So often when we read or use the phrase that forms our title, we do so as though it were another way of writing An Help Mate. In fact, it is exactly for this reason that we can use it as our title without creating a discordant sound for most of our readers. It would grate upon our ears to write A Meet Help, although this would be good grammar. And it would certainly sound very strange if we would substitute a synonym for meet and write An Help Fit, or An Help Suitable. We would by far prefer then to write it A Fit Help, or A Suitable Help. We have used this phrase so long and often in the sense of helpmate that we have become dull and insensitive to its real meaning in Genesis 2:20 when God says that He will make for Adam “an help meet for him.” In fact you can even find in your dictionary that we coined a new word; and now we have the word helpmeet.
God created Eve as an help that was fit or suitable for Adam. And that is what this word meet says in that phrase. The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the seas God created in pairs. He called male and female into being at the same time. Adam He created alone. And then out of one of his ribs He created Eve. Doing this He did not simply make a mate for Adam. He did not simply bring forth a companion. He made a creature that was in every respect fit and suitable for helping Adam as God’s royal priest and steward, and as His prophet who was called forth to confess and praise His Creator.
Adam needed a companion. That we will not deny. He was alone with no creature that was tit and would serve to give him companionship and fellowship; of this he saw a picture in the lives of the animals that God had brought before him to name. He could not exchange thoughts and desires, he could not communicate with the birds and beasts. He did talk with God to a degree. But he did not have a creature on his own level with which he could communicate in a fellowship of mind and will. There was something missing in his life. And the procession of the animals before him for him to name brought this out very clearly to Adam himself. These animals and birds and fish all had mates. Adam stood alone!
God gave him thereafter more than a mate, more than a companion. Before the sixth day was over, and before God’s work of creating was finished and God could-say of all that which He did that day, ‘”It is very good,” He brought forth an help meet for him. The angels have companions. Do we not frequently read of them in company with each other? Were there not three that came to visit Abraham? Do we not read of two of them at the open and empty tomb of Christ? (They are not male and female, though they are companions.) They do not, however, have helps meet for them, as God gave Adam an help meet for him.
Consider that the phrase implies that Adam needs help. Women may forget that today and marry for money, for prestige and honour or some personal ambition they may have. A man may look for a companion—and all too often for a playmate—without concern for character and qualifications that will help him in his very serious calling before God. But man needs help in that threefold office of being God’s prophet who must confess and praise Him, His priest who must be dedicated and must dedicate all to God, and His king to rule and subdue all things in the service of God. And consider further that for help he needs one who is fitted for that work, one suitable because that one is designed with a view to that work, and so created that this one is adapted to man in that need and in that work.
The woman created by God out of Adam’s rib was adapted to him as his counterpart. She was not and is not his opposite. She supplemented him—being taken out of him—and supplied that which he lacked. Together they made one whole that was able to subdue the whole earth from every point of view, so that all of God’s earthly creation would return to Him in praise and glory.
Physically and organically the woman resembles man, for and from whom she was made, except for that change wrought by God so that she might assist him in bringing forth seed that hemight multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it all. And let it be remembered in this adulterous age, this world of free sex in which we live, that she was made to be an help and not a hindrance to man, to serve him in his calling and not in his carnality, to assist him as God’s image bearer and not as just another beast of the field with powers that drive without direction, and without thought of the Creator. And man must seek a wife only in order to have her help to fulfill his calling before God, and not to help Satan in the development of sin!
But even then, when it pleases God to give a man a barren wife, she still is there to be an help to him. She still has something to contribute to him in his calling. The woman is not a man that physically and organically is constructed somewhat different from the male she resembles. She is not a variation of man. She is not some higher or lower form of a male. For psychically as well as physically she differs from man, because God made her to be man’s psychical as well as physical counterpart and supplement. There is, you know, that which we call a woman’s intuition. And a woman’s viewpoint is not the same as a man’s. In a spiritual sense, of course, the sanctified husband and wife see eye to eye. But the woman was created by God to see in creation what man would not see, and to have her point of view to assist man in getting the whole picture. Indeed, since the fall she is often man’s downfall because spiritually she sees differently than he does. Paul, in I Timothy 2:12, does not suffer a woman to teach in the church and thus usurp authority over the man. And his reason in verse 14 is that Adam was not deceived, but the woman. But Eve was perfect and was created as a perfect help for Adam. She fell, but so did Adam. And God made her so that the appeal to the senses was stronger in her than in man. The beautiful to the eye, the pleasing to the ear, the softness to the touch, the delightful to taste and smell was so much stronger in her. All this, of course, without sin, which will again be our spiritual condition in the new Jerusalem when we are neither male nor female but as the angels of God. Then we will not have female helps or be female helps as now. Instead all together will be the bride of Christ and to serve Him and with Him in the new creation.
