Community Group Study “Genesis: Image of God — Created for Companionship”
Before your community group meets:
Read Genesis 2:18-25. This is the first time the words “not good” are mentioned in the Bible. What specifically is “not good” and how does God reveal this to Adam?
The word “helper” is used to describe the woman God is going to make. Read Genesis 2:18-20, Psalm 30:10, Psalm 54:4, and Psalm 118:7. How would you define “helper” based on these verses? What seems to be the reason Eve is called Adam’s helper?
How is the relationship between Adam and Eve described in Genesis 2:25?
In our study of Genesis, we’ve seen times where God has highlighted what is missing. Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was formless and void and God moves to form and fill the earth in the creation story. Genesis 2:5-6 speaks to the garden being without bush, plant or man to work the ground and God moves to create beauty and form Adam to work the garden.
Genesis 2:18 intensifies how it speaks to something being missing and that God is going to act in a miraculous way to provide. This is the first time in the Bible that the words “not good” are used. Not only is something missing, but it is “not good”. God is drawing our eyes to see something is radically out of sorts here and he is going to provide. So what is not good? Man being alone.
It is literally “bad” for man to be alone. God goes through the process of showing Adam his need, instead of simply telling Adam about his need. Adam’s first job was to be a gardener (Genesis 2:15), his second job was zoologist. He is called by God to do something that God could have done himself; he is called to name the animals. God delegated real authority and power to Adam, but he had a bigger picture in mind. This job was designed to show Adam his separateness and distinction from the rest of creation; and in doing so Adam was to learn about his deep need, there was no other animal like him. Once that need is revealed, God moves forward to fill that need with creating the woman.
The man was sourced from the ground, formed by God and named based after the dust (Adamah). To create the woman, God uses the piece of Adam himself and builds into the woman. Adam’s words in Genesis 2:23 are the first recorded words of humanity in the Bible and they are a poetic song praising God for what he had made. Notice that in this poem Adam names the Woman and actually renames himself “man” in relationship to the woman God had formed. Adam also expresses praise in his words “this AT LAST”, she is what he was waiting for.
Their marriage relationship is characterized by a new family identity (leave and hold fast), sexual oneness, and emotional and physical openness without shame. This teaches us that God has designed marriage to be intimate, joyful and permanent.
A big discussion in this chapter is God describing Adam’s need for a “helper”. As you discuss this in your community group, you will have opportunity to interact around that word. For now, know that the word is meant to imply the woman’s equal yet complementary nature to Adam. This Hebrew word for “helper” means to make up for what is lacking in someone else with your strength and the word “fit for him” literally means “opposite of”. The idea here is that the man and woman are like two puzzle pieces that are neither completely alike or randomly different; instead they make an intentional whole (Tim and Kathy Keller, Meaning of Marriage, 174).
At your community group:
Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.
How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week?
Scripture and Discussion Questions:
What problem was presented in Genesis 2:18? How does God reveal this problem to Adam and why is this a problem that God desires to provide a solution for? (Hint: Think about God being triune and what we discussed when we first looked at Genesis 2 when we learned that God created humanity for intimacy with him).
God calls the woman he created a “helper” in Genesis 2:18 and 20. Define “helper” based on the sermon, Genesis 1:26-28, and the scripture verses in the “before your community group meets” section (Psalm 30:10, Psalm 54:4, and Psalm 118:7). Is this term demeaning, expressing inferiority, uplifting, descriptive, etc? (Hint: the word “helper” is used 19 times in the Old Testament and 16 of those times it is used for God himself).
What was God’s design for intimate human relationship before the fall (look at Genesis 2:24-25)? How has sin’s presence made this basic human need and desire difficult?
How does this discussion change your view of marriage. If you’re married, how do you feel either encouraged in your marriage or convicted to change?
Read Genesis 3:1-7. Write down 7-10 observations you have about the text (who is present, are they speaking factually, are new characters introduced, etc).
Look specifically at Genesis 3:5. The Serpent tells Eve that God doesn’t want her to be “like him”. Is this true? What part of the Bible, that we have already covered, backs up your point?
Spend some time in prayer about areas you may feel tempted to doubt God’s goodness in your life right now.