Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Made In God's Image, as a Female Part 5: Interdependent Ezers

This will be my last entry regarding how women uniquely bear the image of their Creator. That is, until God reveals more to me, which I think He will:)

Let's recall the creation of the first man and the first woman together. Genesis 1 reveals to us how God, being a Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit, said: Let us make man in our image...and let them rule...over all the earth. So God created man in his own image...male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it. When we read on to Genesis 2, we learn a more detailed account of creation: There was no man to work the earth God made until He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground. He put Adam in the garden to care for it. Then God said that it is not good for the man to be alone, and He would make an "Ezer" for the man. So He formed all sorts of animals out of the ground and brought them to the man. Adam named them, but none of them met his needs. None of the animals was the Ezer for Adam. So God caused Adam to sleep, and removed one of his ribs while he slept. That rib God fashioned into a woman, and brought her to the man. Adam finally had what he so desired and called Eve bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.

In your Bible, the Hebrew word "Ezer" is probably translated as "helper". And I think that translation is fine, as long as we understand just what it means to be a "helper". As women, God made us to be helpers, yes. But what do you think of when you picture your design as a helper? What kind of help are we speaking of?

Did you know that a woman is a helper the same way God is our helper? It is true. Here is another aspect in which God and women share characteristics. Here is another way we bear the image of God. Just as He is an "Ezer", we are an "Ezer". "The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God Himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately." (Captivating) Here are some scriptures in which God is said to be our help, or our ezer:

"He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword." (Deut. 33:29b)

"I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Ps. 121:1-2)

"We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our help and our shield." (Ps. 33:20)

The following revelations are from the book Ruby Slippers:

An Ezer delivers: "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh." (Exodus 18:4)

An Ezer is a warrior: "Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people; Let his hands be sufficient for him, And may you be a help against his enemies." (Deut. 33:7)

An Ezer supports: "May He send you help from the sanctuary and support you from Zion." (Psalm 20:2)

Ezer delivers the afflicted and needy: "But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer, O Lord, do not delay." (Psalm 40:5)

Ezer gives hope: "How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God." (Psalm 146:5)

"Woman is Man's Ezer- she is a delivering, warring, supporting, shielding, capable, and vibrant female image bearer of God. What about putting those words in our Bible's margin to refresh our understanding of helper?" (Ruby Slippers)

Now I hope all my readers have a better understanding of a woman's "helper" design. It is a powerful, vital part of her soul. Eve was right there with Adam when God told them to "rule" the earth and "subdue" it. Both man and woman are made for dominion.

"Have you ever wondered why the Cinderella story keeps haunting us?...Why is this notion of a hidden princess (and a prince who comes to find her) so enduring? Is there something in our hearts that is trying to speak to us? Is it just a fantasy, escapism? Or is it something more?...We are reminded of Pascal's metaphor, that our unmet longings and unrequited desires are in fact 'the miseries of a dethroned monarch.' Mankind is like a king or queen in exile, and we cannot be happy until we have recovered our true state. What would you expect the Queen of a kingdom and the beauty of a realm to feel when she wakes to find herself a lundress in a foreign land? A woman's struggle with her sense of worth points to something glorious she was designed to be. The great emptiness we feel points to the great place we were created for. It's true. All those legends and fairy tales of the undiscovered princess and the beauty hidden as a maid are more accurate than we thought. There's a reason girls resonate with them so." (Captivating)

We were created as Ezers, and an Ezer is vital. She is needed.

And we not only are needed, but we like the fact that we are needed. We want to be needed. Somewhere deep down, we know that we were created to fill a need. And thus, most women are very relational, or what can be termed "interdependent" (term taken from Ruby Slippers).

"Because I am interdependent...I desire to be needed by others. Relationships provide the means for me to understand my past, my goals, my character, my work, and my methods, and I emotionally want that." (Ruby Slippers)

Think about the beginning of creation again. Eve was created because it was not good for the man to be alone. She was not only created for another, but she was created from another. All else was created out of the dust of the ground, but not Eve. She was created from another human, the man. This alone reveals something amazing.

