Genesis 2:18a – Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone…”
Such seemingly casual comments are sometimes surprisingly consequential. The above observation by God was made some time following the man’s creation shortly after which God made a companion for the man. That was the first of all human relationships. Human relationship, of one sort or another, instantly became a powerful driving force behind many of mankind’s activities and actions – for both good and evil.
It is something of a mystery as to why God provided us with the capacity for relationships in just the way they are. Many of our emotions and associated actions (love, hate, friendship, jealousy, envy, dominance, submission etc.) exist only because there are other humans. Of course humans can direct some relationship feelings toward God himself, but I think those feelings are somewhat different than similarly named feelings between humans. (I might speculate that that difference is part of the rationale for the necessity of Christ.)
Relationships appear to be heavily influenced by proximity. We feel differently about those we are physically near than those who are distant.
We humans are never alone in the sense that we have relationships both with one another and with God, but we are, in fact, each quite alone in another sense. We cannot directly share our experiences with one another. We cannot, for example, take upon ourselves the pain of another person and thereby gain an understanding of that person’s suffering. Nor can we take another person’s pain and thereby relieve them of it. We can, however, have some understanding of another person’s pain if we have personally experienced that pain. But empathy is not the same as actually experiencing or assuming the pain of another person.
All our feelings, experiences and emotions work the same way. No one else can experience this kind of ‘aloneness’. As humans each of us is born one by one. We live our lives individually. We eat, sleep and breathe as individuals. We pray and worship individually. Eventually our physical bodies each die individually and separately. No matter how many people are around us, we find ourselves in each of these matters as separate persons. No other human can do those things for us.
In the same sense, we stand alone in our prayer, worship, meditation and judgment before God. But our simple, physical forms are not completely limiting. God directly shares each and every one of our experiences, emotions and feelings. When we ask sincerely He can (and often does) take upon Himself each of those things and can relieve the petitioner. The closer we are to Him (proximity) the more easily and frequently that can happen. I wonder if God Himself also shares the experiences of each of our judgments?
BTW: I have expanded on the concept of aloneness in my book “Worshiping Alone”. If you have read the book, please go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a comment (click on rating stars). If you haven’t yet read it, please order a copy, read it, then leave a comment.
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