When God created Adam in all his perfection–God declared that Adam alone was not enough–so God created a woman. God created both men and women in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but there is something unique about women. When God created Eve, God called her an “ezer kenegdo” which has been translated to mean many things including help mate–as though all a woman was created to do is carry a man’s water bucket.
According to Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, this term “ezer kenegdo” can also be translated “sustainer beside him” and is only used in twenty other places in the Old Testament (examples include Deut. 33:26, 29, Psalm 121:1-2, Psalm 20:1-2, Psalm 33:20 and Psalm 115:9-11). Every other time the Bible uses this term it refers to God Himself as a Lifesaver, so when woman was created in the image of God, she was created to be a lifesaver.
God’s enemy would squelch this lifesaver image of God inside a woman and has tried to limit her role to whatever selfish, sinful man throws at her. As you think of the Bible stories below consider how each woman had her part to play as an ezer kenegdo.
When God wanted someone to carry and nurture the human race–
God called a woman (Genesis 3:20).
When God wanted someone to protect and watch over baby Moses–
God called a young woman (Exodus 2).
When God wanted to preserve and train His future leader Moses–
God called a pagan woman (Exodus 2:10).
When God wanted someone to lead others with timbrels and dancing
to celebrate the victory at the Red Sea—
God called a woman (Exodus 15:20).
When God wanted to show He can use anyone–even prostitutes–
God called a woman (Joshua 2).
When God wanted to reveal His true prophet to the leper Naaman—
God called a young woman (2 Kings 5:1-19).
When God wanted to protect and nurture the seed of God
and the hope of the world –
God called a woman (Luke 1:29-38).
When God wanted to remove the custom of stoning
to reveal that His grace is greater than our sin–
God called a woman (John 8:1-12).
When God wanted to break the tradition
where only men could sit at a Rabbi’s feet–
God called a woman (Luke 10:39).
When God needed people to support Jesus financially–
God called many women (Luke 8:1-3).
When God wanted an evangelist to reveal the Messiah at Jacob’s Well–
God called a woman (John 4:28).
When God wanted to anoint Jesus
for the incredible work He was about to do–
God called a woman (Luke 7:38).
When God wanted to announce Christ’s resurrection to the world–
God called a woman (John 20).
God has not changed.
His character is the same through all times, traditions and places–
God still calls women today.
Do you see this woman? I came into your house.
You did not give me any water for my feet,
but she wet my feet with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but this woman,
from the time I entered,
has not stopped kissing my feet.
You did not put oil on my head,
but she has poured perfume on my feet…
Jesus said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”