It Is Not Good For Man To Be Alone

By:  Richard Marks, PhD

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “Well, you know. When it comes right down to it, all I really need is God.” I have heard Christians use phrases like this for years. I used to think to myself, “When can I get to that point, Lord? I want to get to where all I need is you.” Then, one day, the Lord showed me that the reason I could never have that prayer answered is because He does not answer prayers that are not based on truth. What do I mean you ask?   It is my contention that the Scripture does not teach that we only need God.

Think about this for minute. If it is sufficient for someone to need only God in their life, and they live in a fallen world, then why was it not sufficient for Adam? Remember, in the Garden of Eden (before Eve), Adam lived in a perfect world where he possessed everything. He also had an exalted position. What I mean by this is that Adam was in charge of Creation, he was its manager. Now, one more important point: Adam was with God. He walked with God in the Garden. He was not by himself. So, when God tells Adam in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for man to be alone, Adam must have been confused. After all, Adam is not alone, he is with God. So, how can someone be with God and alone at the same time? Adam had to have wondered as well. 


Right after God told Adam that it was not good to be alone; Adam is sent about the task of naming the animals. Can you imagine coming up with the name Elephant! It is through the process of naming the animals, that Adam comes to the realization that there was not another one “like him.” At the moment Adam realized that there was not another one like him, Adam felt alone.   Thus, human aloneness has nothing to do with marital status, or being with God, it has to do with whether or not we are walking intimately with God and others. 


Intimacy is God’s remedy to human aloneness. When Adam saw God bringing Eve to him, he no longer felt the aloneness. It was gone. Intimacy had replaced that sense of incompleteness and disconnectedness. Adam and Eve would not feel the aloneness again until after their rebellion. Remember, God said it was not good that man should be alone, not that it was not good for man to be single. There are many Christians who are married and deeply alone in their relationship. Accordingly, there are many single adults who have close intimate friendships and relationships and do not struggle with being alone.


Just what does it take for intimacy? What does an intimate relationship look like? I think the Old Testament can help us out here. There are three Hebrew words in the Old Testament that are all translated as “intimate” in the English language. The first of these is the Hebrew word, “Yada.” This word is found in the book of Job where Job says that his intimate friends had forsaken him. The word “Yada” speaks of a deep sense of knowing. Intimate relationships require us to want to know others beyond a surface level, but to a deeper, more intimate level. When you dated your mate, what you did not realize was that you asked a lot of questions in order to get to know them better. You wanted to know how their day went, what they felt, and how things in their life affected them. You also sought to know what makes them feel loved, special, accepted, as well as what brought them pleasure and pain. Isn’t it interesting that we stop wanting to know things about our mates as the years roll along.


The second Hebrew word is “Sod.” This word translated “intimate” speaks of self-disclosure or making one’s Self known: to reveal, to disclose. God discloses Himself to mankind in many ways, the greatest being that he revealed Himself to us in the person of His Son, Jesus.   Proverbs 3 tells us that God is intimate with the upright; in other words, He discloses Himself with the upright. God revealed much of his personal side with Moses, David, Hosea, and Solomon. The word of God tells us in John 1:14 that the Word became flesh and lived among us. What a disclosure! If you want to do Yada (to know deeply) that would require another to do Sod (share of themselves).


But just wanting to know things about your mate or others and self-disclosing is not sufficient. Let me explain. Let’s say I come home from work and I do some “Yada:” “Honey, how was your day today?” She discloses to me (Sod), “Well, it has been a rough day. The kids have been difficult and our oldest is in trouble with her grades. I don’t know what to do and just feel hopeless.” I then reply, “Well, sorry to hear that. I hope you get over it.” WHAT? Can you see it? If that was my response I can guarantee it that she and I would not develop, over time, a close and intimate relationship. Why? 


The answer lies in the third Hebrew word translated as “intimate” in the English language. This third word speaks to the motivation behind why one would do Yada and Sod. This is the Hebrew word “Sakan” and it is found in Psalm 139:3. Here we are told that God is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. What the real meaning is that God is caringly involved in all our ways. This Hebrew word means, “beneficial or caring involvement.” In other words, the reason I share of myself (Sod) and desire to know the hearts of others (Yada) is because I care and it is this care that motivates me to be involved (Sakan). God cares. And the fact that he is a caring God motivates Him to be involved in all our ways, to want to know us, and further motivates Him to reveal himself to us. 


Healthy, intimate relationships require all three Hebrew words being actively engaged in the relationship on an ongoing basis. Everyday, I contact my wife by phone because I want to know how she is and want to share with her what I am doing. Why? I care. I love her. She is my precious jewel sent from the Father. Furthermore, daily God wants to know me and wants me to share myself, my thoughts, feelings, and opinions, with Him. Why? He cares.


Let’s get some Sakan in our lives do some Yada and Sod daily. Blessings.