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A daily devotion for April 5th

The Making of a Woman

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

Genesis 2:19-20

Here we have what logicians call a non sequitur, something that apparently has no relationship to that which has gone before; it does not seem to follow. In verse 18, God says that he intends to make a woman as a helper for Adam. Then we read of how the Lord brought every beast and bird to him to see what he would name them. How does that follow God's intent to make a helper to man? There must be a connection here. God gave Adam a project to work out before he was ready for marriage. Doubtless it was in order to show him that his wife was to be quite different from the animals. Many men have not learned that yet, but it is clear that this was the intent of God in setting man upon this search.

What did he learn as he examined the animals? Perhaps he learned first that woman is not to be a mere beast of burden, as so often she has become in the history of the race since. There are societies where women are treated exactly like animals, where the price of a woman is approximately the price of a cow. But this is a violation of what Adam learned in the beginning. Adam did not find in the animals a helper fit for him. Eve, when she appeared, was quite different. Therefore woman is not to be treated as a slave, there to do all the work in a household.

Adam also learned in his search that woman is not to be for the producing of children. Obviously it is women who bear children, but they are not to be like the animals who bear progeny as almost their sole reason for existence. Women are not to be like that. Again, one of the most destructive ideas that has been spread among mankind has been this teaching that the first and primary reason for marriage is the production of children. The Bible does not reflect that at all.

Third, Adam learned in his search that woman is not a thing outside himself to be used as he sees fit and then disposed of, as man uses animals. The woman was to be a helper fit for him, corresponding to him. Many view a woman as nothing more than a disposable plaything for man — you use them like you would a Kleenex and then toss them away. But this passage contradicts that. Woman is to be a helper and a companion, fit for man, corresponding exactly to his needs, constantly able to adjust to the changes that come in him. She is therefore not to be treated as some mere disposable thing. That gives us a look at the intent of God in making woman.

Thank you, Lord, for your wisdom in creating male and female in your image. Forgive me for sometimes failing to see that your plan is good and that you made woman as an essential complement to man. Amen.

Life Application

Do I recognize the wisdom of God in creating humanity as two distinct and complementary genders to reflect his image?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Making of Woman

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