A Perfect Design From a Perfect Designer
by Kathie Wendland
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)
As noted earlier this week and indeed earlier in this devotion series, the progression of good to very good involved the creation of mankind in the image of God, the Triune God. Hopefully there was opportunity to ponder the questions and thoughts at the close of this week’s first devotion—the thoughts for further consideration being addressed today.
Good to Very Good: From the Man and For the Man
God pronounces each step of creation up to the creation of man in God’s image as “good.” Then the LORD God tells us that man by himself was “not good.” God concludes, however, at the end of the six days of creation with man and woman created in his own image and installed as stewards of his entire earthly creation, that it is “very good.” God’s plan from the beginning was to have man, created in his own image, be the stewards of that creation. And his verdict was “it was very good.” It was exactly according to plan: perfect, nothing missing or left out.
An indispensable piece of “very good,” of perfect, was that God created mankind in his own image to be the perfect stewards of all he had created. At creation Adam and Eve, the man and the one who would be the mother of all the living, knew what God knew, loved what God loved, and wanted what God wanted.
This is both awesome and in my current fallen state distorted by sin. It is impossible to fully comprehend, yet we get glances of the full and perfect image of God. Man, Adam, formed from the dust of the ground with the breath of life breathed into his nostrils becoming a living being is the beginning. But it’s “not good,” not complete, because the man is alone. Then the LORD God takes a rib of the man, builds a woman, and brings her to the man. Now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, Adam sings out, it is very good, perfect and complete. And she will be the mother of all the living. The man will remain united with his wife and they will become one flesh; each unique, each indispensable, yet one.
Then the LORD God takes a rib of the man, builds a woman, and brings her to the man. Now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, Adam sings out, it is very good, perfect and complete.
When reading the full account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, did you notice that before Eve was created, the LORD God put the man into the Garden to work it and take care of it? In this same section, he gives the man responsibility for the relationship the man will have with his Creator. Immediately thereafter, the LORD God states, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
The man cannot do the work, which is a blessing from God, by himself. He certainly can’t produce anyone to help him by himself. So from the man God builds the perfect answer to the situation. He specifically builds the woman—who is part of the man—to be the perfect partner. She will, as the man names her later, be the mother of all the living: Eve.
Made in the Image of the Triune God
In our previous and upcoming devotions, we read what God has revealed through his inspired writers. We, who have put off the old self with its practices, and put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in knowledge, according to the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:9-10), are blessed to be able to listen and grow.
We are blessed to have guidance and insight into the perfect design from the designer himself in a sin-filled world—a world that is hostile to the perfect design of a loving God and Savior, that is clueless about the perfect world created by God. We are blessed to hear of God’s love—a love that forgives and redeems us as his children in spite of what we have done to his creation and what our sins deserve. We are assured and confident that we have been forgiven, and by God’s grace will not get what we deserve because God (Elohim, a name of God which is plural and reflects the Triune God) is LORD God (Yahweh Elohim).
We are blessed to have guidance and insight into the perfect design from the designer himself in a sin-filled world—a world that is hostile to the perfect design of a loving God and Savior, that is clueless about the perfect world created by God.
It is no mere coincidence that the name of God (Elohim) is further revealed as LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) as soon as Genesis moves into describing those created in God’s image. God knew that mankind would fall into sin and need rescue even before he created them. He knew he’d be revealing himself as the God of free and everlasting grace and the God of perfect justice in one being, as incomprehensible as that is. He knew he’d have to rescue mankind from the slavery of sin, and he’d have to teach them who he is through actions of love and laws modeling godly actions. He knew he’d have to redeem us from that slavery and cleanse us in the blood of the perfect Lamb, the Lamb of God. He knew he’d have to renew us in his image through the power of his own Spirit in Word and Sacrament so we too could be raised from the dead to live with him for all eternity. He knew it all and revealed it to mankind in his very name already in the Garden of Eden.
Differences in Men and Women: Created by and Highly Valued by God
What relevance do all of these awesome truths have in my everyday sojourn as a Christian woman? As a redeemed child of God, I am called to be Christ’s ambassador here on earth. I am privileged to proclaim with my mouth who this marvelous God is. I am called to demonstrate with my life and actions what Christ is like. I understand that while I’m unique and indispensable, I am also not called to carry out these tasks in isolation. I am to carry them out as a member of the body of Christ, in partnership with my Christian brothers and the men God has ordained to be here on earth with me.
I am to carry them out as a member of the body of Christ, in partnership with my Christian brothers and the men God has ordained to be here on earth with me.
Our previous and upcoming devotions all look to God’s Word for direction as we live out the unique callings God has created for us as Christian women. He had a perfect design that we rebelled against, yet through the power of the Spirit he shows us how to live out that perfect design. As sinners, we will be tempted to listen to the father of lies. As a woman, it’s the father of lies who tells me I am inferior to men or that submitting to God’s authority and those to whom he’s given it is demeaning. It’s the father of lies who tells me some lives aren’t worth the time and effort to care for or that caring for the sick and weak is a waste of my talents and gifts. It’s the father of lies who says it’s second class to nurture the young. It’s the father of lies who says serving and being humble is foolish or that my value is determined by how much power or money I have or demand. But our designer and the one who created us in his own image says the opposite.
God—the one who designed Eve as the mother of all the living—says to the man that it’s not good to be unable to be fruitful and increase in number. It’s not good to not have insight into relationships. It’s not good to have no one to nurture other human beings—and those outside of the human family as well—if you have dominion over the birds and animals and fish. It’s not good to be alone!
To the man to whom God has given responsibility, God says, “You need a helper suitable to get the whole assignment done. I the LORD God will build one for you.”
He did. And it was very good.
For Further Reflection
- We don’t have to repeat the same sins the world engages in over and over again because the Word shows us the good and right way. The Lord will work in us “both to will and to work for the sake of his good pleasure” so that we, “shine among [unbelievers] like lights in the world, as [we] hold onto the word of life” (Philippians 2:13, 15, 16). How can you make regular time with the Lord in the Word a reality?
- Make no mistake, we are out of step with the world. But we know, as much as our sinful minds can comprehend, what God’s design for men and women looks like. We know the blessings it holds for us as we respect and trust God’s plan for us to be working together as men and women, working together with the rest of the body of Christ with Christ as our head. How can you demonstrate and explain this truth to those around you in terms they can understand and relate to?
- As his body, we proclaim who Jesus Christ is and what he’s done for every human being on earth. We can be part of sharing the awesome Triune God we have—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—in whose image we were created and are now being renewed. How can you use those unique qualities God has given you as a woman—a woman part of a congregation—to communicate to, interact with, and serve those you are especially gifted to work with in your congregation?
Heavenly Father, God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, Creator of all life and of mankind, Creator of me, as I live out my life as your daughter here on earth, equip me with the full armor of God. Give me the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Keep me alert and remind me to pray for all the saints, the whole body of Christ. Whenever I open my mouth, Lord, please give me words filled with love, understanding, compassion, and your truth that I may fearlessly make known the gospel of your Son, my Redeemer and my Maker too, to all those for whom you have suffered and died. In his name I lay my prayers at your feet. Amen.