Keeping Advent: December 2

Male & Female, He Created Them

Male & Female, He Created Them

 

Theme: Adam and Eve

7And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul. 8 And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed. 9 And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of the place of pleasure to water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads. …
 
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Today we read part of the second creation story presented in Genesis. In this story, we specifically focus on the creation of Adam and Eve, and we read about the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave Adam and Eve a great gift: free will. This is a part of being made in God’s image and likeness; our intellect allows us to make choices, even ones that are bad for us. God placed the two trees in the garden and told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But a love that isn’t given freely – one that isn’t given by choice – is no love at all. And so God gave our first parents the choice of whether or not they would obey him.
Adam and Eve were allowed to – and presumably did – eat from the Tree of Life. This tree would give them everlasting life, which they could share with God. And, unlike us, they could see God for Who He is. They could stay with Him forever. This was God’s plan for humanity. He wants us to live with Him forever, to see Him face-to-face, to behold Him as He is.
One other thing to note here is that when God brings all the animals to Adam, Adam likes them well enough, and he even names them all, but none of them are a “suitable partner” for him. Adam is lonely. He needs companionship and community. God is a Community in Himself. The Blessed Trinity is the perfect depiction of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Since Adam was made in God’s image and likeness, Adam longed for that shared love with someone suitable for him. I’m sure God knew that Adam would need Eve, but maybe He wanted Adam to know that nothing else would fill his needs the way his wife would.
When Adam sees Eve, he recognizes her as someone who is like him, but different. Someone who is mysteriously a part of him, and yet separate. “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!” Adam sees that Eve is that suitable partner for him – someone who is his equal.
It’s not strictly biblical, but I have always loved the proverb about woman coming from man’s rib:

“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”

― Matthew Henry

Adam’s love for Eve was strong, and we’ll explore just how strong that was tomorrow.

Meditation text and pictures © Christine Johnson