Not Good to be Alone | Genesis 2:18
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 | ESV
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Genesis 2 reads like an exposition, as Exhibit A of this classic Ecclesiastes wisdom. We are, quite literally, made for each other. We are creatures of community, of connection. We were formed for fellowship. We are shaped for social context. “No man is an island,” said Donne. Yet we all tend to live our lives as unassailable island fortresses. He who dies with the highest walls, wins.
But “it is not good that the man should be alone.” Solution? “I will make him a helper fit for him.” It’s easy for “helper fit” to come off sounding subservient and doormatish, but as is so often aptly pointed out “helper” isn’t “maid” or “busboy.” The Hebrew word translated “helper” is used some 21 times in the Old Testament and the majority of those uses refer to God as the “helper” of Israel. You know, the kind of helper that ends up winning battles and wiping up the field with the enemy. There is strength, nobility, even, in this word. And this isn’t a helper in an awkward alliance that causes as much trouble as it does offer support (we’ve all had “friends” who have “helped” us like that!). This is a helper that fits. I usually like to point out, especially to married couples who are “helpers fit” for each other, that the “fit” is one that deepens over a lifetime. Provided we stay around long enough to let it.
When you think of someone who is a “helper fit for you” in your experience, who do you think of? When have you most recently experienced God as your help in time of need?
Lord, keep tearing down the walls of any island fortress I would ever build to isolate myself from others, from life. Keep drawing me out into life-giving and receiving relationships. Through Jesus.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.