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February 14, 2016

Sermon Genesis 2:21-22 . . .“It’s a Miracle:  Eve, Adam’s rib” 

“It’s a Miracle:  Eve, Adam’s rib”

Genesis 2:21-22

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus.

The story is told that, one day, as Adam was walking through the Garden of Eden, he was feeling all alone.  When God asked him what was wrong, he said he was lonely because he didn’t have anyone to talk to.  So God told him He would make him a woman.

He said, “This woman will cook for you and wash your clothes.  She’ll always agree with every decision you make.  She’ll bear your children and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night.  She’ll never nag you.  And if you ever have a disagreement, she’ll always be the first to admit she was wrong.  She’ll never have a headache, and will freely give you all the love and compassion you could ever need.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Adam.  “That sounds wonderful!  But how much will it cost me?”

God answered, “It’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”

“Oh,” said Adam.  “What can I get for just a rib?”

(Just kidding.  Don’t send letters!)

Over the past couple of months, we’ve considered quite a number of miracles in the Bible, so far, just from the Old Testament.  Aaron’s rod not only budded, it blossomed and bore almonds in the Holy Place.  When Joshua fought against the Amalekites, the sun stood still for a day.  In I Samuel chapter 5, Dagon, the god of the Philistines, fell facedown before the ark.  Elisha made an axe head float.  And on a dry and dusty morning, Gideon wrung out a piece of fleece, soaked with dew.

Miracles are strange and extraordinary events accomplished only by the power of God.  And they’re designed to authenticate His plan and the truth of His message.  As Jesus lived and worked among us, He performed so many miracles, John wrote at the end of his gospel:  “Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

And here, in the very first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, we find one of the most beautiful and amazing miracles of all.  

Listen to the words of Genesis chapter 2:  “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him’…So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept, took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib the Lord God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man.”

Genesis chapter 2 opens as God completes His work of creation.  In six days’ time, He created everything that exists—the sun, the moon, and the stars and, best of all, this place that we call home—earth.

God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the expanse of the heavens.”  Then God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.

And when His work of creation was done, the Bible says God saw that it was very good.

But there, in that beautiful, wonderful place called paradise, there was something that wasn’t good.  As God said:  “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.”

 As Adam walked through that beautiful, wonderful Garden of Eden to see all that God had made, he saw Mr. Giraffe and Mrs. Giraffe, Mr. Crocodile and Mrs. Crocodile, Mr. Eagle and Mrs. Eagle.  And so it went through all of the animal kingdom—always male and female.  “But, Lord,” he asked, “where in all creation, can I find someone who’s just like me?”

Without a wife, he could never be a husband.  Without a woman, he could never be in love.  Without a queen, he could never be a king.  He had no one to talk to, no one to laugh with, no one to stand at his side.

Then what?  Then God intervened.  The Bible says, “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 closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.”

Let’s stop there for just a moment.  Have you ever wondered why God chose a rib?  After all, He could have used any part of Adam’s body to create Eve.  He could have taken some of his liver or his brain or his heart.  He could have used a wrist bone or an ankle bone.  Why did God choose to use a rib?

Two reasons, I suppose.  The first is this—did you know that of all the bones in the human body, the rib bone is the only bone that can regenerate itself?

What does that mean?  It means that even though all bones can repair themselves, it’s only rib bones that can build a completely new bone.

So that means that when God took Adam’s rib to make Eve, in a few months’ time, he would, once again, have twelve complete pairs of ribs.  Amazing!

And maybe just one more reason God chose a rib.  In the words of commentator Matthew Henry:  “The woman was not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.”

And notice the care God used when He created Eve.  He didn’t simply speak her into existence like He did the sun, the moon and the stars.  Nor did He mold her from the dust of the ground, like He did Adam.  Instead, the Bible says He “made” a woman, He “built” a woman, He “fashioned” a woman.  In His infinite wisdom, patience and perfection, He hand-crafted the most beautiful creature in all the world, with all the beauty and grace that anyone could imagine.  

And just as soon as He made her, he brought her to Adam, like the father of the bride.

Can you imagine how it must have been, as God lovingly led her through the trees and flowers and presented her, with her fast beating heart and the blush of first love on her cheeks?

There he was, lying flat on the ground, just beginning to wake up from his divine anesthetic.  And as he opened his eyes, he saw the Lord standing before him and, right beside Him, a beautiful, blushing creature looking at him in wide-eyed anticipation.

And as he ran down his mental list, he couldn’t connect her with any of the animals God had made.  She’s not a rabbit or a porcupine.  Definitely not a giraffe.  Who or what is she?

Then when he realized what God had made, what God had done, it’s no wonder he blurted out, in Hebrew, “Pa’am.”  In English, “Hello, gorgeous!  Where have you been all my life?”  Or something like that.

It was love at first sight.

 I don’t have to tell you that men and women are different.  According to an article, “Do men and women speak different languages?” author Cherry Maslen writes, “A woman’s brain has a ten percent thicker connecting cord between the left and right hemispheres, and up to thirty percent more connections.”  That’s why a woman can do several completely unrelated things at the same time.  She can talk on the telephone while she’s cooking a new recipe and watching television.  She can walk, talk and apply lipstick, all at the same time.

Men’s brains, on the other hand are compartmentalized.  That’s why we can only concentrate on one thing at a time.  Talk to a man while he’s shaving, and he’ll probably cut himself.  Ring the doorbell while he’s hammering, and he’ll probably hit his thumb.

And when a woman’s brain is at rest, ninety percent of it is still constantly receiving and analyzing information.  But when a man’s brain is at rest, it’s at rest.  At least seventy percent of it is shut down.  That’s why a woman knows her children’s friends, hopes, dreams, fears, what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, and how they’re feeling, and why men are vaguely aware that someone else is in the house.

Men and women are so very, very different.  But, as the Lord Himself said, “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.”

So how can your marriage be what God has intended it to be?  

First of all, know that you can’t do it on your own.  Marriage is too hard a thing for anyone to do on their own.  It has to be the Lord.  That’s what it says in Psalm 127:  “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”

And when you do come to Him, know that there’s nothing He can’t do.  He can take a husband and turn him into a loving spouse.  And He can take a woman and make her into a loving, devoted wife.  We can’t do it, but God can.

As Paul once wrote to the Corinthians:  “Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy, it doesn’t boast, it’s not proud.  It’s not rude, self-seeking, or easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrongs.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

One more thing.  It’s something we can’t help but notice.  When God put Adam into a deep sleep, took out that rib, then closed up the place with flesh, it reminds us of someone else—of Jesus.

For as He, the second Adam, died on the cross and breathed His last breath, a soldier came and pierced His side.  And in the blood and water that flowed, He paid the price we could never pay and accomplished our redemption.  

Adam gave a rib for his bride, Eve.  Jesus gave His life for our salvation.

All thanks be to God!

 

 

We thank You, dear Father, for this miracle once wrought in the Garden of Eden.  And we thank You even more, for the wonder of our redemption.  Hear us, as we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen

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