The Process of Forming the Woman: Part 5 of 5 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
It appears from Matthew 19:4 and 5 that it was God himself who said here, "A man must leave all his relations, to cleave to his wife’’—“Jesus answered, “Surely you have read in the Scriptures: When God made the world, ‘he made them male and female.’ And God said, ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.’ But whether He spoke it by Moses, the writer, or by Adam (who spoke, v. 23), is uncertain. It seems, however, they are the words of Adam, spoken in God’s name, laying down this law for all his posterity. It appears from this divine ordinance that the bonds of marriage are even stronger than those of nature. Who could we be more firmly attached by the bonds of love than the fathers and mothers that raised us and cared for us? Yet the son must leave them, to be joined to his wife, and the daughter must forget them, to cleave to her husband—“Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house” (Ps. 45:10; KJV). The bride must break all her relationships, separating herself forever from all that she has known since birth, and cling only to her husband. There shall be, by the order of God, a more intimate connection formed between the man and woman, than can exist even between parents and children.
and shall cleave unto his wife:
Here is the first institution of marriage, and we see in it several specifics worthy of special attention. God declares the state of celibacy to be bad for man—“and the Lord God said, It is not good for man to be alone.” This is GOD'S opinion. Councilors, professors, and fathers, and doctors, and synods, have given a different judgment; but on this subject, they are unworthy of our attention. “The word of God abideth forever.”
God made the woman for the man, and in this way, He has shown us that every son of Adam should be united to a daughter of Eve until the world ends. God made the woman out of the man, to indicate that the closest union, and the most affectionate attachment, should exist in the matrimonial connection, so that the man would consider and treat the woman as a part of him; and since no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and supports it, so should a man deal with his wife. On the other hand, the woman should take into account that the man was not made for her, but that she was made for the man, and from him; therefore the wife should respect her husband—“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph. 5.33; NABWRNT). “Nevertheless” brings us down to earth with a jolt. This is the practical part of marriage. Oh, how sin has marred this glorious relationship—as it has marred everything else—but this relationship can be yours if you will work at it and stay faithful to each other and to God. Paul brings the reader back to the ordinary routine of Christian living in the home. “Let each love his wife as himself.” This shows the kind of husband to whom the wife is to be in subjection.
No parents were in Eden, but God’s plan extended to the future with His formula for oneness in marriage. The partners are to “leave” their parents and “be joined” (cleave) in order to become one. They must be willing to lay aside all that pertains to their old loyalties and lifestyles of separate goals and plans and be joined to one another. This “joining” refers to a strong, enduring bond—one unit bound together by unconditional commitment, love, and acceptance—resulting in a combined unit much stronger than either individual had been separately.
No other human relationship with parent or child is to supersede the bond between husband and wife. Marriage is a covenant commitment—a vow made to God and the partner, not only to love but also to be faithful and to endure together all that life will bring to them in a lifelong exclusive relationship—“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:5–6; KJV).This was God’s original plan for man and woman before sin entered the human family.
Divorce was not in God’s original plan. Why? Because sin was not in God’s original plan and divorce is always a result of sin. Regardless of what you may say, there is sin in the relationship somewhere which causes divorce. So our Lord took them back to the original plan of God.
and they shall be one flesh.
These words may be understood in a twofold sense:
1. These two shall be one flesh, and shall be considered as one body, having no separate or independent rights, privileges, cares, concerns, etc., each being equally interested in all things that concern the marriage state.
2. These two shall exist for the production of one flesh. Posterity shall spring from their union, which resembles them as much as they do each other.
The “one flesh” relationship shows the firmness of the bond of marriage; it is not to be divided and weakened by having many wives (Mal. 2:15), and it is not to be broken or cut off by divorce, or for any cause except fornication, or voluntary desertion. Ephesians 5.28 denotes how dear the affection ought to be between husband and wife: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” The doctrine here is that a husband should have the same concern for the comfort of his wife that he has for himself. He should consider her one with himself; and just like he protects his own body from cold and hunger, sickness and suffering, so should he regard and treat her.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Here is evidence of the purity and innocence of our first parents. They both were naked, and yet they needed no clothes for defense against cold or the sun’s rays, for the reason that neither could be harmful to them. Neither did they need clothes to embellish their bodies. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. And they did not need to wear clothes for the sake of decency; they were naked, and had no reason to be ashamed. They did not know what shame was. Blushing is now the color decency, but for Adam and Eve, it was NOT the color of innocence. Those that had no sin on their conscience would not have shame on their faces, even though they had no clothes on their backs.
INNOCENCE is blamelessness; freedom from sin and guilt (Gen. 20:5; Ps. 26:6; Hos. 8:5). Since the Fall, when Adam and Eve brought disobedience into the world (Gen. 3:1–24), no one except Jesus has been totally sinless and blameless—“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21; KJV). The weather was perfectly temperate, and therefore they had no need of clothing; the surrounding air was the same temperature as their bodies. And since sin had not yet entered into the world, and no part of the human body had been put to any improper use, there was no shame, because shame can only arise from a consciousness aware of sinful or irregular conduct. People may be called “innocent” only because they have been forgiven of sin and been declared new creations through faith in Christ. In the torture and death of Christ, the innocent was punished voluntarily as if guilty, so that the guilty might be gratuitously rewarded as if innocent. "Such are we in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God himself" HOOKER
I think this is a lovely account of the creation of woman and man. Here is a couple whom God really joined together. There are certain things which God has given to His people that they should obey, and God has given to the human race marriage. Marriage is one of the bands which modern men are trying to throw off: “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Ps. 2:3). What is man trying to do? He is trying to get rid of God, because God is the One who established marriage.
We have seen in chapter 2 man’s kinship with God, man’s worship of God, man’s fellowship with God, man’s service to God, man’s loyalty to God, man’s authority from God, and man’s social life from and for God. This is the great message of this chapter.