It wasnt good?

In Genesis 2, we have strange language. We have repeated language in Genesis 1 about things being good, and then in Genesis 2:18, we have the phrase “it is not good.” This change should give us pause. The difference between the language here and the language in the first chapter is profound. It’s like someone ripping their e-brake while cruising 70 on the highway. If you don’t notice it, you have to be asleep or just oblivious to everything!

So what is this “not good” about? The verse tells us, “…that man should be alone.” This verse is zooming in on Day 6. It breaks up the pattern of God declaring the day good by indicating and fixing something that is missing. The idea that man is alone displays that even amid the beauty and wonder of God’s creation, people need something else. The passage continues by showing how all created animals are insufficient for the task of fixing the problem. But, don’t miss another fact: God is there.

Tim Keller says this,

Adam was not lonely because he was imperfect, but because he was perfect. The ache for friends is the one ache that is not the result of sin. . . . This is one ache that is part of his perfection. . . . God made us in such a way that we cannot enjoy paradise without friends. God made us in such a way that we cannot enjoy our joy without human friends. Adam had a perfect quiet time every day, 24 hours. He never had a dry one, and yet he needed [friends].[1]

This is incredible. God is there, Adam has a perfect relationship with His Creator, yet as a creature, he needs creaturely companionship. This longing for friendship and companionship that we experience today has existed from the very beginning. It is part of the fabric of humanity that God has woven into our very being.

The solution is the creation of Eve. Now, naturally, we might think, “well, God isn’t giving Adam a friend. He is giving Adam a wife”. But, this can’t be the heart of the problem. If true humanity is found in marriage, then Jesus could not have been fully human. Instead, we see Eve meeting the need for companionship. As a wife, yes, but also as a friend. Like Solomon, who writes, “This is my beloved and this is my friend.” (Song of Solomon 5:16). Also, through Eve came the creation of society and the end of isolation.

Our Triune God

Not only do we see the need for relationships in Genesis 2, but it also flows from the character and nature of God. God is Trinity. By that, we mean that God exists in one essence but three persons. This triune bond of love means that God has everything He needs. He did not create this world because He was lonely. Instead, creation is an overflow of the Triune love. Michael Reeves writes, “Here is a God who is not essentially lonely, but who has been loving for all eternity as the Father has loved the Son in the Spirit. Loving others is not a strange or novel thing for this God at all; it is at the root of who he is.[2]

This is the God who creates us in His image, Genesis 1:27. We are reflections of what God is like to the world. If our God is characterized by a mutual love, then so are we. Just like God’s love is love among equals, so is our reflection of that love. Creaturely love for one another reflects the Creator’s love. If we ignore relationships and neglect friendships, we are becoming less like God. To try to rise above our need for friendship isn’t the pursuit of super spirituality, it is neglecting the goodness of God’s creation.

What about us today?

Don’t neglect friendships at this time of Corona. Even as we seek our friends good by distancing, we shouldn’t ignore the good gift by disconnecting. Call them, write them, use technology to connect. It falls short of the goodness of embodied friendship, but it makes due amid this situation.


[1] Tim Keller, “Spiritual Friendship” (sermon, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, March 1, 1998), http://​​​www​​​.gospel​​​in​​​life​​​.com​​​/spiritual​​​-friendship​​​-6608. As quoted in Hunter, Friendship, 42-43.

[2] Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012), 41.