The story of humanity begins with a single solitary person. Created in God's image, Adam is gifted to be a steward over God’s good world, a task which he completes through care and cultivation. It’s a scene rich with potential – there is gold to be found (v.11) and so much can be enjoyed (v.9 and v.16).
Then a complication enters the plot. In 2:18, for the very first time in Genesis, God says that something is “not good.” Up until this point, everything has been good, good, even very good (see Gen 1:31). What could possibly be lacking?
The LORD says, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” This seems jarring. How can Adam be alone? He’s got God, doesn’t he? Yet there is something missing for Adam if he doesn’t have other human beings to relate to. We weren’t just made for God, however pious that might sound. We were made for each other.
Even more intriguing is the way Eve is described. She is Adam’s “helper.” Before this triggers you into thinking that Eve is demoted to the level of a hired hand, the word “helper” is usually applied to God (Deut 33:7, 29; Psalm 70:5; 121:2; 124:8; Hos 13:9). Adam is insufficient on his own. He needs the help of others. Not just God's help – no, the help of other people.
At the essence of God’s vision for humanity is that we were made to know one another and to help one another. So it should not surprise us that the richest expressions of life are those which create space for us to love one another. We were not made merely to enjoy community – we were made to participate in community.
1. Think about the people in your life who help you, in large ways and small. Thank God for them today and then give one of them a phone call.
2. Ponder the communities you belong to. Are you a spectator or a participant?