"Her first experience and environment was with another. She glided from life with God (he made her while man was asleep, bringing her to him) into a comradeship with Adam. She experienced human interaction soon after her creation. She exists and immediately is known. The first words Eve hears is the language of another loving her back. She awakens to be needed and loved. She lives and is quickly united to another. There are no long hours of naming and waiting and feeling alone." (Ruby Slippers)

Is it no wonder that women are such relational humans then?

"Man's love is of man's life a thing apart; 'Tis a woman's whole existence." (Byron)

"The interdependence that colors our souls is when our identity emerges from within our intimacy, when we see ourselves as 'me in a relationship' rather than 'me as autonomous'." (Ruby Slippers)

So women tend to be interdependent, relational to their core humans. Looking at the creation of Eve, we can understand why. But is there more to this? Do we reveal something of the character of God through our interdependence? Is this another way we are made in His image?

Remember the Trinity.

God has always been three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They always had each other. Neither was ever one alone. And their identity was always connected with the others in the Godhead.

"Eve is like God in that she knew life in relationship and love; she was never a lone human. Like God, Eve experienced identity with another who was equal to her." (Ruby Slippers)

"As echoes of the Trinity, we are relational to the core..." (Captivating)

"Christianity dignifies interdependence. It is the only religion that offers interdependence in the very nature of God...His identity is forged from his intimacy more than the most interdependent...woman....When women depend on each other, we are smaller pictures of the Trinity...If we ever wonder if our interdependence is essentially weakness, we need only look to God...We are like God when we engage in identity making relationships." (Ruby Slippers)

How else does a woman's relational nature speak to us something of God? What does it reveal?

"Most women define themselves in terms of their relationships, and the quality they deem those relationships have. This is not a weakness in women- it is a glory. A glory that reflects the heart of God. The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God's vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships." (Captivating)

"We are just small souls compared to God and can only handle a small portion of His soul characteristics. God is 'bigger', so He can handle more good, more love, more intimacy, more choices, more emotions." (Ruby Slippers)

"So God endows woman with certain qualities that are essential to relationship, qualities that speak of God. She is inviting. She is vulnerable. She is tender. She embodies mercy. She is also fierce and fiercely devoted...Our God is a tenderhearted God who yearns for relationship with us. If you have any doubt about that, simply look at the message he sent us in woman." (Captivating)

A woman reveals something of God's nature on earth through her relational gifts. She reveals that God desires relationships with us. God is relational to His core. She also reveals that God has an amazing capacity for relationships, one we cannot fully understand. But through woman, we can get a better picture of it. A woman's soul is often able to enjoy vast relationships- she desires them and has the capacity for vast intimacy. Now, if her soul is just a small picture of God's soul...then, wow. His soul can handle so much more love and intimacy than hers. His desire for relationships is much greater than hers. His capacity for intimacy is much deeper than hers. We cannot even fathom his soul's capacities! But Woman gives us an idea of how God's soul can be with all of us, always, and how He loves us all intimately, not just as "the world".

Here is a wonderful sentence to sum up an Ezer: "We were made to be a part of a great adventure. An adventure that is shared. We do not want the adventure merely for adventure's sake but for what it requires of us for others. We don't want to be alone in it; we want to be in it with others." (Captivating)


lisi said...

so beauty!!!full!!
thanks for taking time to write this, esther.. i love how god created us, as women,,, as his plan for humanity..
he saved us from ourselves and chose to give us his qualities and beauty.. so love that!
you are so sensitive, and beautiful!
love you and i thank god for you, lis

Esther Ruth said...

Thank you Lisette! I am so glad that those truths spoke to you also...love you!

Amy said...

One of the things that was a new revelation to me after reading Captivating was that as women, we hold a piece of God that men do not.
The church is so masculine, you know?? And at time, the feminine heart is minimized and put to the side. It's sad, because there is such a huge function in the body for women... the nurturing, feminine aspect of God...

It's isn't mentioned much, but I thought this was really interesting... the Holy Spirit, whenever it is mentioned in Hebrew and Greek, it is a feminine noun. Isn't that interesting??

Hugs.. Amy

Mommy said...

Esther, I agree with Lisette. That is beautiful! ♥

It's just sad that the world doesn't realize all of this; and alot of Christian men. :(


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