When I ask my grandsons if they would like to be my “helper” in the garden, I am enlisting their help but I’m the one in charge. They will plant the seeds under my tutelage and supervision. I have a plan and I just need their manual labor.
When we read Genesis 2:18, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him,” our culture often assumes something on the same line.
However a search for the original use of the word “helper” in the Bible reveals something entirely different. The Hebrew word for helper is “ezer.” It is used twice when describing God’s creation of woman. It is used three times when Israel appealed for military help from other nations. And it was used 16 times in reference to God as our “help.” It is used of God as deliverer, rescuer and strength. God helps us in our helplessness.
This was God’s plan for woman. This is her calling. This is her identity. She is a warrior, willing to fight alongside man for what is good and just. She is his strength.
God’s intent was never that woman would perform menial, lesser jobs at the direction of man. She was created to serve alongside man. They were created to partner together as stewards of God’s creation. She was never inferior but was created equal.
Man and woman are both made in the image of God. But they are created differently, each uniquely designed to reflect God’s image in their own way. Together they fulfill a more compete reflection of Him. Woman would help where man lacked and he would help where she lacked.
I love what the Puritan, Matthew Henry, said, “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
Masculine domination does not exist in Genesis 2. If we are going to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven” we must choose to live Genesis 1 & 2 lives. We must fight for anything that promotes the resemblance of the Garden in these first two chapters of the Bible.
It is dangerous when the church allows culture to define truth. The value system of the world differs radically from God’s values. We are called to renounce the ways of the world system, not conform to them. The world values power, authority and domination but the Christian declares, “Jesus’s name is above every name. He has all power, authority and dominion over my life.” Our lives are to be shaped by God, who God says we are, and His desires for His kingdom to rule on this earth.
Regarding this topic, we cause damage to God’s plan for His kingdom in two ways that come to my mind. (I’m sure the destruction reaches further.)
1. If women are not allowed to serve alongside man, we deny her the calling God has placed upon her life. She is not allowed to do the things God has equipped and prepared for her. Woe to anyone who steps in the way of God’s plans.
2. Too much burden is placed upon man. He was never created to master this life with woman as his servant. He wasn’t created to have all the answers and make all the decisions by himself. He wasn’t created to fight battles by himself. It’s too, too much. And besides that, he needs a woman’s valuable perspective. He was created differently. Woe to anyone to who places impossible expectations upon men.
God’s ways are so much easier. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Why do we make it so hard when there is already enough trouble in this world? Why struggle against one another when we are created to support one another?
Question to ponder:
When have I allowed the world to describe male and female roles? When have I promoted God’s description?
When do I promote life as God gave us in Genesis 2?