Daily Devotional

One Husband and One Wife

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Scripture:       The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.” (Gen. 2:18 - Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. Jewish Publication Society)
 
Observation:  Man’s fulfillment requires companionship. As a talmudic rabbi observes about v. 18, “Even though a man has several sons, it is forbidden to him to be without a wife” (b. Yebam. 61b). The Lord’s creation of woman from man emphasizes the close connection between them and lays the groundwork for the understanding of marriage (and its association with procreation) in v. 24. The creation of the woman after the man and from a part of his body need not imply the subordination of women to men. According to Ramban (Namanides, a great 13th-century Spanish rabbi), the point of v. 24 is that men are to be different from the males of the animal world, who mate and move on to the next partner: A man “wishes [his wife] to be with him always.” Promiscuity is thus a degradation of God’s intentions in creating human beings male and female. It is interesting that although polygamy is amply attested in the Tanakh, v. 24 indicates that the ideal, Edenic condition is monogamy (see also Mal. 2:14–16; Prov. 5:15–23).[ The Jewish Study Bible. 2004 (A. Berlin, M. Z. Brettler & M. Fishbane, Ed.) (16). New York: Oxford University Press.]
 
Application:  When God created Eve, His plan was not that the man and the woman would be in competition for supremacy; that came as a result of sin.  God’s plan was that they would be equally in His image and that they would serve one another, a principle stated later by Paul in Ephesians 5:21 where he wrote, “submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
            The Jewish commentators cited above make a very interesting point, and worth emphasizing again:  According to Ramban (Namanides, a great 13th-century Spanish rabbi), the point of v. 24 is that men are to be different from the males of the animal world, who mate and move on to the next partner: A man “wishes [his wife] to be with him always.” Promiscuity is thus a degradation of God’s intentions in creating human beings male and female.
            From the beginning, God intended that one man and one woman would make up the marital dyad.  A multiplicity of spouse (polygamy), or even a series of spouses (serial monogamy), was not God’s intention, even if it was permitted for some and for some time.  God’s best plan for us as individuals is to be married only to one other individual, and that for a lifetime.
            Ellen White makes a most sublime observation when she writes: “God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided ‘an help meet for him’--a helper corresponding to him--one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy (The Adventist Home, p.25).  Marriage, as God designed it, was to bring two people so close together that they would not simply feel for the other (empathy), but feel with the other (sympathy).
 
A Prayer You May Say:  Father God, thank you for designing marriage of one man and one woman as Your ideal, knowing that it would be best for both and for our family.  Help us to have love and sympathy one for the other and to be the true helpmate you designed for us to be.


Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


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