What God Called, "Not Good" in the Garden of Eden
by Teresa Beem
God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness....So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them...God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:26, 27, 31
God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”... God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh....The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:18, 21-23
The Godhead, in the first chapter of Genesis, looked upon the creation as good. And yet we see in the next chapter that at some point, God called it "not good" because man was not yet complete. Man was alone.
Man "Him," God "Us"
For our Protestant brethren who love the solas:
Masculum solum or man alone was not the intent of God. God, who scripture records as Trinity, declared,"Let us make man in our image."
In his solitude, man was not in God's image. Man's aloneness was not good. Man was, in fact, meant to be one like God, and yet that oneness was not alone. He was meant to have another like him, that with whom he could be united. And from that unity, he would truly be like the image of God, for man would be able to create in his own image. For when the two flesh of the man and women became one, children would be brought forth. In fact, that very oneness of both man and woman was the first commandment of God!
Man, in his aloneness, was not capable of creating life. Man, in his aloneness, without another to help him, would live forever as the sole of his species. And with the other, and in their oneness producing children, mankind would be very like the Trinity.
How Was Adam Alone?Surely God could not have considered man truly alone? God had filled the earth, the sky and the waters with creatures of all shapes and sizes. In fact, the more interesting thing is that God called Adam "alone" when He was there as Adam's
companion, speaking with him. Why would Adam be alone when God was there, in His presence?
If there ever was a time when a man could reach out and say, "It is just Jesus and me" the Garden of Eden, before woman, was that time. And yet God did not consider a relationship between one man and God enough. God did not like the sola situation. Adam's solitary relationship to God without anyone else, was not good. Adam was not to have God all to Himself. The divine plan for Adam's relationship to God was never to be separate, individual and independent.
WomanIf we wish to go even deeper, we can see that God gave man a woman. In scripture, a woman has always symbolized a church. Man was not just given a wife, man was given a helpmate to bring forth life. Mankind was given a church to bring life into the world.
Eve: Given to Adam as "bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh" completes the image of God in Adam. For as life-giver, she can truly make a Trinity of the one flesh. It is the necessary and life-giving oneness of man with God's Holy Church that keeps him from being alone. And this great mystery that St. Paul writes about in Ephesians 5, is what God pronounces, "very good."
Satan's plan is to take us back to Eden. But Satan's plan is to make us desire to be back to the point when it was just Jesus and Adam--the point that God called it, "not good."
Many Protestants today are satisfied, if not overtly proud that their relationship with Our Lord is "just Jesus and me." They have rejected religion and the church believing that all they need is the Bible and that is enough. The Devil has seduced them with the proud propaganda of "independence" and individualism in our relationship to Him. But God said "It is not good for man to be alone." God
created us with the intent that we would be one with Him and in His likeness through the woman (the church.) Only then will our "one flesh" be life-giving and only then will we be to God, "very good."