“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18 NLT
The word used as “helper” in Genesis 2:18 is “Ezer”. It doesn’t mean “assistance” or “subordinate”. This same word “ezer” was used sixteen times in the Old Testament to refer to God as our helper, which is the role of the Holy Spirit. So, the woman isn’t a “maid”, “house help” or even a vice-head of the home, she is the POWERFUL HELP!
The English word “help” does not fully describe what the Bible was saying. “Ezer” means “sustenance” which indicates the role of the woman as the one who sustains humanity or family as the case may be. Moses named one of his sons “Eliezer” which means “God (Eli) my helper”. It doesn’t mean that God is our assistant or subordinate, he sustains us! Moses named his son with that name after God delivered him from Pharaoh in a mighty way. This is the kind of help the woman is. We have so much undermined the word “help” when it refers to the woman that we have also undermined the woman.
It is common to see men treat their women with contempt and use words like “she is meant to serve me, God made them helpers after all”. This is because they do not understand who the woman is, they are ignorant. Some women also think so about themselves because they are ignorant. Yes, societal equality is important where everyone is treated equally and given an equal opportunity but the woman is superior in all ramifications because God designed her so.
It is not always about physical strength. This explains why some kings are so powerful but without physical strength. Have you seen a powerful king before? His power is in his influence not necessarily in his strength. He has able-bodied men who are physically stronger than him to protect him, they are macho men weighing several pounds, carrying sophisticated weapons but bowing at the presence of the king! Yet, they are strong men!
You see, the woman is a powerhouse, there is no point arguing otherwise. Humanity depends on them and until they have a say, things will keep crumbling. Israel needed the intervention of a woman to manifest! Yes, Isaac loved Esau, Isaac preferred Esau but God preferred Israel (Jacob) and used a woman (Rebecca), to bring about his emergence.
When we talk about the salvation of man, God needed a woman, not a man! It was also the woman through him the saviour of the world came. When Joseph was looking at the fragile-looking beauty queen, Mary, he wouldn’t have imagined she was a powerful woman, the one through whom the saviour of mankind would come.
No matter how you try to silence a woman, she is the amplifier of humanity and will always become loud. It is this powerful word “ezer”, the same word used to show how powerfully God has helped his people, that the woman was referred to as, at the beginning of humanity.
What the Holy Spirit is to believers is what the woman is to her husband… Helper! The woman is the revelation of the Holy Spirit’s role in the life of believers. When women become conscious of this, they will do better and when men become conscious of this, they will treat women with great honour.
Back to Genesis 2:18, God said “a helper who is just right for him”. There was no place God said “a helper who would assist him” neither was there any place the woman was made to be inferior or subordinate to the man. They were designed to be equal partners hence the word “…right for him”. No place in Genesis do we find God dictating how the woman is meant to help her man, nowhere do we see God suggesting inequality. While their roles appear very different, it didn’t suggest a boss-servant relationship.
In Genesis 1, God didn’t hand the world over to the man, he handed it over to humankind which includes the female. We read in Genesis 1 that God already made humanity and in Genesis two we see how they were made to manifest physically. Let’s read:
“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:26 NLT
Some Bible versions use the word “man” but what God implied was human and not the male folk just as “man shall not live by bread alone” isn’t referring only to the male folks. So, God didn’t only bless the man, he blessed the woman too. The next verse reveals this:
“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NLT
This is very clear, God created both the male and female in his image. The first chapter of Genesis presents what humanity should look like as a community, it is a community where the man and the woman are equal with regards to opportunities, leadership and all there is to the community. This means that a woman can get to the highest height that she wants to get in the society, she is not answerable to men.
In Genesis 2, we see God creating a family. He has designed the community and set a standard. It is a standard where everyone has a say, where no human was asked to dominate another. So, in creating the family, God made the man first as the leader of the home and brought forth the woman as the one who sustains the home. In the home, as believers understand it, the man takes up the reins of leadership with his wife. In an aeroplane, there could be two pilots but there must be someone who is the leader and that is how it is in the family.
The family is like an organisation, it must have a leadership structure for it to be very effective. It doesn’t place the man in the position of a boss, it doesn’t place him in a position where he becomes superior to his wife. No, it is simply an office, an office of leadership which Jesus modelled for us, a leadership style where the leader is a servant just as Jesus said
“The greatest among you must be a servant.” Matthew 23:11 NLT
I call you blessed.