The Man Gave Names

“The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:20).

- Genesis 2:18-20

Classics of Western literature are named as such because of the insight they offer into the human condition. However, any study of the classics soon reveals that even the most remarkable authors, whether they were conscious of it or not, have simply captured certain elements of the teaching of the God-inspired Scriptures.

One good example of this is The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein. In particular, the character Gollum demonstrates how a lustful quest for power can result in great loneliness for the individual who desires it. His relentless pursuit of Sauron’s ring lengthened his life considerably, yet it also made him an emaciated shadow of his former self, alone and afraid.

As we saw yesterday, the opening chapters of Genesis teach us that human beings were made to exercise dominion in this world. But this dominion, while a blessing from the Lord, is not the sole end for which we were created. God made us to enjoy fellowship with Him and other people and, even if we do have more power than anyone else on earth, we are not complete if we are not in relationship.

After placing Adam in the garden of Eden, God sees that it is not good for him to be alone (Gen. 2:18). Creation is almost finished but it is not yet complete, for there is no one to complement Adam — to share life with him and to help him bring glory to God in subduing the earth. Making all of creation glorify the Lord is a task he cannot accomplish by himself.

Therefore, the Creator brings the different animals to Adam in order that a suitable helper would be found. However, as verse 20 concludes, none of these animals can meet Adam’s need.

Certainly God knew that none of these creatures would be right for man, but He shows them to Adam in order to make him (and us as well) understand truly how lonely he was before the creation of Eve. Furthermore, this naming of the animals is cast in a way that emphasizes Adam’s power and authority as God’s vice-regent on earth. But this stature is not enough. Adam lacks relationship, and so the Lord will have to take other measures to provide for him.

Coram Deo

While Adam’s needs remained incomplete until Eve was created, we should not think single people are less complete than those who are married. While marital fellowship is highly desirable, the call to celibate singlehood is valid and must be respected. The Lord can meet the need for relationships through friends and family even if a person never marries. If someone you know seems to struggle with loneliness, make an effort to befriend that person today.

Passages for Further Study

Ex. 18
Prov. 12:15
Eccl. 4:9–12
Gal. 6:2
Phil. 4:19

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