you don’t like the person or they don’t attract you anymore—then you can just get rid of them or dump them or just try it out. No, that’s not God’s design. It is a commitment for life, “Til death do us part,” or until the Lord takes us home. Amen? That’s the commitment you should make.
Christians shouldn’t even consider divorce. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but I don’t think that should be a first option by any means. Someone asked Ruth Graham, the wife of Billy Graham, “Have you ever thought about divorcing Billy Graham?” She answered, “No, not divorce; but murder, yes. I thought about killing him a few times.” It’s not a part of the original design. Someone said, “When I got married, I was looking for an ideal, then it became an ordeal, and now I want a new deal.”
Let me read you a lengthy quote that I couldn’t help but share. It’s taken from a magazine called Table Talks I got years ago. It says this, “In their commitment to the unity of marriage, the couple promises to be faithful to each other if poverty and disease should come upon them. They vow before God and man to be faithful if they meet a more attractive and more intelligent and more compassionate person. The wife vows to be faithful if her husband loses his high-paying job, his esteem before men, his mental faculties, or his youthful vigor. She commits to him even when he doesn’t measure up to the standards God set for him, even when he does not love her as Christ loved the church. The husband vows to be faithful if his wife loses her beauty, her charm, or her tenderness. His commitment remains steadfast, even when she is unsubmissive, disrespectful, unable to manage the household well. Through it all, the two remain one flesh.” Amen? That’s the covenant of marriage.
Here’s the third brick, “unity,” verse 24, “…and they shall be one flesh.” The two become one. This is not uniformity, which is from pressure on the outside, this is the work of the Spirit in their hearts creating unity, which, by the way, is a reflection of the Trinity. In one God we have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—one God in essence, three in Persons. There’s diversity in marriage—you’re different, you’re unique the way God made you, and the different roles He gave to you. You should value and appreciate your differences, but you are just one.
Peter Marshall says this, “Marriage is not a federation of two sovereign states, it’s a union—domestic, social, spiritual, physical. It is a fusion of two hearts,”—I love that—“the union of two lives, the coming together of two tributaries, which after being joined in marriage will flow in the same direction carrying the same burdens, responsibilities, and obligations.” You must both be born again. You must both be filled with the Spirit and surrender to God’s will; and like two tributaries flowing into one river going the same direction you must pray together, worship together, and serve the Lord together.
Here’s the fourth brick, it’s” intimacy.” I’ll spend a whole night on this subject, looking in depth of 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, but notice it in verse 25 of our text of Genesis 2. It says, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” This was before sin came into the world, so there was intimacy and openness. Write down Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers,”—by the way is a reference to sexually immoral individuals, which is anything outside the covenant relationship of marriage or a heterosexual monogamous relationship in marriage. It also involves homosexuality and a whole list of other things we’ll talk about next week. “Marriage is honorable in all,”—as God designed it—“and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Every married couple and anyone, should write down 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. We’re going to do an in-depth exposition of that in a few weeks.
Here’s the fifth building block, and last. It’s not from the Genesis passage, but it is from Ephesians 5:32, that is, “mystery.” So, we have severance, permanence, unity, intimacy (intimacy should be a part of all marriage relationships), and mystery, Ephesians 5:32. Paul says referring to marriage, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Think about the picture here. Adam was put to sleep, out of his side was taken the rib creating the woman, and the woman was brought to the man. If marriage is, and it’s clearly taught in the Bible, a picture of Christ and the church, then when Adam was put to sleep and Eve was born out of his side, it’s a picture of Christ’s death on the cross when they took the sword and thrust it into His side and out came the water and blood. He died on the cross so that He could give birth to the church, the bride of Christ, in His death and resurrection. The church is the bride of Christ, so marriage is a reflection of the relationship of Christ and His church. It’s so very important, as I said also a picture of the triunity of God.
Let me wrap it all up in some important truths that we learn. I had to limit these points, but they’re foundationally important. First, marriage is God’s idea. You cannot change the definition of marriage. Once you have changed the definition of marriage—it could be two men or two women or a whole group of people married together or open marriage, all the different types of marriage—then you destroy marriage as God designed and created it for the good of man and for the glory of God.
Secondly, marriage is a divine institution. We learned that. That is so important to understand. Before government, before the church, it is the divine institution. Thirdly, marriage is a covenant relationship, so we are to have one spouse for life. Fourth, marriage is one man and one woman. Isn’t it bizarre that we live in a culture today that can’t even define what a woman or what a man is? I mean, we’re in big trouble if we don’t even know what a man or a woman is. Masculinity is under attack today in our culture. Marriage is under attack in our culture. Marriage is the foundation of society and our nation.
Fifthly, we learned that marriage is for procreation, and we’ll talk more about that again in a few weeks, but God’s original purpose and design, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Amen? The natural fruit in God’s design for marriage relationship is the procreation of children. Sixthly, I wanted to make sure that we added that and we’ll be looking at it, marriage is also intended for sexual pleasure in the marriage relationship. Nothing wrong with that. Sex is also God’s idea and ordained in the marriage relationship. Seventh, marriage is a great mystery. We looked at that, Ephesians 5:32, Christ and His church. Eighth, marriage is to bring glory to God. That’s what we should pray.
We should pray that our marriage and our purity before marriage, our abstinence we practice until marriage, and our commitment to our marriage vows to our spouses, conjugal rights within the marriage relationship, as we obey God brings glory to God, the Creator and the Designer. Amen? Let’s pray together.
Pastor John Miller begins our series “Marriage and the Bible” with an expository message through Genesis 2:18-25 titled, “How God Created It.”