Let me back up a bit. This year it looks like I’ll be writing two books on friendship. One will be on being a friend of sinners like Jesus was (Mt. 11:19); the other on friendship in general. But what do I care about friendships? I’m an introvert. I’m perfectly happy by myself and my laptop and my dog and occasional visits by my wife.
And that’s what’s funny. God calling me to study and write about relationships. But I need to. And I’ll do my best.
In these posts we’ve noticed that the human being is not the creator of relationships, but our Trinitarian God who has always been in a love relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And the Christian gospel is that because of Christ we can enter into that connection, that friendship, with God Himself!
Why did God create Adam? Not for any lack in God, but for His glory. God creates Adam, sees that His creation is “good” (Gen. 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25), and then declares that what He had made was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). After His rest on the seventh day, the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and placed him in the Garden to take care of it. God gave Adam work to do in the Garden and a simple command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:15ff).
God assigns Adam the work of naming all the animals after declaring, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:17). Don’t skip over those words too quickly. “It is not good . . .” Something in God’s good creation was not good. And it was that Adam had no human counterpart.
One of my seminary colleagues laughs at me when I suggest that Adam’s naming of the animals was the means by which God convinced Adam that he needed a human counterpart. “Let’s see,” Adam might have said. “Let’s name you Mr. and Mrs. Giraffe. And you two we’ll name Mr. and Mrs. Hippopotamus . . .” It is as if Adam needed to see that for him “no suitable helper [was] found” (Gen. 2:20). So God creates Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.
But Adam had been in perfect fellowship with God! Just Adam and his Creator. However, God saw that Adam was lonely. He needed a human counterpart. We need other human beings in our lives.
Sin, of course, marred everything. After Adam and Eve’s rebellion is confronted by the Lord, Adam actually blames God for bringing Eve into existence (and leading him into sin)!
But let’s not miss the critical point that Adam, in the perfect environment of the Garden, before sin, is lonely. He needs a human counterpart. And God provides Eve. I sometimes catch myself humming the words to the old praise chorus “Just Jesus and Me” (obviously written by an introvert). We were made for relationships — and not just with our Creator!
May I ask you a favor? Would you pray for me and these two writing projects at least once a week over the next few months? If you agree to do this, you may let me know privately through my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or publicly in the comment section below. THANKS!