The Creation of the Man and Woman-pt.4

  We have been looking at the teaching of Genesis concerning the creation of the man and the woman. They were created on the sixth day. The days were literal 24 hour days, not long periods of God-supervised eons which gave rise to man as the pinnacle of this theistic, evolutionary structure. Man and woman were both created in an instant on a single day in a particular order which helps us to determine the purposes for which He created them (1 Timothy 2:13). The man was created first from the dust of the ground and into him was breathed the breath of life (i.e. his soul). The woman was created not from the dust of the ground but from a side-piece of Adam both bone and flesh (cf. Genesis 2:23). She is the most complex and intricate, and thus the most precious, of all the created beings in creation. She was to be honored as God’s particular and special creation as Adam’s counterpart to fulfilling the commands of God. She was, for all intents and purposes, the highest of creation in beauty and glory. This helps us to comprehend Adam’s joy when, after waking up from his sleep, he saw this magnificent creation of God and exclaimed in wondrous poetry:

 “This is now bone of my bones,

And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man.”

 Adam understood that she was taken from him, and thus would compliment him forever. She would be called ‘woman’, which has reference to her origin, “from a man”. The last part of the verse also bears this out. She is a dynamic creation of God and no doubt beautiful in Adam’s eyes. However, she is still one over which he is to exercise authority and that is evident by the fact that he: 1) designates what category she would be in, i.e. the only compliment to Adam as she is from a man as opposed to the animals that did not compliment him in Genesis 18-20; 2) he also names her in Genesis 3:21. She is a woman and her name is Eve. This is an appropriate expression from one who bears the weight of authority before God. In the same way that Adam would name all the animals, he now names her. That is not to say, obviously, that Eve was no better than an animal as that contradicts the point of her uniqueness, complexity and origin. By creating all of the animals first and finding no equal, God demonstrates to Adam that only one would compliment him in every way thereby fulfilling God’s mandate of dominion over the earth and bringing Him glory in the process (Genesis 1:26).

 Now, we have Adam and Eve, as they would be called, in a world which God has created. They are in the garden and surrounded by animals of all sorts. They have infinite food and water and a relationship between one another that they could enjoy forever. Some, at this point, would ask, “Now what do they do?” What is the purpose?

 For the answer to this question, we need to look back to the first chapter of Genesis verse 26. In this verse, which we have looked at already, is the entire summary of man’s responsibility on this earth. We have already discussed this aspect to some degree previously, but I want to refer to it again so that it is expanded upon and implemented in a variety modern situations.

 Genesis 1:26 states: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Please notice something very important here. Within Himself, God collaborated to create a man (not woman at this point). “Let us” indicates that Adam was the first act of God in which each ‘Person’ of the godhead equally created the man, Adam, at the same time. I cannot envision that the Father made the head, Jesus made the arms and the Spirit made the legs and they kept doing that until he was completed. It would seem that how they co-operated is a great mystery (most likely, each of them created 100% as that is the nature of the godhead-absolute unity), but they did it. Thus, man is the display of the first created being who is the result of the very special and unique expression of work from each of the godhead in unison and with the fullest effort of creativity. To say the least, man is a special creation. He truly is the glory of God. Everything about a man is to be to the glory of the power and image of God. It is no wonder that Paul states that sin is defined best by “falling short of His glory” (Romans 3:23). The fullest expression of the godhead is wrapped up, so to speak, in the man. And it is in that condition of created, moral, glory that man was to exercise dominion over the world. Again, Paul teaches that, I believe based upon this very text, that man is the image and glory of God. However, the woman is the glory of the man (1 Corinthians 11:7). This man, uniquely, bears the image and glory of God. Therefore, he is accountable for that.

 God worked in unison to create the man. What would the man do, then? It is important that we realize that the woman was not created at this time. She came afterward. So, the mandate given here is only for the man. Having said that, however, notice that God said, “Let them rule…” There is an aspect to rulership that both the man and woman would exercise. But they do not do that equally, as the previous discussion showed. Adam, being created first, has the greater authority and thus the greatest responsibility. There is an aspect to the woman’s authority. However , her authority differs from the man’s. For now, let us simply think about the teaching of “rule”.

 This word ‘rule’ means to ‘tread’ or ‘rule’ or ‘govern’. It indicates the exercise of one who is able to tread on the earth anywhere freely, thus indicating his ownership of it. That is, there is nowhere that the man can go on the earth with fear of confrontation. He has dominion rights much like a man walking in his own yard. Therefore, this man (and woman to some extent) had the freedom to walk anywhere on the created earth freely and without hindrance from another person or animal. This is absolute dominion. In itself, it is a neutral term. It does not specify despotism nor benign dictatorship. But it certainly does not refer to one who lets something or someone tread upon him. Only the context can really determine what it means. Therefore, we can qualify this kind of dominion by the previous qualities of being in the image and likeness of God Himself. That is, man would exist on the earth in the manner and fashion that God Himself would if He became a man. All that God is, man would be, apart from deity, so that God’s kind of rulership would be displayed. In doing that, Adam, and succeeding sons, would glorify God.

 Now, in order to accomplish this kind of on-going dominion, there had to be more than Adam on the earth. To multiply and express this God-like authority would require more men. Therefore, Adam needed a helper, to say the least. Adam could not produce sons on his own nor with the aid of animals. He needed one who would compliment him as well as aid in the production of sons (as well as daughters who would then also aid in the production of future generations). Thus, God created Eve, a counterpart in every way. Together, they would create children who would grow to also tread all over the earth and display the dominion of God.

 That, then, makes it natural that God would state, “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28). The ability to create (although technically God is the One who actually creates as is stated in Psalm 139:13-16; cf. Jeremiah 1:5. The man and the woman are only the instruments of ‘pro-creation’. This is exactly why children are a blessing and are precious in the sight of God. They are His special handiwork!) was given to the man and woman so that the expression of the dominion of God could be made over the entire world. To exercise the privileges of marriage, i.e. marital intimacy outside of the bounds of marriage is to take God’s created blessings, which should be used in the way He designed it to be used, and use it for your own personal, selfish ends. Any kind of immorality is horrendous simply because it turns God’s glorious purposes upside down and steals from God His glory.

 One last correlation has to be made here. This mandate has never been removed from the responsibility of man. It is a created dynamic. A creation is bound by the design of the creature itself. That is, we still marry and bear children and the purposes for that are the same, the expression of God’s dominion. However, as mentioned before, we have fallen short of the glory of God. We are fallen. We are sinful. We are unable to bear the image and likeness of God. We dominate apart from God. We don’t express His glory, but our own. Or, as Jesus would say, “[our] father, the devil” (John 8:44). That is why, the perfect Adam, has to come and rule for God, not in created perfection, but divine righteousness. He will come again. He will rule (tread upon) this earth without hindrance. The first time He came to tread and He was hindered and was hung on a tree (1 Peter 2:24). However, He still gave glory to God by exercising patience and grace, even as He died. Now, He rules from heaven over the earth as Lord (Acts 2:36), and will one day return to rule forever, and we with Him. Thus, there will be a new humanity treading upon a new earth without anything less than the righteousness of Jesus Christ expressed in our rulership. But for now, we rule. Enabled by the Spirit of God, through faith. Our homes, marriages, children, jobs, are all the areas that we, men, are to ‘tread’ unhindered with the power and the quality of the image of God. Our wives continue to help us. They continue to be the object of our affections and honor. We live with our wives with understanding and they recognize our authority. In Christ, the glory from which we fell is restored and upheld. And so we wait for Him to come from heaven (Titus 2:11-14). All praise to Him forever and ever! Amen!