With a view to supplying Adam with this help God caused him to fall into a deep sleep. Adam had not yet taken one wink of natural sleep, but he and Eve would do so during the hours of darkness which would soon fall upon the land of Eden. Their need for sleep does not imply an imperfection in them. They were creatures, and all creatures have needs. Whether these needs be food and drink, or oxygen and rest makes no difference. The perfect creature will have needs exactly because he still is only a creature. Therefore Adam, who was created to serve a very definite and special purpose in creation, and was created on the sixth day as one fully able to serve that purpose, was a perfect creature with his needs. Let us not say, “A perfect creature in spite of his needs,” for all creatures, as we pointed out, have needs by virtue of being creatures. Only God is self-sufficient, and independent, having in Himself all His life.
The sleep into which God placed Adam before He took one of his ribs for the creation of Eve, however, was not an ordinary sleep, but a very special and unusual one. Genesis 2:21 calls it a “deep sleep.” It was one out of which Adam would not waken while his rib was being removed to be formed into a woman. A sleep it was during which he would sense nothing of what God was doing in his body. He could not watch God remove his rib. He was not given to observe the formation of Eve. Later on he will in amazement watch the birth of his firstborn. But the creation of his wife he is not given to see. Nor did he suffer any pain during or after this “operation.” Only after it is all finished and God brings the woman to him does God reveal to him her origin out of his bone and flesh. Then Adam can say, for God Himself informed him, that she is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and that she shall be called woman.
This means that she is woman. She is not simply called bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, but is all this. This is carried out in the word ishshah, which Adam uses, and which at its very beginning contains the element of ish which is the Hebrew word for man, or husband. We have that somewhat in our word woman, but you note that in woman the element of man comes at the end while Adam places this element first. And he who is ish calls that which was formed from his flesh and bone ishshah.
Now let us understand that no matter how wonderful and beautiful all this is, no matter how real and actual the fact of it is, this is still only the picture—we mean, of course, before the fall—of that intimate and wonderful relation between Christ and His Church, wherein that Church is His bride, His wife, yea we may say His help meet .for Him.
In Mark 4:11 Jesus says that the things of the kingdom are done in parables. In John 15:1 He says, “I am the true vine. . . .” That which we see in the field, then, and call a vine is a real vine, but it is not the true vine. It is a picture of Christ and His Church. He is the true vine and we are the branches. All that which we see round about us in this creation—though we may not yet be able to see it that way—is a picture of the truth as it is in Christ. All creation revolves around Him. Not only by Him but also for Him were all things created. See Revelation 4:11. All is leading to the day when The Ish is united with His Ishshah, the Bridegroom with His Bride. And a picture of this we have in the creation of Eve as an help meet for Adam.
However, His bride is not taken out of Him, as is the case in the picture. Yet His bride does receive her life from Him. And she is meet for Him by the power which He exercises in and upon her. He will reign with her and through her over all the new creation. She will be His companion in a covenant fellowship that will be wonderfully sweet. But we need not fear to say also that she will be an help meet for Him, designed by God for His service and glory.
When we say that she will be an help meet for Him, we are not, of course, denying the self-sufficiency of God, Who He needs nothing and no one. We are speaking here of His human nature, which also needed an earthly mother, food and drink and all that which our bodies need. Besides there are those needs and those events which must come to pass because God decreed them. There are no needs which the creature imposes upon God, or on His Christ. But there are those events and objects (such as the cross) which are necessary because God decreed thus to bring the kingdom of Christ into being. And the church is an help perfectly meet for Christ when. He reigns over the new creation, because God decreed this and formed her for Christ and gave her to Him.
In this life she is meet only in principle and with a small beginning of that new obedience. Therefore today she “helps” Him but little, and the day is yet coming in which she shall fully be meet for her role over all the new creation with Him as God’s Royal Priest, Who shall show forth God’s praises.
You do find in yourself a beginning of being made fit for all this, do you not? Then rest assured that you will in perfection be meet to reign with Him by His covenant faithfulness. Adam was in a deep sleep and did not assist God. Neither do we help Him cause us to be helps meet for Christ. He does all the work of salvation. And that will be our praise also when as the bride of Christ we are brought to Him with glorified bodies in His day.