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 Helps – Against!

Ben Cohen continues

We are talking about two conflicts: Law and Grace.

We want to understand what is God’s purpose in all this. It’s good to say we’re getting together after we were separated, and things like this, but why did God go through all this process? Why did it have to be? We know that it was because of our sins, but more: we want to go a little deeper and gain a better understanding about two issues that are, in essence, contradictory to each other. We have to balance the right combination of them.

Here’s what creates the balance: I’d like you to open Genesis 1, to the very beginning, so we can gain some understanding. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Right away from the first sentence we see two conflicting entities, the heaven which is above us and the earth beneath. What came first, according to the Bible, is the Shamayim – the heavens.

[Ben reads from his Hebrew Bible – translated into English]

“When the earth was astonishly empty with darkness upon the surface of the deep, and the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the waters, God said, Let there be light and there was light.”

So there was darkness and then there was light. Opposites! A conflict between the darkness and the light. Then there is a separation – verse 6: “And God said, Let there be an expansion in the midst of the waters and let it separate between waters and waters. . . and it was so.”

What I am trying to say is that the earth was created from the very beginning with conflicts and balances. We can analysis it on and on, but I want to bring you into Genesis 2.

Supreme Conflict

What does it say in verse 18? We have Adam but we don’t have the woman. Here I’m going to show you the conflict between the man and the woman is in same context with the conflict between heaven and earth, light and darkness.

[Ben’s humor at this point caused us all to enjoy a delightful laugh, also a break from the intense study.]

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a help meet for him.” This is wrong in all the English translations, because if you translate it word by word, what it says here is: “I will make him a help AGAINST him.” The word is very specifically “against him”.  Nobody dared to translate it the way it was written. Nobody had the guts to do it.

[Hearty laughter.]

That’s exactly what it says. I’ve been translating it word by word. Then He said it again in verse 20, “But as for the man He could not find a helper (and in my translation) corresponding to him”, but the Hebrew says very clearly, “He could not find a helper against him.”  The word means exactly against, the opposite of, to be an adversary.

But you have to have to understand the word “help” is preceding it. It says a HELP against him. It says “help” and it says “against”. What can you say to that? So the rabbis try to settle this and some rabbi says, “Look, if he’s lucky it’s a help.”

[Roaring laughter]

But that for me doesn’t settle the problem because it doesn’t distinguish between the two. It says very specifically “a help against him” - -  “Help” and “against” are together, so we have to find out what is the intention.

Now we try to understand the relationship between man and woman. What the Bible says is that by the woman being against man, she actually helps him. So what happens is, there is a conflict between help and against, but there is a balance, too. There is a conflict between a man and a woman in the way they think, but if they do it in the right combination, they create ultimate balance. The idea was to find a help for the man, but by the same token to be against him. If the help was just coming without the conflict, in essence what happens is that the man is the slave driver. You can always hire help to help you do what you want to do, but here you get somebody who wants to help you opposite to what YOU think! You are creating a sort of a balance by hearing the other side all the time. You say “yes”, she says “no”. You say, “no”, she says “yes”.

[More laughter and Chris said, “So those of us who are single, are UN-balanced.”]

Ruth Moore opens a window of illustration: “Another beautiful element of that is that a man usually rules by law, but a woman rules by heart. And when a man passes a law, the tenderness of the woman will many times cause him to come back and be gracious where he wouldn’t be otherwise. He’s say, ‘This is the way it’s going to be this time.’ But the woman says, ‘But remember, we love here’.”

John: “That’s a good balance right there!”

Ben resumes:

So we see these two conflicts getting together in unity, and creating that whole attitude of family. The question now comes, How do we apply it to the idea of Judea and Ephraim?

The answer is, by the conflict of Law and Grace.

An Exercise in Hosea
Ben Cohen ties the “Conflict”Together

“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God” (Hosea 1:10 – KJV).

Actually if we want to get a little better understanding about the House of Ephraim and where it has been for all these years, we can look at Hosea. He is one of the prophets who spoke almost exclusively about the House of Ephraim, the House of Israel. Though he mentions the House of Judah, he basically is talking about those tribes who created their own kingdom. They left the mainstream of Judah and Jerusalem and went into the North, and made Samaria their capital, but it was a kingdom with the ABSENSE of God. And they were the first to be exiled out of the land of Israel by the Assyrian about 2500 or 2600 years ago.

[Here we read all the first chapter of Hosea.]

When God says He’s not going to take mercy on the house of Israel and He is not going to see them as His people all these years, how can it be that this people can become His nation again? And He said, the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sands of the sea that you cannot count and will be called the sons of the living God.

He gives us the clue when and how these things are going to happen: “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one head ….” (Hosea 1:11) In Jerusalem is where it’s all going to happen.

So Now What?

Now the question is: Where are we now? What stage are we now in? Go in to chapter 2 and we want to understand verse 19 & 20. This is the marriage after the regathering, the betrothal between God and the people of Israel. From this Scripture we can understand what’s going to be the new contract, the new agreement between the husband and wife here, between God and the people:

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me with righteousness, with justice, with grace and mercy and kindness. And I will betroth thee unto me with fidelity and you shall know God.”

[John read it in KJV, saying “This is a very significant code – a code as to what the end of it all will be: I will betroth thee in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord.]

Yes, this is the big clue, the coming together of Law and Grace. This is the understanding as to what God is all about. We see very clearly that the marriage contract is going to be under new terms. The people will understand what are the conditions: He’s talking about righteousness, which is the Law and justice; and kindness and mercy which is the Grace.

In other words we’re dealing here with the two of them together, not just the one. He says, “THEN you will KNOW God.” In other words these two together again will open  the knowledge of God. And indeed what is happening today? There’s a lot of true Christians who can see what they’re missing in eliminating the Law.