February 4, 2016
Man’s Best Friend
The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ (Genesis 2:18)
Friend to Friend
For thirteen years, our family was blessed with a golden retriever named Ginger. We gave her to our son, Steven, for Christmas when he was five-years-old and she still holds the blue ribbon as the best present ever. I can still remember the look of surprise on Steven’s cherub face when the “stuffed” animal began to move. “It’s a puppy!” he exclaimed. “It’s not a toy!”
And while Ginger was officially Steven’s dog, and I was unofficially her primary caretaker, it was my husband who held a special place in her heart. From the very beginning, Ginger loved my husband the best.
Ginger lollygagged her days away by sleeping in the driveway or lounging by the back stoop steps. However, when my husband’s car entered the neighborhood and turned the corner onto our shady Stratfordshire Drive, Ginger’s ears perked up and her eyes began to beam. Suddenly infused with a burst of anticipatory energy, she would jump to her feet and run in circles.
“He’s home! He’s home!” she seemed to say.
When Steve pulled into the garage and opened his car door, Ginger whined, ran to greet him and rested her head on his left leg while he cooed and rubbed her ears. Steve’s homecoming was the highlight of her day.
No wonder dog is called “man’s best friend.” Ginger was loyal, didn’t nag, and loved Steve no matter how much or how little attention he paid to her on any given day. She was very forgiving and almost immediately forgot any injustice such as withholding her dinner when we ate in her presence or being left behind when we traveled on vacation. Often at the mere sight of Steve, Ginger rolled over on her back and beckoned him to rub her tummy. She always responded to his touch like it was heaven on earth. What man wouldn’t love such a response from “his girl?”
And yet, when God created Adam and placed him in the garden, only to determine that “It is not good for man to be alone,” He did not create a dog to be his loyal companion. God created a woman to fill the void in his life.
She was called an ezer in the Hebrew – the original language of the Old Testament. Most Bible translations render the word ezer as “helper,” however, the word is packed with so much more meaning than a mere helper.
Author, Carolyn Custis James reveals the following:
“Ezer appears twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Twice in Genesis it describes the woman (Genesis 2:18,20). But the majority of references (sixteen to be exact) refer to God, or Yahweh, as the helper of his people. The remaining three references appear in the books of the prophets, who use it to refer to military aid. If language means anything, then ezer, in every case, is not a flunky or junior assistant but a very strong helper.”
We would be very remiss if we looked at the word ezer or helper in only domestic terms. Adam didn’t need someone to cook for him, clean up after him, or care for him. That was not the problem. The void in Adam’s life was that he did not have a companion to work with him, rule the earth with him, love with him, procreate with him, and after the fall – struggle with him. A dog might have been an easier adjustment for Adam, but God decided Adam needed someone with words.
As an ezer or a strong helper, how will we use our words? Will we use them to fortify or flatten, defend or defeat, complete or compete? The choice begins in our minds, runs through our hearts, and responds with our lips.
Married or not, you are still anezer. How will you use your words today?
Dear LORD, I so want to be a good ezer. I want to be a good helper and not a hindrance. Help me to use my words in a way that helps those around me be all that You have created them to be. Help me to speak life and not death – encouragement and not discouragement.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What do you think of when you hear the word “helper?”
Why do you think Adam needed a helper?
How have you been an ezer to your husband or someone else over the past week? (Not geezer, mind you. But ezer.)
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