Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eve (part 2)

*Again, all quotes are from Captivating unless otherwise specified.

"An Adventure to Share"

"Call it the Human Mission--to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice--the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. 'And God said to them...' Eve is standing right there when God give the world over to us." (pg. 31)

We women have just as much of a role to play in the story as Adam did. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. Men are not to dominate all, including us, we are to do things together. We are to share the adventure God gave us. I believe this is the reason why so many people long to find a significant other. We long to share our lives with someone else. To partake in an adventure together, to share in life's ups and downs, to laugh and cry with, to experience joys and pains with.

"When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo.....Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.'....Alter is getting close when he translates it 'sustainer beside him.' The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately." (pg. 31; references Deut. 33:26,29; Ps. 121:1-2; Ps. 20:1-2; Ps. 33:20; Ps. 115:9-11, note the words help or helper)

Note that only Eve & God are described with the word ezer. That's pretty significant. Women were created to fulfill a desperately needed role. Look at the phrase "sustainer beside him." Sustainer, one who sustains. (Here's a link for the various definitions of the word sustain. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Sustainer) There are many definitions, all of which work extremely well with the second half of the phrase, beside him. Meaning, next to him, not under him, not over, but beside. Quite literally, a helper, but in a greatly significant way. Eve was created to help provide for Adam, to encourage him, but also to withstand with him. Think about it, to withstand, to bear up under. Eve was created to bear up under hardships with Adam. Neither is meant to go it alone.

"Most of the contexts are life and death, by the way, and God is your only hope. Your ezer. If he is not there beside you...you are dead. A better translation therefore of ezer would be 'lifesaver.' Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart. You see, the life God calls us to is not a safe life....God calls us to a life involving frequent risks and many dangers. Why else would we need him to be our ezer? You don't need a lifesaver if your mission is to be a couch potato. You need an ezer when your life is in constant danger." (pg. 32)

Those living their lives in pursuit of God's will know just how dangerous life can be. We are called to live dangerously, not to sit idly letting life pass us by. Therefore, we need a "lifesaver counterpart." Ultimately that is God. Only He can save us from the dangers we face, for they are not always physical dangers, but spiritual ones.

"That longing in the heart of a woman to share life together as a great adventure--that comes straight from the heart of God, who also longs for this. He does not want to be an option in our lives. He does not want to be an appendage, a tagalong. Neither does any woman. God is essential. He wants us to need him--desperately. Eve is essential. She has an irreplaceable role to play. And so you'll see that women are endowed with fierce devotion, an ability to suffer great hardships, a vision to make the world a better place." (pg. 33)

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