Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Head & A Help

The following is part of the book, Why Adam Cannot Be Saved, whose sections can be accessed here.

Man’s Relationship with Woman 

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18

Unlike some believe, woman being a "help" for man was not a product of the fall. This was God’s original design for her.

When it comes to the solution for man’s loneliness and the appropriate mate for him, God is not ambiguous. Woman was created specifically for this purpose. The woman is the help which is “meet” (fit or worthy) for the man.
help: (ezer) One who helps or succours
for him: (neged) Against, parallel to, opposite
When God saw this need in man’s life, He did not decide that it would be good for man to have a maid. Rather, He saw the need for one who would offer man strength in his areas of weakness and complement him in a way that no other creature could (Genesis 2:20). In a similar way, Scriptures indicate that God serves such a purpose for mankind; He is our "ezer" (help).

Being a help “meet” for man therefore illustrates how woman was purposefully designed for him.  The Hebrew word neged implies that which is “against” another, but its use here is not in an adversarial way. Physically and spiritually, God made woman so that she would be a complement to man. Together they would form a symbiotic relationship, like two puzzle pieces fitting together, each having a particular set of strengths from which the other would benefit.

These distinctions would prove vital in the roles God determined each to fulfill: the man being the head and the woman being his help.  As there was an established order to be preserved between man and the earth, there was also an order between the man and the woman.

Just as Adam’s naming the animals denoted his being in authority over them, so did Adam’s naming of the woman. As God presented her to the man, Adam called her ishshah (woman) because she came "out from man" (Genesis 2:23). In this act, Adam claimed Eve as his own and identified her as being part of himself.

Another way Adam’s headship can be seen in the creation story is in how God communicated His commands about life in the Garden. We see in Genesis 2:16-17 that God gives these instructions before the woman was even created. Yet it is clear that Adam was expected to pass them on to Eve, and had done so (Genesis 3:2-3). Further, when they both fell into sin, God came to Adam for an accounting of what happened, even though it was Eve who had been deceived.

The authority that comes from God will always bear His signature; it will be patriarchal in nature because such reflects & reinforces His image. In establishing His authority in this way, He continually brings our eyes back to Him as our source and our Father.

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23

The world is quick to say how without a woman, there would be no man. Yet Scripture says that the woman is of the man, and not the other way around (I Corinthians 11:8-9).

It is also significant that Eve was taken from Adam’s ribs. The ribs provide one main function: they offer protection for the heart & lungs. Both are critical to sustaining the life of the body, yet the nature of their work requires that they be soft, delicate, and pliable...even while being amongst the most resilient organs in the body.  Their strength then is not in outward appearance, but is an inner strength.

Understanding the functional purpose that these delicate organs serve and how vital their work is to the health of the body, it is clear to see why God - in His infinite wisdom - encased the heart and lungs under the protection of the ribs. This is a parallel to who woman is and what she does...and why God in His wisdom placed her under the authority of the man.

God designed woman with the primary purpose of her carrying and supporting life…in all areas.  The Hebrew word for Eve is chavvah which means "life". The woman can physically nurture and give birth to life, but she is also designed to be a spiritual life-giver. The very spirit a woman walks in can either build up a home or work to destroy it (Proverbs 14:1, 19:4, 21:9, 31:11-12; Psalms 128:3a; I Peter 3:1-2). Although the woman is referred to as the “weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7), God did not create woman to be without strength. Her strength is manifested in her virtue (Ruth 3:11; Proverbs 12:4, 31:10).
virtue: (chayil) Strength, might, efficiency, wealth, force, army.
While being equally created before God, man and woman were designed to serve different roles in God's creation.  As the head, man was expected to watch over and protect the woman who was specifically made to complement him as his help.



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