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"Today's Word" with Skip Moen

Devotional for June 24

"I will make him a helper suitable for him" Genesis 2:18

Helper - The Hebrew word is ezer. There were many choices for the correct word to use in this verse about God's decision to make a woman. The Bible could have used "woman", "wife", "female" or something else. But God chose the word ezer. This is quite an unusual choice. First, the word is masculine gender. Like most Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian), nouns are either masculine or feminine, even if they are about tables and chairs. Here, the noun is masculine but it is about "woman". Isn't that odd? Secondly, this same noun is used to describe God's relationship to Israel. God is the helper of His chosen people. Finally, other uses of this word in the Bible give the sense of "save from danger", "deliver from death" and "succor". The context shows that this word carries the idea of help from one who is a helper because of superior strength. In fact, the etymology of this word suggests someone who has superior military strength. What a difference it makes to realize that God saw woman as the stronger one.

God is so clever. Here, at the creation of "woman", he taught us that she is the one who will be our strength, who will deliver and save us. Moreover, by using the masculine noun, God tells us that she is exactly like men completely equal. Finally, God reminds us that she plays the same role with men as He does with Israel the protector and provider. All of this is buried in one small word.

Since it is clear that God created woman to perform such wonderful functions for man, how did we ever come to act as though women were not equal, were not important or were not to be respected? It is a grave sin to carry such beliefs. God never endorsed any of those lies. God created the prefect match for a man. Now we realize that part of the curse of sin is the collapse of this intended relationship. Sin displaces the woman's role as the superior helper.

It's so easy in the fallen world to employ the lie that women should be under rule of men. There is a proper relationship but it is not subjugation. Do the women in your life know that you see them as God sees them helpers, providers and protectors? Today would be a good day to let them know that God made them perfectly.

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"Today's Word" devotional, from Skip Moen . © 2008 is used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 24th, 2017
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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