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shutterstock_317370245One of the joys I have as a pastor is to stand at the front of the worship hall with the groom and watch the father walk his daughter down the aisle. Along with the groom, I get to see a unique perspective on his face as he makes his way to his destination. Most dads have similar mannerisms reflecting the emotion of the moment. It's like their hearts, rising with all of the unique emotion, memories, and burdens of being her dad, fill to the brim and begin to pour out of their eyes. Their cheeks are stained with the testimony that they have really loved. This is his daughter after all. He loves her and he is now letting her go.

I am presently preaching through Genesis and was struck this past week at the beautiful love that is on display here. In particular, in Genesis 2:18-25, God created the first woman and then participated in the first wedding. We are certainly familiar with the story. God has made a perfect world for Adam. He lives in the perfect environment (Eden), he has the perfect job, and he has the perfect relationship with God. Nothing is lacking. Right?

In almost shocking form the text tells us in verse 18 of chapter 2 that is not good for man to be alone. The literary record skips. Not good? There has been nothing but good thus far in creation. Now God says no good. Therefore, he acts to give Adam a companion, a helper, a compliment. He gives him a wife.

Let's notice the way love is displayed in this. After all, love is not just a feeling it is also characterized by activity. Love sees needs and attempts to meet them. Love can identify what would make another happy. Love sacrifices to serve another. Love works to bless. Love initiates in order to bring joy. This is what happens. Look at the five things we see in just these 2 verses. I'll underline them for emphasis:

"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 that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man." (Genesis 2:21-22)

God is active in this account. From this mysterious sleep, rib extraction, healing, fashioning of a woman, and then finally bringing her to him. What love!

When I read this and see God's activity here I can't help but marvel at the image that is cast. After forming, shaping, and giving life to the first woman, God brings her to Adam. It is like God is the father who walks his daughter down the aisle to her new husband. Beaming with love for Adam and for Eve, God brings them together to enjoy the most blessed of all human relationships: marriage.

There is little wonder then that Adam breaks out into song as he did. Out of his slumber his dreams have come true. What he never knew he needed he now had--and could never live without her. When he picks his jaw up off the ground he sings (Gen. 2:23). How beautiful is this?

Eve is like Adam (a fellow image bearer), but she is very different (she is a woman). This is the beauty and attraction here. She is perfect.

This reminds me of the gospel where God has sent his best to and for us. Jesus is both like us (man) and unlike us (God). God sees our ultimate need as reconciliation to himself so he sends the one who could do it. He sends Christ to come and get his wayward, rebellious, lost bride. Jesus is the perfect groom for us. A suitable helper for such as us. Upon the cross it is his side that is slit so that his bride may have life. The second Adam wins back the bride that the first Adam lost. When we awake out of our slumber of sin, we sing our own hymns with joy and thanksgiving.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature's night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

This first marriage shows us a window into the mind and heart of God. It teaches us about how he loves his creation. It is also a pointer, a shadow, looking ahead to the ultimate marriage between Christ and his bride, the church. When I see marriage the way God sees it, as an expression of his focused, intentional, thoughtful, love for us, I am moved to worship. He loves us and gave himself up for us. My eyes are watering just thinking about this.

(photo via Shutterstock)

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One thought on “God’s Fatherly Love at the First Wedding”

  1. Neil says:

    Amen, and amen! Great truth revealed in this eternal view of marriage.

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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