As God’s image-bearers, Adam and Eve were created for intimate and unbroken fellowship with their Creator. But their purpose also contained a significant horizontal (or earthly) aspect as well: Adam and Eve were also created to fill the earth. Genesis 1:27–28 says, “Male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’” Here we see God’s perfect plan for marriage and procreation. From the beginning, God’s design was for permanent, monogamous relationships between men and women. Genesis 2:24 makes this plain: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
The evolutionary lie has brought even this under attack, as society now seeks to justify and legitimize fornication, easy divorce, homosexual relationships, and other perversions that undermine the sanctity and uniqueness of marriage.
God produced all living species throughout the plant and animal kingdoms to procreate (cf. Genesis 1:11–25). But with the human race this takes on an especially sacred meaning. Keep in mind that of all earthly creatures, only man is created in the image of God—and the very essence of that image is the ability to have relationships. The marriage relationship is here established as the first and most intimate of all relationships between humans. The two “become one flesh,” uniting in a bond that is designed to supersede every other relationship, no matter how close (“a man shall leave his father and his mother”). The bond between husband and wife is also designed to be lasting, unbreakable, and inexpressibly intimate (“a man shall . . . be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”).
So an interesting and ironic feature in Adam’s creation is the fact that he was first created alone. It appears from the language of Genesis that when God created other living species, he created them all in abundance. The sea swarmed with sea life and the skies were filled with birds. Although Scripture doesn’t expressly say how many He created of each species, the language suggests that there must have been multiple pairs of each.
But when it comes to the creation of human beings, Scripture is clear that He made only one pair. In fact, He began by making just one—Adam.
Of course it was God’s plan from the beginning that Adam would have a mate. (“Known to God from eternity are all His works”—Acts 15:18, NKJV.) Don’t get the impression that Eve was an afterthought or a modification of the divine plan. Some people misread the account of Eve’s creation in Genesis 2 and imagine that she was tacked onto creation as an addendum to God’s original plan. That is not what the text means. It is true that Eve was not created until after God had instructed Adam to name the animals and given him time to begin the process. (One preacher suggested that God held off creating Eve so that Adam wouldn’t have to deal with a second opinion every time he named an animal. I doubt that.) But Eve was part of God’s plan from the beginning. Her separate creation merely stresses the fact of how special she was—and how uniquely suited she was for compatibility with Adam.
One thing stands out clearly. After each stage of creation, God pronounced His work good. “God saw that it was good” is the constant refrain of the creation narrative (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). The only time God pronounced anything not good was when He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Again, this is not to suggest that God had discovered a flaw in His original plan. Rather, the point is that the original plan was not yet complete with Adam alone. Man had been created for relationships, and he still needed a perfect mate for the marriage relationship.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.(Genesis 2:21–22)
Adam, of course, was delighted. “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’” (Genesis 2:23).
Eve was made to be a helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18, 20). This is not talking about domestic help—someone to do his dishes, take out his trash, or make his bed. Adam could have managed such duties without a wife. But he had a more important duty for which he needed her help. He was to procreate, propagate the human race, and populate the earth with people. Obviously, he needed a partner for that.
As God brought animals to Adam and he went through the process of naming them each, he began to see that he was alone in all of creation. “for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:20). He must have known that he was not merely a glorified animal. He was made in the Creator’s image, and he needed a partner who was also made in the same image. So God made him a partner from his own rib. In other words, Eve’s genetic structure was derived from and therefore perfectly harmonious with Adam’s.
Genetic research has shown that one pair of human chromosomes, labeled X and Y, determine the gender of our offspring. All males have both X and Y chromosomes; all females have a pair of X chromosomes only. From a purely biological point of view, therefore, the Y chromosome is what determines maleness. If the offspring inherits an X chromosome from the father, it will be female. If that chromosome is a Y, the offspring will be male. The father’s seed is the determining factor.
Genetically therefore, it is possible to create a female from a male. It would not be possible to extract a male’s genetic code from a female, however, because the female has no Y chromosome. That is perfectly harmonious with what God did here. Science, when it deals with facts rather than theories, always agrees with the biblical account.
The command, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28) echoes throughout Genesis. It is repeated in Genesis 9:1, after the Flood. It also lies at the heart of God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17–18). It is a unique and beautiful expression of God’s love for humanity, that He created us with the ability to procreate and thus produce more creatures made in His image. And not only did He want a world full of them, but He also designed men and women to partake in the joy of fulfilling that purpose. Children themselves are therefore a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3).
God’s initial command for Adam and Eve to reproduce and populate the earth isn’t meant to delegitimize singleness or infertility. Rather, it establishes our divine heritage, the distinctiveness of our genders, and God’s glorious design for marriage and the family. The modern, satanic assaults on origins, sexuality, and gender identity are no accident. They amount to nothing less than a direct assault on the very foundations of the Lord’s creative work.
Used with permission from John MacArthur.