God’s Image: Male and Female
Key Verse: “The LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
OUR LESSON TODAY CONCERNS the creation of earth’s first couple, Adam and Eve. We read in Genesis 1:26, “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over … all the earth.” We note here the creation was in “our” image, the image of God and the Logos—his only begotten son—his first and only direct creation. All subsequent creation was done by his Son under God’s direction. (see John 1:3 and Col. 1:16,17) Thus we see that God was once alone and he desired a family of his own. This is important as we read that man was made in God’s image, with the ability to reason and make decisions as a free moral agent. He was also given the power to procreate and fill the earth, and to have dominion over it.
We read further of this creation in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” The glory of man in this sense was fulfilled by the union of both of the sexes, not male alone. This closeness of male and female would become important for our understanding of the oneness of God and his son, Jesus, as well as the oneness of the body of Christ, head and body members. Just prior to his crucifixion, Jesus prayed to his Heavenly Father concerning his disciples who would become his bride, saying, “I pray for them, … that they may be one, as we are.”—John 17:9,11
Our Key Verse says God knew it was not good for Adam to be alone, so he made a helpmate for him by creating a woman from one of Adam’s ribs. Genesis 2:24 says it would become proper in the future for man to leave his parents and be joined to his wife, becoming one flesh. We understand this does not literally mean the two would become one person, but rather they would become one in purpose, harmony, and spirit, striving together as a unit to do God’s will, rather than follow their own wills in life.
This union of oneness between the male and the female beautifully pictures the relationship of Jesus, the head, and his bride, the body, which will compose the Christ which will bless all the families of the earth in the coming kingdom. Speaking of this marriage relationship of the male and the female, the Apostle Paul exhorts husbands and wives to follow this pattern in Ephesians 5:22-32, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; … So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. … For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
Paul in no way infers the woman is inferior in this relationship, but rather that in following this pattern, both are giving up their own wills in love for each other, and in doing so are desirous of doing the will of their Heavenly Father.