BACK TO EDEN
Woman: Man's Helper or Slave?
By David Eckman, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Kesed Seminars
-- Many men and, sadly, some women think that God intended
women to be flunkies. In Genesis 2, when God provides a helper
for Adam, He used a glorious Hebrew word for helper: azer.
"Then the Lord God said, 'It is not a beneficial thing for the
man to be alone. I will make for him an azer who is his complement
or equal.'" In Hebrew, azer is used 19 times; mostly it
is used to denote humanity's great helper. The word means a "helper
like unto God." God paid a compliment to women with this word.
The same word is used in Psalms, where it says, "O Israel, trust
in the Lord, for He is their Helper and shield" (Psalm 115:9).
The term is always used to describe someone who brings significant
help and often not as someone who delivers another from some great
dilemma. When the ancient Hebrew speaking Israelite heard the
term used to describe Eve, he would have been impressed. He would
have thought of women, therefore, as a God-like gift from God.
Women are viewed in the Bible as wonderful gifts. Genesis 1 is
clear that men and women are equal because both are in the image
of God. "Let us make humanity in our image, according to our likeness,
in order that they might rule over the fish of the sea, the birds
of the air, and over the beasts, and over the earth," says Genesis
1:26. Because both share God's image, they were to share the responsibility
Genesis 1:28 says that God blessed them for their mission of governing and
filling the earth. When women and men become Christians, a similar but profoundly
richer blessing is given. In Ephesians 1:3, men and women in Christ are the
recipients of every spiritual blessing in the upper Heavens, where God dwells.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us
with every spiritual blessing in the Upper Heavens." If the text in the Old
Testament, Genesis 1:28, is combined with what is in the New Testament, Ephesians
1:3, we have a blessing that first was given in the sphere of the earth, and
then with the work of Christ, it is extended through the skies to included
Heaven itself. God intends good for women and men through the work of Christ.
Women and men are also equal in worth, for Christ died for both. Romans 5:8
states, "But God recommends His own passionate love toward us, in that while
we were continually sinning, Christ died for us." The genders are different,
but not different in worth. Worth is determined by what the buyer wants to
give for the desired possession. In this case, God was willing to give a Son
Men and women are equal in creation, reign, blessing, and worth. God values
people, and people have to realize the value He places upon them. Indeed,
Jesus Christ is an equal opportunity sufferer for both genders. Whenever we
begin to feel worthless, ashamed, or guilty, we should shift to how He values
His children, both women and men.
David Eckman is the co-founder and senior lecturer for Kesed Seminars, a non-profit
organization dedicated to introducing people to Gods loyal love. The organization
name, Kesed, comes from the Hebrew word for loyal love. Kesed Seminars is a
seminar and training team that works with Campus Crusade, churches, denominations,
schools, and other parachurch organizations to bring spiritual transformation
to their constituencies. Dr. Eckman and his wife, Carol, have been married for
30 years and have two children.
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