Sunday, December 8, 2013

THE SIXTH DAY - PART 5

THE EDUCATION OF ADAM


God knew from the beginning that the man Adam would need a companion. It was after God had showed Adam around the Garden of Eden that the Lord expressed his intentions concerning this. “It is not good for the man to be alone,” God said.
After reading that at the end of each creation day God saw all that had been done as being good, it is almost surprising now to hear him say that something was not good. It was not good for the man to be alone.
“I will make him a helper suitable for him,” God said.

The Creation of Eve from Adam
Raffaello Sanzio
The word helper is an interesting word and one that is commonly misunderstood. We will talk about that a little later. However, there is one point left over from a previous blog post (part 4) that we must conclude.

Another thing that is interesting to me in this narrative is that after God articulated Adam’s need for a helper, he did not immediately create Eve for him. Although God knew of this need, I wonder if Adam himself perhaps did not realize it. I mentioned in that same previous post what I believe was Adam’s superior intelligence, but even the smartest of us can be idiots when it comes to women. God decided that he needed to help Adam out a little.
Adam, at this time, was completely happy in his environment. I cannot speak for all men, but I know that for me, there is a feeling of complete contentment when I am in the woods. I lack nothing, even if I am alone. Over the years I have come to understand that there are several aspects about my personality that are not common to many other men, but I think that in this particular feature, I am not alone. It is the case of very many men that I know, that if you give them a backpack full of gear and drop them at the edge of a wilderness; you will discover one happy and
Oh, to someday return to Kashmir...
contented fellow.
In this same respect, I think that Adam was one happy and contented fellow. The garden was full of wonderful and awe inspiring places to explore and full of the creatures to observe.
But speaking of these creatures, what do we call them? It is almost unimaginable for us to think that it would be possible to be surrounded by such a menagerie of creatures and not put names to them.
When God suggested to Adam that Adam should give names to the animals, I am sure he welcomed the task. As I wrote in Part 4 of this series on the 6th day of creation, we do not know how large this undertaking was. However, God helped alleviate some of the logistics in the task of naming all of the creatures. God brought the animals in turn before Adam, so that Adam could assign names to each one. This was the original animal classification system.
But God had more than one purpose for this task. One of the things that had motivated God to give this job to Adam was the acknowledgement of the need for a helper for the man. God wanted to bring some femininity into the garden. The process of naming the animals was also part of the education of Adam in this regard.
There is little detail given as to how this naming was
More from Kashmir
done. It simply says God brought the animals to the man to see what he would call them. I suspect, however, that God did not bring the animals individually, but in pairs, the first male and the first female of each species.
After the naming of the animals, there is one simple commentary on the education of Adam concerning the need for a wife; “But for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.”
I mentioned above that Adam had been previously happy and contented in the Garden of Eden. I think that if he had been asked if there was anything that he needed, he would not have been able to think of anything. He had ideal living conditions, meaningful work, abundant food, and complete fellowship with God. It was not until he noticed that every animal had a corresponding mate that Adam may have been able to see that there was indeed something that he needed. Adam suddenly felt less than complete.
I also understand this sudden realization in Adam. In this sentiment, I know that I am not alone among men. This is an overwhelming commonality that men have. As we are hiking around the woods and the hills and enjoying the beauty of our natural surroundings, we are totally content. Suddenly, however, a twinge of incompleteness comes upon us. We would like someone to share this with. It is not enough to enjoy this alone.
But for Adam, “there was not found a helper suitable for him.”
It was with this thought that Adam fell into a deep sleep.

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I want you to know that it was my full intention to get to the creation of Eve in this post, but I see now that I have been a little long with the word. It has already reached the length to which I try to keep each individual post entry. I am going to have to wait until the next time to talk about Eve and the word helper. In many ways, the creation of Eve is the pinnacle of the creation story.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for these posts on Genesis 2. I am getting a lot out of them

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