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Friends From the Beginning

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
Friends From the Beginning Book Cover

friends from the beginning

In the beginning, God created the universe and then filled it with life. God made the first human— and he was very good. Then God fashioned a very good woman—because He decided that even in a perfect world, it’s far from good for humans to exist without other humans.

In fact, God says of the man’s loneliness, “I will make a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). The word “helper”, is the Hebrew word ezer. This powerful word appears several times in the Old Testament (including Exodus 18:4; Psalm 121:1, 124:8; Ezekiel 12:14; and Isaiah 30:5), mostly to describe God’s mighty military intervention. To paraphrase Genesis 2:18, ezer describes Eve as
the one who has Adam’s back. Ezer is a word imbued with strength, tenacity, and fierceness that the English word “helper” can miss.

Before sin even came into the world, the Lord knew humans needed other humans in order to flourish. Our need to have each other’s back has only increased because of the rampaging presence of sin both in the world and in our everyday struggles. Sometimes we feel it when we roll out of bed after a fitful night of sleep and wake with a weight on our shoulders. Our feet hit the floor and all we want to do is skulk back into our beds and crawl into ourselves. We feel in those moments that it is good for us to be alone. Isolation is one of Satan’s best playing cards.

Sin blows up real-life relationships with all the messiness of characters on our favorite soap opera. Sin changed the relationship between humans and God and between the man and the woman. At first, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed—free to love, cohabit, work, plan, and rest without inhibition. But after sin entered into the world, shame dropped like a bomb, compelling them to cover themselves with fig leaves and hide from God. We have been hiding ourselves ever since. The proper cover for our emotional nakedness, however, isn’t hiding; it’s confession. This is one of the reasons that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and compels us to admit wrongdoing. Thankfully, the Spirit does not leave us vulnerable; He covers us with forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).

through the storm

Good friends cover us, too. Imagine this: a young woman is on her own for the first time; college freshman, new car, new apartment—freedom is on the horizon and the wind is billowing in her eighteen-year-old sails. What she doesn’t know is that college is a tempest. In blows a storm of bad decisions, and hurricanes of comparison and self-doubt. The free-spirited college freshman realizes her ship is sinking. She lightens her load by tossing her classes. Next, people and relationships are lost to the depths as she clings to solitude. Finally, in her despair, she considers hurling overboard the most important cargo: her faith. She’s lost her bearings. And then—a break in the clouds. The voice of a friend, like a compass and an oar, assures her of the steady foundation in the distance and rows like crazy, steering her through.

Some of us made it to shore not because we’re great sailors, but because we had a friend who rowed us back to God’s good shores.

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Not Alone

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A Theology of Friendship

Daily Question

Describe a time when a friend was a true help. Or, describe a time when you were a true helper to a friend. How has God been a true help and friend to you?

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Comments (24)

I had taken a job that I really felt God had been leaning me towards for years. Within a few weeks, I realized it was a toxic work environment. I left the job with my heart broken, I had been certain this was God’s plan for me. My sister helped guide me into making the decision. Realizing that no matter how much I had wanted it to work, it was destroying my soul. Then she came over the day after I quit so that I would not have to be alone. What a wonderful distraction that helped the day pass. God opened a new door immediately that allowed me to feel fulfilled and appreciated and also speak truth into the lives of those around me.

I find myself helping friends all the time, a shoulder to cry on, a ride to the doctors, or just someone to text. I had a friend that was there for me when my son died. She drove me to all the places I needed to go to, and was by my side during those dark times. But since then I do not feel that true friend anymore. It feels like she feels that time has passed and move on. My faith, my belief has shined brightly at times but then has been very dim at times. God always knows when I need to take a step back and believe him again, to let that light shine.

When my niece was killed a longtime friend wanted to help me. She really didn’t know what to do, so she offered to clean my house while I was in Missouri with my family.

I’ve had friends pray and support me when I was struggling through emotional issues, physical health issues and spiritual oppression. Their prayers really kept me encouraged and were a light during very tough times. God has been the best friend to me because he loves me in spite of my flaws and shortcomings!

Melani. Thank God for Melani. I was sinking into the darkness of my depression and eating disorder while trying to care for my 7 year old daughter. Oh so lost and I just couldn’t find the light. My relationship with God barely existed at the time. I went to church and volunteered in the children’t ministry, but I didn’t KNOW God.

It came to me that it was time to get help. I asked Melani if my daughter could stay with her for the summer (I’m a teacher) while I checked myself into a hospital for a bit. There was a wonderful clinic near her in Colorado. By the time we got to Colorado, I was scared they wouldn’t let me out when I wanted to leave. Spending time with Melani and in the presence of a Godly family was what I needed to find my way. To feel loved even when I didn’t deserve to be loved. To be valued when I hated myself beyond all belief.

I didn’t check myself in, but I did begin a prayer life as well as find a therapist in my hometown. It was a long journey that I would never have made if it weren’t for God putting Melani in my path and leading me to the therapist that was just right for me.

God is faithful and sees what I need even when I don’t see it my self. I get so consumed with the everyday trials that I often don’t look up to help someone else. God, like a good friend, is dependable even when I am undependable. I wish my Friends come to my aid even before I have to ask But I’m afraid to admit I am not that kind of friend. My biggest struggle with friends is I am not a very good friend, therefore I put higher expectations on my friends than I do on my self.

My friends came from several different states to see me when my sister died. Their support meant more than anything I could imagine.

I was having suicidal, depressing thoughts that I just wanted to stop one way or another. When I shared these thoughts with my friend she didn’t judge me, she didn’t start out by saying all the cliche type phrases-she listened and asked questions. Then she shared a time where she attempted to take her own life but felt something saved her that night. She isn’t a Christian but she also spoke about how being in isolation is where depression wants me and will mess with my mind. I think God spoke through her and used her to reach me to look deeper and run to Him.

After the breakup, I spent some time with Genesis. She spent the day painting with me and going for a walk and listening to me. I cried to her and she hugged me and talked to me about God’s love and protection. He has a good plan for my life and He is going to take care of me. God has given me peace when I feel broken and He’s given me strength when I’ve been at my weakest.

When my mother had heart attack, she came to help me through some very stressful and painful planning that had to be done ASAP to protect our Mother’s best interest and immediate needs! I can call her anytime and she will be there for me and me there for her. Friends help me do life together!

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