September 9, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from September 4-10 are provided by Pastor Mark Chun of Radiance Christian Church in S. F.  Mark, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), has been married to Mira for 21 years; they have two children, Jeremiah and Carissa.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Genesis 3:14-19

A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin j and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” 18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Most modern women have a negative reaction to being called a ‘helper’ of man.  The reason for this is that we tend to impose our cultural bias and assume that ‘helper’ means ‘junior assistant’.  The Hebrew word that is translated as helper in English is ezer which is used 19 other times in the Old Testament.   Three times it is used to describe one person helping another; 16 times it is used to describe God helping man.  We get the Hebrew name, Eliezer, the God who helps, and Ebenezer, the rock of my help, from this exact word.  In each case, the one who helps gives that help from the position of power, which makes logical sense.  If I am offering my help to you, I can only offer you that help if I have the capacity to help.  If someone offers to help you and you evaluate that this person is less capable than you, then you would naturally reject their offer.  

Women were created with certain God–given powers to help men but unfortunately that power was distorted when Eve fell into temptation.  It is not difficult to see the subtle and sometimes not so subtle power that women have over men.  I fall under my daughter’s spell every day!  I tell myself daily that I will not give into Carissa’s Jedi mind tricks but somehow, she gets me to do everything for her.  And the only one who can free me from my daughter’s evil schemes is my wife.  She is my help and I could not imagine raising my children without her because she has strength and power that I do not have!  

It is important to note that it was Eve who was first attracted to the temptation of power that was presented to her by the devil.  Surprisingly, it is Eve that first pushed this pendulum of power that caused the imbalance in gender equality.  This is why God’s curse on women revolves mainly around the issue of power.   But we also see why the devil tempted Eve first because God entrusted her with the power to be the helper of man.        

However, as we read the scriptures through the lens of redemptive history, we can also see that God is restoring all things including the equality of male and female.  As the apostle Paul writes, “there is neither male nor female” in Christ, one day, men and women will have full equality and there will no longer be this sinful struggle for power.  But that day is not quite here because we still live in a fallen world and because of our sinful and selfish tendencies, God asks women to submit to men in the home and in the church for the sake of restoring and fulfilling their powerful role as the helper.

Prayer:  Father, we praise You that You have made both men and women in Your own image.  What an incredible honor and joy it is to know that You have no biases and share Your likeness equally with both genders.  Help us to overcome any feelings of inferiority or insecurity and to embrace the ways in which You have designed both sexes.  We have all been fearfully and wonderfully made.  May our heart and soul know this truth full well!

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 30-31

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