On Sunday I heard a very interesting sermon by a local chap by the name of Simon Clegg. He heads up an organisation called the City Partnership, which is an organisation for Christian business men and women. But his sermon wasn't about that. It was about marriage.
But what was really interesting about it was how the whole sermon came out of Genesis 2, and what it contained. We looked at Genesis 2, from about verse 4 to the end. However, the key verses were really from verse 18 and onwards.
You see, the Lord said, "It is not good for the man to be alone." but we always get stuck up on the "alone" bit. Simon Clegg was arguing that we look at the passage from man's point of view and thus miss the picture completely. He said that it wasn't because the man was lonely that God created woman, but because it was "not good." And what does that mean exactly?
We tend to think that "good" in that passage, and indeed, in the passages before that (especially Genesis 1), that "good" means good in our english. Simon contended that the original text is talking about how things were "according to God's plan".
So this means that when God said that it was "not good for man to be alone," He meant that it wasn't according to His plan.
Interesting thought. Not according to God's plan... so marriage... husband and wife... is all part of God's plan.
He went on to show to us how the marriage hierarchy, revealed in Ephesians 5:22-33, is actually evident in Genesis 2.
According to Genesis 2:23, "The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shalled be called "woman," for she was taken out of man.'" which means that man has authority over woman (see Genesis 2:19, "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name." - Man has authority over them because he has named them).
However, that doesn't mean that men can just lord it over their wives and treat them like dirt... no... in the words of Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility." Have a look at Genesis 2:15, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."
Very important. God had given Adam authority over the animals and plants and the rest of the earth, but it was so that he could look after them. So it's man's job as the authority in the marriage, to take care of his wife.
You see? From the very beginning God had ordained that man was to protect and cherish and love his wife. And that is most certainly my aim with Hannah.