And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.Matt. 19:4-6
In this Bible study on, created male and female, the Lord Jesus makes this statement straight out of the Old Testament. In this scriptural passage, he proclaims that God created mankind and this starts right from the first chapter in the book of Genesis as written, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” [Gen. 1:27-28a] This is the passage in which Jesus is referencing while speaking to the Pharisees in their attempt at tricking him into saying something against their law.
Male and Female
With this context now in perspective, let us look a little deeper at the verses from this week’s scripture reading. First, the verses are in harmony with each other by stating that God has created mankind as male and female. Second, a man will leave his parents, aka his father and mother, and will then be with his wife, or as stated here, cleave to his wife. Third, what God has joined together in marriage, no man or person is to separate. This is all congruent with another verse from the Old Testament where it is stated, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” [Gen. 2:24] This verse describes the blessing upon a marriage with the physical bond between a husband and wife.
In addition to this, God made another statement while creating humanity as male and female as noted in the book of Genesis. This is first evident in the verse, “…and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” [Gen. 1:28] Following this, God then made another proclamation in reference to a man and woman as documented further, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” [Gen. 2:28] This further demonstrates the bond between a man and a woman in marriage as a union sanctified by the Lord.
A Consistent Pattern
In the scriptures, we will also see that the pattern of relationships between a man and woman, or male and female, are prominent throughout the Bible. This is seen not only with humanity but also within the animal kingdom. Take for example, when Noah was commanded to fill the ark before the flood, “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.” [Gen. 6:19]
The key point made in the verse above is to provide for the perpetuity of male and female, whether people or animals through reproduction. Noah obeyed God’s command as noted further, “There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.” [Gen. 7:9] As a bit of relevant world trivia, did you know that on average, the global population is almost equal between males and females? This is not a coincidence, this is no doubt God ordained.
The pattern of relationships between man and woman, or male and female, were also noted by the ancient prophets, “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” [Is. 62:5] This verse is noted to further support the bond between a male and female in marriage and here it is written by the ancient prophet Isaiah, several centuries before Jesus was manifested on the earth.
The pattern of male and female in relationships is also used as a prominent analogy throughout the scriptures to describe the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and believers in Christ. Consider how this is used, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” [Rev. 19:7] In this case, Christ is the lamb and his wife is the body of believers in Christ portrayed figuratively in the form of a divine marriage.
Metaphors of Marriage
Also, consider how the prophet Isaiah illustrated points through metaphors of marriage as he proclaimed, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” [Is. 61:10} In this verse, the bridegroom as the male and the bride as the female are used as descriptors for how God adorns us with salvation and righteousness. This depicts not only a beautiful bride and groom but also the indescribable gifts bestowed upon us in Christ.
Jesus used a similar analogy while describing himself among the people as it was written in the gospel according to Matthew, “And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” [Matt. 9:15] The use of the phrase bridegroom is extensive in scripture in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ for he is indeed the bridegroom of the new covenant. Consider also how the Song of Solomon portrays an incredible romantic bond between a man and a woman throughout a marriage, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:” “Thou art beautiful, O my love.” [Song of Solomon 6:3, 4]
Husbands and Wives
In addition, this week’s scripture reading is documented in both Matthew and Mark 10:6 further substantiating its context during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Further to this in the scriptures, the use of words like husband, is noted 175 times in various derivatives of the word. The word husband is almost used entirely in association with one’s wife, which is noted 407 times in scripture. To summarize thus far in this study, in God’s creation there are male and female, united in marriage as bride and groom or as husband and wife. This was recorded from the very beginning of Genesis, with the first woman named Eve being described as Adam’s wife [Gen. 3:8].
Scripture meets the World
But what does all of this mean to us in today’s pluralist society amidst cultural norms where everything is in a state of change? Some would argue that all of the above verses from the Bible apply to some other time in history and we have now progressed in the world to accept different interpretations of marriage and relationships? We are now more knowledgeable, more enlightened, more free to express our own preferences and desires as some would say. In our world, the entire definition of male and female has also become immensely blurred and people are now making irreversible changes in their lives all in the quest of re-defining their identity. But this is in stark contrast to how they were created in God’s image.
