3 Points on Adam’s Proclamation of “This at Last…”
Genesis 2 says: 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Adam recognized that the relationships that he had with the animals was not the same as the relationship that the animals had each other. There was a difference. He was different. God acknowledged that there was one more relationship that needed to be created, and that was the helper or partner that Adam needed. And that is why, when Eve was brought to Adam that he makes the proclamation: This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. There was finally that complement, of the same kind as Adam. Adam felt kinship.
Because there is this different kinship than we have with animals, God says: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. This is the proper relationship that is meant to bring harmony to us, when we feel that we have found the one who is as comfortable to us as our own skin.
A few observations on this special relationship:
(1) Our wedding vows are an act of worship
Worship, on it’s most basic level, is receiving something from God and honoring Him with a response of thanks. Our wedding vows are an affirmation of receiving something from God (our spouse) and honoring Him with the acknowledgment that this covenant we employ is our thankful response for His providence.
Unfortunately, so many do not see marriage in this way. Their vows are joyous, for a time, but they don’t feel those vows and remember that time before God’s holy altar when difficult times arise. We need to feel our vows with the reality that they were an act of worship that are meant to have significance, not just ritual where we honor God with our lips but not our hearts. Feeling that worship is acknowledging the intimate connection between God’s blessing of a mate and our receiving. We’ve got to feel, everyday, on the deepest level, that we have received something that was meant just for us. In the same way that the healing we receive from our personal sicknesses is our own, the one God provides is our own, a special gift. Remembering that is our continued worship.
(2) Our spouse and new family must be our highest priority apart from God
The providential relationship that we are called to have with our spouse is always a timely message. In today’s society, one of our biggest problems is that a lot of people continue to value their “old” family more than their “new” family. The traditions of the past can sometimes outweigh the necessities of inclusion that we are called to have when we leave our father and mother and hold fast to our spouse. We don’t share in the way that we should. Our ways are best. Our old vacation spots are best. What we need to do is remember to whom our duty is first, understand what this new world looks like, and live like our “new” family is the focus.
(3) Waiting for that spouse is hard
Adam’s proclamation: At last… is very telling. It must have been hard to see all of the animals having others of their own kind while he was alone. He sensed the need for a different companionship than what those animals could offer. And his thanksgiving was also an admittance that waiting had been hard.
We have to acknowledge that Adam’s circumstance was a bit different than ours. He had no one like himself. We are surrounded by billions of people that we can interact with, and we have, at least, a small group of people very close and like us that we call “family.” Yet, in the midst of that, for most of us, there is a longing for that relationship that is different than our “old” family. And waiting for that person to become present in our lives is hard. For some people, it is a day by day agonizing thing. For others, it comes in seasons. But, God’s design is that we are not alone, and so we continue to trust that He will provide as He did for Adam. Waiting is perhaps the hardest part of obedience, and we must continually ask for the intervention of God’s grace to help us with that obedience.
God provides; how will we respond? We thank God that He has created that special relationship for our needs in this world. Amen.