From Good to Very Good – Reflections on Our Unique Callings – July 13, 2021

From Good to Very Good

by Kathie Wendland

Ongoing Discussion – From Good to Very Good – July 13, 2021
Listen as this spiritual conversation is taken to a deeper level in today’s ongoing discussion.

See series: Reflections on Our Unique Callings:Men, Women, and the Body of Christ

The LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. As the man slept, the LORD God took a rib and closed up the flesh where it had been. The LORD God built a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man and brought her to the man.

The man said,
Now this one is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
She will be called “woman,” because she was taken out of man
For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother
and will remain united with his wife,
and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24, EHV)

 

Those who like putting puzzles together know how frustrating it is if someone has thrown away the box that has the picture on it. How can I put the puzzle together if I don’t know how it’s supposed to look, if some wrong pieces may have been tossed into the mix, or if some of the pieces are marred or stained in some way?

For the first five weeks of this devotion series, the attention has been on some important pieces as we try to understand God’s plan for us as Christian women in this world. However, the pieces as we look at them have been marred and stained by the world around us, by the selfishness that’s within us, and by the father of lies himself. How is the relationship between men and women, the two interdependent components of mankind according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, supposed to look and be lived out?

How is the relationship between men and women, the two interdependent components of mankind according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, supposed to look and be lived out?

Genesis 1 and 2 provide the beautiful picture of God’s perfect design and purpose for mankind. There is, though, a common feature of Hebrew literature that confuses our western minds. We usually read things chronologically, assuming that what we have read first occurred first.

In contrast, it’s not uncommon for Hebrew literature to begin with a summary account and then expand on a specific portion of the story. Genesis 1 and 2 are a perfect example. Genesis 1 gives the summary of God’s creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and—in passing, it seems—goes from describing creation as “good” multiple times from day three on to describing it as “very good” at the completion of the sixth day. Prior to declaring everything “very good,” though, God created mankind, man and woman, and installed them together as stewards over all creation.

With that thought in mind, read the following excerpts from Genesis 1 and 2 in chronological order: Genesis 1:25-27, 2:7,18,20b-24, 1:27-28,31a (EHV).

God made the wild animals according to their own kind, and the livestock according to their own kind, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its own kind. God saw that it was good.

God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls on the earth.”

The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is a suitable partner for him.”

The man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal, but for Adam no helper was found who was a suitable partner for him. The LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. As the man slept, the LORD God took a rib and closed up the flesh where it had been. The LORD God built a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man and brought her to the man.

The man said,
Now this one is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
She will be called “woman,” because she was taken out of man

For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother
and will remain united with his wife,
and they will become one flesh.

God created the man in his own image.
In the image of God he created him.
Male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God saw everything he made and, indeed, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning—the sixth day.

As you think about and look forward to this week’s second devotion, spend some time reading and mediating on the entirety of Genesis 1 and 2. Keep the following thoughts in mind—thoughts that we will explore more fully later this week.

  • God declares every complete part of creation “good,” only to state that it is “not good” that man is alone. And after woman has been built from and for him, Adam refers to her as “woman” (a Hebrew word that is derived from the Hebrew word for “man,” just like we see with the English words “woman” and “man”), thus making God’s creation “very good.”
  • God says “Let US make man in OUR image” (Genesis 1:26). God (Elohim) says, “Let us…” yet when we read the account of the creation of mankind it’s always, “The LORD God…” (Yahweh Elohim). Why the difference?
  • Think of some accounts in Scripture that illustrate the general differences between men and women and their dependence on one another. Can you think of any examples of a man or a woman acting entirely independently of one another, whether or not within a marriage relationship?

For Further Reflection

Meditate on or write about how understanding the chronology of Genesis 1 and 2 gives a fuller picture and better understanding of the account of creation. How does this help you understand the interdependence between man and woman?

Closing Prayer

Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth and all therein, open our eyes and hearts to the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of you. Help us to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is Christ’s love for us, that we may appreciate more fully and trust your perfect design—a glorious design to work together as brothers and sisters who make up the body of Christ here on earth. For Jesus’ sake, we have every confidence that you will hear and answer our prayer. Amen.

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Reflections on our Unique Callings is brought to you by WELS Women’s Ministry.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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