When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. "It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him a [ezer kenegdo]" (Gen. 2:18 Alter). This phrase is notoriously difficult to translate. The various attempts we have in English tend to be "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat …disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Hebrew scholar Robert Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him."
The word ezer is used only 20 other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
God is your only hope. Your ezer. If he is not there beside you…you are dead. A better translation therefore of ezer would be "life-saver." Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.
You see, the life God calls us to is not a safe life. Ask Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Deborah, Esther - any of the friends of God from the Old Testament. Ask Mary and Lazarus, ask Peter, James and John, ask Priscilla and Aquila - any of the friends of God in the New Testament. God calls us to a life involving frequent risks and many dangers. Why else would we need him to be our ezer? You don't need a life-saver if your mission is couch potato. You need an ezer when your life is in constant danger.
That longing in the heart of a woman to share life together as a great adventure - that comes straight from the heart of God, who also longs for this. He does not want to be an option in our lives. He does not want to be an appendage, a tag-along. Neither does any woman. God is essential. Eve is essential. She has an irreplaceable role to play.