Help Meet, Not Domination
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).
The Hebrew word for help is ezer, which means “a strong rescuer.” God rescued Adam from his loneliness through the creation of Eve, whose purpose was to be Adam’s strength, rescuer, and support. God gave them a double mandate to exercise dominion over creation together, not over each other. They weren’t to dominate each other because they had equal authority. Adam and Eve had both been blessed, empowered, and charged to be fruitful and multiply. They were expected to take care of the garden, enjoy life, and fellowship with one another. God blessed them to operate together through mutual partnership, cooperation, and respect. They were given equal authority, and God created them in His own image and in His likeness.
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16).
Domination emerged after the fall of man due to sin. It opened the door for the husband to rule over the wife. As a consequence of Adam and Eve eating fruit from the forbidden tree, Eve turned toward her husband for what she really needed from God. Adam blamed God for his own violation of the commandment; he blamed Eve and told God that she made him eat, alienating and rejecting her. This is where we begin to see the deviation from God’s original plan for how man and woman relate to each other.
Their dominion was supposed to be over animals—the buffalo, the rhinoceros, etc.—never over each other. What happened? Sin happened. Bad decisions, bad choices happened, and as a result, hierarchy was established. Rank, power, and order were only experienced after the covenant with God was broken. There was no rank, domination, or hierarchy among humans up to that point. Adam and Eve were equal and cooperating together as co-leaders and co-creators.
Redemption came from the woman’s offspring. Jesus was born of a virgin woman whom we know as Mary. The birth of Jesus restored the concept of ezer as He became the “strong rescuer” for humanity. His power emerged to rescue us from being dominated by the enemy. His strength overpowered any sin or violence birthed in the garden after the fall. Hence, the woman’s destiny at creation, an equal partner with the man as co-creators and co-operators, continued to be her destined purpose with the compensatory arrival of Christ.
Jesus is the New-Testament ezer Who showed up to help and promised that He would not leave us helpless or comfortless. God also sent another ezer to live on the inside of us in case the residue of that dominion from the fall should show up again. Therefore, we have to trust the ezer called the Holy Spirit, rather than trust the legalism in the law.
Jesus came to restore what the enemy took in the Garden of Eden. He broke the restrictions that related to sons being more desired in Greek and Roman culture than daughters. Wives and daughters did not inherit from their husbands or fathers; women were second-class citizens. They were left to die after birth many times and were rarely part of social gatherings, but thank God for Jesus because He views us as equal once again! We are now back at having dominion over the animals, fowl, birds, and the earth jointly as male and female; we are not in dominion over one another. As a matter of fact, we are now joint-heirs with Christ!
“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17).