Genesis chapter one and chapter two are quite different, but it’s not that they are contradictory. They look at life from different perspectives.
For example, Genesis one gives us a view of creation from a cosmic perspective. I often call it the 35,000 foot perspective. Genesis one is the picture of creation for the universe and the entire human race. Genesis two is creation from the perspective of your kitchen table. It’s not the creation of the whole world and all humanity; it’s the picture of your own small family.
What can this chapter tell us about who we are?
First, it tells us that we need one another. God proclaims that it’s not good for the man to be alone. We were made for others. We must have meaningful relationships to exist.
Our modern society promotes “me” rather than “us.” Recently, I read that self-centeredness had played out its string. We have sown the wind of selfishness and we are reaping the whirlwind of suicide, chemical dependence, and violence.
Genesis two would show us that we need one another.
Second, Genesis two gives a fuller picture of marriage. Anytime Jesus was asked about marriage, He took his questioners back to Genesis 2:24: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.” When they asked about divorce, Jesus answered with this passage. This passage still answers the questions of our modern, broken world about relationships. It is one man and one woman for a lifetime, following biblical principles established in the beginning before sin entered the world.
Finally, this chapter shows how God must be closely involved with the family. When God is included the family flourishes, as it did in Genesis two. When the family ignores–or doubts God and His goodness–disaster strikes as it did in Genesis three.
As we invite God into our various relationships–work, family, friends, and marriage–we find help and answers to the serious questions of a world in denial and rebellion.