Read Genesis 2
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animalsand 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. 20 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. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
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.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
In Genesis 2, we see a more personal side of the creation narrative. Think about it: God gets down on the ground, picks up dirt, and forms Adam from it. He breathes His own breath into him. He forms a relationship with Adam and talks to him. He creates Eve from a rib in Adam’s side and physically brings her to him. God is active, hands-on in His creation of humankind. This contrasts what we see in chapter 1, when God creates the world by merely speaking things into being. In chapter 2, we see Him come down to earth, pick up dirt, and breathe His breath into Adam, even performing surgery on Adam to make Eve. He got messy. His hands got dirty. God could easily have spoken humanity into being, like He did with every other aspect of creation, but He wasn’t content with just that. He wanted to be near them. He wanted to be close to them.
Chapter 2 of Genesis shows us how personal God is. It shows us His love for His people, whom He created in His image. Humans were the only thing He created with His two hands. And the only thing He created that He called “not good” was when Adam was alone and lonely. He cared that Adam had help, support, and social interaction from an equal partner for life because He loved him so much. God cared enough about Adam to come down from Heaven and fix it.
And this won’t be the last time we see Him do that. This won’t be the last time that God comes down to earth to fix something that’s not good. It won’t be the last time that God gets His hands dirty to bring new life from brokenness, like Adam’s broken side. We know what the Gospels tell us–that God physically becomes human, entering into our chaos, mess, and pain, in order to redeem, restore, and reconcile our brokenness.
His goal is the picture we see at the end of chapter 2: where both Adam and Eve were naked and yet felt no shame, enjoying the garden. And He won’t be satisfied until that’s the case again. Sin and shame may enter the story in the next chapter, but don’t be discouraged; God shows us here that He loves us too much to leave us on our own.
At the beginning of chapter 2, we see God resting, something we’ve coined a term for: sabbath. What does the practice of sabbath look like in your life?
God didn’t think it was good for man to be alone, so He created Eve. What does that teach you about the value God places on community? Do you take advantage of the gift of community in your life?
How does this chapter foreshadow the gospel? What do you learn about God’s character in this passage?
Did You Know?
The word “helper,” describing Eve in this passage, is ezer in Hebrew. This is the same exact word used to describe God at times in the Old Testament when He is called a “helper” to humans in need (Psalm 10:14, 54:4).