Genesis 2:18. Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
The words God speaks in this verse are startling – It is not good. How could life in the garden of Eden be not good? All the beautiful plants, and curious animals. The adventures and sightseeing. And God. God was there. And somehow it was not good?* How?
Because Adam was alone.
Simply put, Adam by himself could not image God’s love. Love requires the giving and receiving of the self. Love requires sacrifice. And Adam’s sacrificial love needed someone to receive it. Someone on his own level. A helper fit for him.
What God does next is beyond amazing. He forms the apex of all creation. The pinnacle of beauty. And the satisfaction of Adam’s desire. Woman.
Anyone who thinks the Bible takes a low view of women needs to read and understand this verse. The woman is man’s helper. His ezer. This Hebrew word is most often used to describe God himself (Ex. 18:4). To be an ezer is to be protection, support, shield, deliverer, comfort, and strength in battle. An ezer offers you what you could never do on your own.
But there’s more. The woman is a helper fit for him. An ezer kenegdo. Kenegdo means “like and opposite.” Or “same but different.” It is the word that means “face to face,” denoting deep intimacy. David will use this word to describe his worship before the face of God.
Together ezer and kenegdo show us how incredible the woman is. She is equal to Adam but not interchangeable with Adam. She is his completion and his complement, not his competitor. Alone neither of them could truly love sacrificially. But together they can image the love of God and the fullness of the Trinity.
As if this isn’t all deep enough already, Paul will call the creation of the woman a profound mystery that is meant to reflect Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32). The bride of Adam was born from the violence of self-sacrifice. Adam was put to sleep and torn open so that Eve could come from his side. Eve existed in Adam. She was invisible until he was pierced by God. So too you and me, the church was hidden in Christ before the foundation of the world, and then born out of Jesus’ pierced side at the cross. Christ’s bride now eternally exists to complete his love. To be the receiver of his grace and power. To allow the man Jesus to fully image God by his sacrificial love for us. To hear his love sung over us just as Eve heard Adam’s love sung over her.
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
But Eve doesn’t only give us a picture of the church, she is also one of the clearest pictures of Christ. Christ is our ezer. Our helper. The seed of the woman brought to us by God to fulfill all that is lacking in us. To protect, support, shield, deliver, comfort, and strengthen us through his death on the cross. And by his resurrection to live his kenegdo life face to face with us. In us. Through us. Completing our sacrificial love as we live our lives for him. That’s “to live is Christ.”
It is not good for you to be alone. When have you felt alone recently?
You in Christ
How does knowing that Christ is your “face to face helper” bring you hope and joy today?
Christ in you
How can you purpose to sacrificially live in community today as Jesus did in order to image God’s love?
*How could it be not good in Genesis 2 if God called everything very good in Genesis 1? Because Genesis 2 is a retelling of Genesis 1. So Genesis 2:18 happened before Genesis 1:31.