Suitable for you!
1.God’s words of today are often cited in an officiant’s message at a wedding. In fact, I used this in the sermon at sister Daye Chun’s wedding. But, through contemplation, I have realized that the Words give us an important lesson about a truthful, grateful life as well as about a wedding.
I prepared for today’s sermon shorter than before because of time for each cell group’s praise after the worship service. Anyhow, let us think why we have to thank to God and what the grateful life is.
2. Let me give you a quiz. When did human beings start labour? Before Adam’s fall, did he not work? The answer is that there was labour before Adam’s fall. Before the fall, there were two kinds of labour, which were physical labour and intellectual labour.
First of all, in Genesis 2:15, it says ‘The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.’ Here, ‘work’ was physical labour.
Also, in Genesis 2:19, it says, ‘Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. 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.’ Here, Adam starts to name animals. Naming can be considered as a creative, artistic work. Thus, mankind was working even before the fall.
It is just that the labour’s quality changed after the fall. In Genesis 3:17, it says, ‘To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.’ This shows that the labour has now become painful, cursed, and inevitable.
Anyways, mankind has been created to work. This is the same even after we get to heaven. So, we won’t be eat, drink and play in heaven but work hard and enjoy.
The problem is before the fall. In 3:20, it says, ‘So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.’ When Adam was working to name animals and birds, this was difficult for one man. So, in verse 18, ‘The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’
Here, ‘not good’ means ‘lo tob’. ‘lo’ is for ‘not’ and ‘tob’ is for ‘good’. So, God said ‘tob’ every day after creation, but here God says ‘not good’. This does not have negative connotation but basically means that creation was not yet complete. Adam was just experiencing the state of incomplete creation because of the lack of helper.
As I meditate, I thought that Adam was a good person. That is because he did not complain. The world was not complete because the helper was not created yet. So, imagine how busy it was for him. Adam worked hard on a farm during the day and birds came by for naming. Animals lined up to be named. Adam must have been extremely busy. But, Adam did not complain. Rather, he worked so hard that God felt compassionate about him. It felt almost like God hurried to create a helper for him.
I thought about how come Adam was able to work hard and not complain and performed his role well as a partner to God for creation. This is just my imagination but I think it was because Adam was full of gratitude towards God. Adam means ‘soil’ or ‘dust’, and God created him from dust. And He breathed into him and let him live in the beautiful garden, Eden. Also, He let Adam participate in creation by allowing him to name individual creations. Although it may have been a bit exhausting, Adam was probably quite happy to participate. He was very grateful that God let him, a creation from dust, participate as a partner.
Actually, the reason why we are no longer grateful is not because there are no longer things to be thankful for. This is because of the disappearance of joy and feeling of salvation. I sincerely hope that this kind of joy will come back to you and me.
We should also think about the creation of Eve by God… This process must have been a painful for Adam. This is because in verse 21 “the man to fall into a deep sleep,” the word ‘sleep’ used here is the same word in Jeremiah 51:57, “I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty”; so as it says in this scripture, it is related to death. In other words, God put Adam to deep sleep as if he was dead.
Not only this, but God put Adam into deep sleep to do create Eve, and what was used in the process? There could have been other materials which could have been used, but Adam’s rib was used. God used a rib, which was fit in Adam’s body, to create Eve. In other words, Adam was a sacrifice for the surgery. Also, the word ‘rib’ used here is a word called ‘Chael la’ in Hebrews which means ‘Life.’ Thus, the material used to create woman was a man’s life. That is why Adam called the woman Eve; ‘Eve’ has the meaning ‘Life’… Anyways, Eve was created through Adam’s death, and it was by Adam’s life woman was created.
But God commanded this process because it was ‘suitable for him.’
Contemplating the sermon today, I wondered, how many people could sacrifice themselves for a surgery as such? Since God was the surgeon, I thought about the amount of people who would gladly give up their life because they know the surgery would go well. At the end, it is not an easy decision. If Adam did not have a thorough confidence and trust for God… if he had no confidence and trust that this was ‘suitable for him’…
But in Genesis 2:23 “The man said, ‘this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man’”, which was a great proposal of love. This did not result only from the strong confidence and trust for God, he is saying that this person is suitable for me and she is a person who is dearly needed in my life. In other words, Adam did not only entrust his life to God, he is also saying that the person whom God has given was someone who was needed in my life.
But this was not only because Eve was pretty. Rather ‘suitable helper’ is what the real definition of a helper is, but as I said before there is a meaning which opposes this definition… Eve was not just a yes man to Adam. She was not easily persuaded. So it might have been better if Eve did not exist… Anyways, she could be someone who can sharply oppose.
But Adam just thought God who knew him so dearly well placed a person who is needed in his life. Thus, the person who was granted to me was not place beside me by chance or by good fortune or by bad fortune… God who knows me well created the perfect environment and person for me. This is why he is saying “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
The environment which was given to Adam was received as thanks and was emotionally taken. I hope that we all contain this kind characteristic of Adam.
Adam experienced an amazing event in which God created another life from his rib while he fully relied on God and were painful due to the surgery. Adam realized that a new life is created through another death. Then he praised for bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.
It is Thanksgiving Day. Why are you grateful for? Why do you thank God? Otherwise, why don’t you thank Him? Please learn from Adam. He always thanked God even when he didn’t have his spouse as well as he was painful while God was making Eve by using his bone. Why? It is because God has done everything for and given all necessary to him.
A bell is not a bell before being rung. A song is not a song before being sung. A love is not a love before we fall in love. A bless is not a bless before we thank for it. There are too many gifts given by God. However, how much do you thank God for them? Let’s learn from Adam on Thanksgiving.
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