Before Eve, it was God and Adam, walking in the garden together, naming the animals together, and receiving instructions, God to man. God’s instructions to Adam were to “cultivate and keep the garden”. It was Adam’s responsibility under the guidance of God.
The words used by God to Adam were “Abad”, Cultivate. It means to work, to labor, to toil, to make weary. Adam had responsibility on the earth, but with his responsibility came satisfaction, and of being with the Lord.
The second word was “Shamar”, To Keep. Shamar means, to place a hedge, to guard, to watch, keep safe. It is how a Shepherd (the Good Shepherd) cares for his flock. This is important to know. Adam was not running around the Garden in his birthday suit smelling roses and eating grapes. He had work to do.
God created us and knows our every thought. He knows, for us to appreciate the gifts He gives to us, we need instruction and active participation. So Adam was given both, instruction and participation in caring for the garden.
Knowing that the garden was to be an arduous task, God made for Adam a helpmate, Eve. In the entire Garden, there was not a suitable mate. In God’s allowing Adam to evaluate and name the animals, Adam discovered the character of the things he was to keep and cultivate; therefore he would more quickly recognize the gift of Eve when she appeared.
So why do you think the Lord made him do all that work and not find what he was looking for in a mate? Proverbs 25:2 “It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter”. I believe that God delights in treasure hunts, there are wonderful mysteries to be solved in the discovery of His perfect Will.
When God announced that it was not good for Adam to be alone, and a mate would be given to him, I would think that Adam would have become excited with anticipation of what was to come. I don’t think what ensued, is what Adam expected. Everything animal that God created came to him. Everything came but the promised gift. Can you imagine?
“The big grey thing with the long nose… Elephant…no match. The black and white bird with no legs and can’t fly….Penguin…no match. The thing that looks like a combination of duck and beaver….Platypus….(did you use leftover parts on him?)…no match.
Matthew Henry Commentary suggests, “God gave him all the wrong matches first, so when the correct one was in front of him, he would quickly recognize her.” And recognize her he did. The first word from his mouth were, “Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh, This one shall be called Woman, because she was taken from Man”. How beautiful! If the love of my life came up to me and these were his first words to me, I’m not sure if I would laugh or swoon. Either way, he would have had my attention.
I find it interesting how the Hebrew words work the same as English words here. In Hebrew woman is Ishshah. And man is Ish. Just as man is the root of woman, Ishshah takes its root from Ish.
There are times in all of our lives when we are not sure we have heard God correctly, whether it is because the answer is hard, or frustrating or it just takes too long. Maybe there are some days we feel like yelling, “I didn’t ask to be born into this mess!” Knowing the word of God is one way we can pace and strenthen ourselves and not run head on His Plan, or give up when it seems to be slow in coming. Here is a verse that comforts me.
Habbakkuk 2:3 ” For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.”
“Though it tarries, wait for it.” Now that is the hard part. “Do you ever feel like saying, God, I need patients in the wait, and I need it now!”
Waiting can be difficult and if we are not careful can give way to wayward thought and lofty imagination. We can become so focused with the request we have before the Lord that we can become obsessed, allowing it to dominant our thoughts. When this happens then our prayer requests has become a division between God and us. We think about it all day long, daydream about how we can make it what it should be. Getting on the phone and talking it out with our friends is something we run to for some immediate gratification. Especially when it comes to those we love in our homes. Waiting on God is so difficult. Our energy level is high with anxiety. It is always wise to run to the Throne, before you run to the phone.
Perhaps this would be a good time to use that energy to memorize scripture. Meditate on the Word of God. Allow that energy to accomplish good in you and not ulcers.
Applying God’s word to our lives is vital to our survival. Allow God to reveal to you the scriptures that apply to your situation. Write them down in a Prayer Journal; share these with women of faith who can come along side of you as you wait on the Lord. Memorize the 23 Psalm, or if you are feeling the challenge, try memorizing Psalm 91, it is sometimes called a warrior’s Psalm.
This week I am posting exerpts from my book, String Of Pearls, which speaks to women of all ages who have faced sorrows and dissappointments in life. Like a grain of sand cuts into an oyster, the oyster turns it into a pearl. Our sorrows given to Christ become a pearl of great value to us and to Him – a testimony of who Christ is and what he does in our lives. And by the end of our lives we will have a String of Pearls.
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