The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’ (Genesis 2:18, NIV).
Friend to Friend
“In the beginning…”
Those three little words are pregnant with anticipation, and God does not disappoint. Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God said, “Let there be,” and there was.
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6). God decorated the sky with the sun, moon, and stars, separated the seas from the land, scattered seed of every kind in the soil, and released flocks of birds into the sky, swarms of insects into the air, and schools of fish into the sea. On the sixth day, God created all the creeping animals. And He wrapped up His work with a masterful flourish.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Then, as if the writer really wanted us to fully grasp what transpired during the first week of the earth’s existence, he picked up his pen and told the story again. In Genesis 2:4, he starts over: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.”
This time when the writer got to the part about God creating man, he interjected God’s musing after He formed Adam and breathed the breath of life into his lungs. God sat back, considered the lone male, and decided, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
This is where you come in.
“I will make a helper suitable for him,” God declared.
So God set out to fashion His final masterpiece. The crowning touch of His creation. Woman.
Up to this point in the creation account, we have no recorded words from Adam. However, when he laid eyes on the fair Eve, I imagine he said, “Now this is good!” His exact words were, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). Woman—the inspiration of man’s first poetry and the grand finale of God’s creative genius.
Let’s back up, replay the scene, and take a look at one particular word God used in the creation account. God said, “I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). The Hebrew word translated here as “helper” in reference to the woman is ezer. This term is derived from a Hebrew word used of God and the Holy Spirit: azar. Both mean “helper”—one who comes alongside to aid, assist, or rescue. The ESV Study Bible notes that the“helper” is one who supplies strength in the area that is lacking in “the helped.”
Ezer appears twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Two times it is used of the woman in Genesis 2, and sixteen times it is used to describe God or Yahweh as the helper of His people. The remaining three references appear in the books of the prophets, referring to military aid. Interestingly the sixteen times the word ezer is used of God, it also carries military connotations.
“O Lord, be my helper,” David cried (Psalm 30:10 nasb). “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of the Pharaoh,” Moses proclaimed (Exodus 18:4). Clearly, the word ezer suggests a role of great honor. It is a portrait of great strength.
Theologian William Mounce painted a poignant picture:
With so many references to God as our helper, it is obvious that an ezer is in no way inferior to the one who receives help. This is important because this is the word that God uses in Gen. 2:18, when he says about Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God then forms Eve as his ezer. According to God’s design, therefore, the man and the woman, the husband and the wife, have been designed by God to stand together and help each other fight the battles of life. And God is there as the divine ezer to fight with them.
I was surprised to discover that even the Proverbs 31 woman, this woman who has been showcased as a godly role model for centuries, was referred to in military terms. “An excellent wife, who can find?” the passage begins. “Her worth is far above jewels” (Proverbs 31:10, nasb).
The New International Version calls her “a wife of noble character.” The Amplified Bible describes her as “a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman.” The Hebrew word that is translated “excellent” or “virtuous” can also mean “wealthy, prosperous, valiant, boldly courageous, powerful, mighty warrior.”
Did you catch that? Mighty warrior.
And here’s some more good news. You can be an ezer whether you are married or single. You are called to be an intercessor, or one who battles on your knees in prayer. You don’t even have to wear army boots, but can be a warrior in cute shoes.
So suit up! Power up! You are a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—a valiant, boldly courageous, powerful, mighty warrior. And I’m so glad to be doing life alongside someone like you!
Lord, I pray the Holy Spirit will empower me to be a valiant warrior today. Show me who I need to pray for. Whether it is the person in my office, the woman I pass on the street, or the man in the grocery store, show me what to pray and when to pray. I’m suited up and ready.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Open your Bible and read Ephesians 6:10-18 and be reminded about the armor we are to wear each and every day.
It you’re suited up and ready for battle, click over to my Facebook page and leave a message that says “I’m suited up and ready!”
More from the Girlfriends
I am so excited about my latest book that is hot off the press: Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Daily Guide to Scripture-Based Prayer. In it I map out sixteen landmarks to help wives consistently and effectively cover their husbands in prayer from his mind and the thoughts he thinks, to his eyes and the images he sees, all the way down to his feet and the path he takes. The 30-day prayer guide shows women how to pray in ways that are powerful, practical, and life-changing. Not married? This book is a great resource to use to pray for any man in your life…including adult sons, nephews, and that special someone.
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