Chris writes in to ask, “Why was it ‘not good’ that the man should be alone in Genesis 2 — alone, in perfect communion with God? Pastor John, I don’t necessarily understand why this was ‘not good.’”
I love that question. I love the fact that Chris is asking it, because it means that he is really dealing with what matters. Namely, if you have God, what more do you need? That is a really good question to ask: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25–26). That is a good question.
“Not Good” to Be Alone
So what did God mean then when he looks at the man who is alone with God and says, “Not good”? I love that question, and here is the answer: The defect — the not goodness — lies not in God’s insufficiency to be all that the man needs for his joy. The defect is in the man’s inability to see all that God has to show him and to display all that God intends for him to display about God. He can’t see it all, and he can’t show it all, until there is another.
So take Romans 15:5–6 from the New Testament as an illustration: “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of Jesus Christ.” That would be impossible if there were one person. A harmonious people receiving one another, singing with one voice, loving one another as I loved you, displaying my glory through community that way — that would be impossible without the other, which simply now opens the incredibly wide door of what God is up to in creation. It is more glorious that there be more than one voice to glorify God.
It is more glorious that there be a choir than a solo, more glorious that there be a church than a saint, more glorious that there be a star team than a star player, more glorious that there be countless colors rather than just grey, more glorious that there be countless smells than just roses, more glorious that there be countless textures than just velvet, more glorious that there be a billion galaxies, not just one, or that there be male and female, and not just male, and that there be multiple ethnicities, and not just one.
“God gets more glory in the harmonies of diversity like between male and female, different races, and different voices than in solitariness.”
And so, Chris, you get the idea. God created us for his glory. That part, I think, is crystal clear to you.
And my point is that God gets more glory in the harmonies of diversity, like between male and female, different races, and different voices than in solitariness. Male and female is one of those opportunities to glorify God that would not have existed without woman. Just man? God wouldn’t get nearly the glory that we ought to be giving him. Paul picked up on it in Ephesians 5:32 when he said that this one-flesh union is a portrayal of Christ and his church. And that parable would not be told, and it would not be read by the world, had God not said, “Nope, not good to be by yourself. We are making another.”