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The Strong Power in Every Woman

Reclaiming Eve's place in history means claiming our own

Let me be clear:

God could have used a Hebrew word meaning "female slave," but he didn't.

He might have used any of the Hebrew words meaning "wife," but he chose not to.

God offered a strong word used repeatedly in the Bible to describe how he comes through for his people in a time of desperate need.

There are only two options in translating the word ezer into English. Either the woman is a "strong helper" as God is a strong helper, or she is a "strong power." The full force of the original meaning of this verse might come out something like this: to end the loneliness of the single human, I will make another strong power, corresponding to it, facing it, equal to it. And the humans will be both male and female.

Put that on your next job application or medical form under occupation: I'm a strong power. For not only has God identified you as his image-bearer, but he also chose back in the garden of Eden to identify you as a strong power. Nowhere in these two primary keys that unlock your identity do we find a hint of female inferiority or a whiff of male superiority. Instead, we find the beauty of an interdependent relationship formed by a God of relationship.

Let that sink in for a moment. One woman I know so embraced her newfound identity as a strong power that it changed her perspective on life's challenges. While experiencing a no-good, very-bad day, she stopped in the middle of the supermarket and began singing: "I am an ezer, and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." And a female college student who heard the ezer message raised her hand to say that she had not planned to vote in an election, but the ezer message had changed her mind.

As the "strong power" was created from Adam's side, it became clear that Eve was not another animal, but was a perfect ally and companion. The creation account will soon draw to a close, but before it does, we witness the forming of Eve as God's ideal finishing touch.

What the Ezer Isn’t

After my initial tears and excitement over my discovery of the ezer, I began to wonder what it all meant. What made an ezer . . . an ezer? For just as this one word ties women everywhere together, our stark differences also remain. Only an imaginative God would create a woman such as Mother Teresa, who spent her heart and life on India's poor. He alone was the One who also created the Michele Bachmanns and the Hillary Clintons of the world, the homemakers extraordinaire, female secretaries and business executives, and the many women who serve as prominent and not-so-prominent church leaders. In this dizzying display of diversity, what exactly does it mean to be an ezer?

June26, 2014 at 8:00 AM

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