God Never Changes
Furthermore, how then do these points of view become reconciled with statements from the Lord himself in that he never changes such as, when he said “For I am the LORD, I change not.” [Mal. 3:6a] Or consider from the New Testament where Jesus is described also as never changing throughout eternity, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” [Heb. 13:8] Some would arguably state these verses are perhaps pertaining to God’s eternal attributes such as his deity but sidestepping his very creation in the process would become questionably suspect since we are made in God’s image [Gen. 1:27].
Granted, some things may have evolved in culture and society from ancient biblical times such as many of the Old Testament laws. Further to this, many biblical traditions and practices have changed from former times and some may even go so far as to say that the former ideas are now foolishness in our current world. But did you know how the Bible describes human wisdom in the New Testament, “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? [1 Cor. 1:19-20]
God’s Moral Guidance
With all of this said, let us consider what has not changed as part of this study on creating male and female. From the Old to the New Testament, the moral nature of God’s laws have never changed. In fact, in the New Testament, Jesus took commandments from the Old Testament and challenged us to look deeper within ourselves. For example, he taught us to look at the root cause of sin rather than the obvious end result of our sinful tendencies. As a case in point, the average person will likely consider themselves innocent of committing things like adultery or murder, but Jesus pushed us to consider the initial thoughts for these sins that originate with lust and anger.
Jesus also wanted us to look at the very nature of sin as the precursor to outward acts of sin in our lives. As it was stated by the apostle Paul in his letter to the early church in Rome, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” [Rom. 3:23] None of us are therefore exempt from the in-born sin nature inherited through Adam’s fall in the garden. This was also written about by one of the other apostles when he stated, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” [1 John 1:8]
We have no doubt covered some controversial topics of our day therefore, let us close this Bible study on created male and female with a few concluding thoughts. Returning back to this week’s scripture, it now begs the question of where societal norms have progressed, or rather regressed? This Bible study is only intended to highlight the prevailing theme in scripture on how God created man and woman and how God ordained them through the bond of marriage.
The Bible is setting forth the standard for the union of marriage between a man and woman. This is evident even when scripture seeks to illustrate and instruct people on life within a marriage as references are always expressed in the context of a husband and wife. This is noted on countless occasions such as Eph. 5:22-23, 1 Cor. 7:2-11, Proverbs 12:4, Col. 3:18-19 just to name a few notable verses for this study on created male and female.
Prayer and Repentance
It is hopeful however for seekers of faith who have taken the time to read thus far in this Bible study that they will come to God in prayer, and consider coming to God in repentance; to seek wisdom from the Lord through his teaching and preaching, and to ultimately come to a place of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and find rest in him. It is God who cares for you [1 Pet. 5-7] it is God who loves you so much that he sent his only begotten Son to take your place as atonement for your sins [John 3:16].
This study ends with this plea because life in this world is often filled with setbacks and disappointments, confusion and uncertainty. It often has us searching for answers and the desire to define ourselves amidst a sea of confusing, influencing and mixed messages, where many have departed from having any sense of moral compass in life.
But God has a better plan and hope for you and his will is not for anyone to perish but for all to believe in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ for the atonement of their sins. Why not take some time this week to learn more about God’s calling for your life and to seek answers from the only one who lays claim to the words, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” For it is in him where our natural created identity is blessed beyond measure in leading a life worthy of his calling!
Bible Study Questions
- In this study on created male and female, fill in the blanks from Gen. 1:27, So God created man in his own __________, in the ________ of God created he him; _________ and _________ created he them.
- In Gen. 6:19, God commanded Noah to bring male and female of every living thing into the ark, true or false?
- For additional study, please consider reading the Bridegroom of the new Covenant from studyinfaith.com
- How do you personally reconcile the way the world is now viewing marriage, male and female identity in contrast to God’s way in the Bible?
- How do you think Christians need to be aware of how the world, media and culture work to shape opinions and beliefs even though they may be in conflict with God’s word?
- How do you think prayer and repentance can play into this in guiding people towards God’s calling for their lives?
- If there is someone with whom you know who could learn and benefit from this study, please consider sharing it with them.
WORD GUIDE – * (cleave – be loyal, faithful, remain true to) * (twain – older version of two) * (asunder – to separate) * (virgin – a common description of an unmarried woman from that period in time)