Psalm 146: Help!

Read Psalm 146.

When I think about the verses in Scripture that cause new Bible readers to trip and stumble, there is a notorious offender, early in Genesis, that comes to mind. It has nothing to do with God creating the world in six days or the talkative serpent loose in the garden, though those passages have given some readers pause. I’m talking about Genesis 2:18: “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

Of course, that “helper” turned out to be Eve, the first woman and “the mother of all the living” (3:20). With our modern sensibilities, we just can’t seem to nod along in agreement as we read that the fairer sex was designed to be the help. In my mind’s eye, I see outdated images of women in the kitchen preparing food, out of sight, while the men sit comfortably in the living room, talking about serious things, drinks in hand. I think of an office where the name plate on every office door reveals a man’s name; the only women to be found are there to do the typing and answer the phones.

Is this the natural order of things? Is this what God intended when He created Eve to be Adam’s helper? I don’t think so.

There’s a lot of weight our English word helper carries on its back, but it’s not really there with its Hebrew counterpart. In fact, the Hebrew term ‘ezer is only ever used to describe two individuals in the Old Testament. One is Eve; the other is God Himself. In Psalm 146, we read, “Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God” (v. 5).

There’s nothing subservient or inferior about God. He’s not there to do the menial tasks we don’t want to handle or make sure our coffee cup never runs empty. That He is our help indicates something lacking in us, not Him. The same is true with Eve. She wasn’t created to be less than Adam. God brought her to the man because of his need, his incompleteness.

That’s saying something, isn’t it? Adam was living in a world without want or brokenness, free to walk in a garden of delights with God Almighty, and yet God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). In the good world God created, there was something missing, and it was Eve.

True greatness and honor come wrapped in humility. It’s the opposite of what this world expects, and so we bristle at words like help. But remember, Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26–28).

In Psalm 146, the greatness of God is put on display as He helps those who cannot help themselves. “He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them” (v. 6), and yet “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry” (v. 7). The Lord is our example, and we are to bear His image. So, as we follow Jesus, life can’t be about chasing comfort or prestige; we must ask ourselves how we, too, can be the “help” this world so desperately needs.


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2 thoughts on “Psalm 146: Help!

  1. Beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

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