Friday, January 25, 2013

Called to Help

Called to Help

The poem "Footprints in the Sand" was allegedly written in 1963 by Carolyn Joyce Carty.  Many have read and have been inspired by the words of this poem.  Indeed, it brings a vivid picture of how our Christian walk should be.  In the poem, if you recall, a man dreams that he is walking along a beach with Christ.  At one point he looks back and notices that the prints in the sand go along with his life.  He also notices that at some points of his life there are two sets of footprints, and at others there is one set.  As he studies this pattern he discovers that it is at the most trying moments of his life that he sees only one set of footprints. Disturbed by this discovery he asks Jesus about it, "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.  Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"  Then the Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you."  

This man felt forsaken in his most difficult times.  But, Jesus pointed out to the man that He – Jesus – never left the man.  Jesus fulfilled his promise quoted in

Heb 13: 5  for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Heb 13: 6  So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper,

You do not have to feel alone, because the Lord is always with you to help you.  The word for help in the greek is boethos.  Boēthos is a noun made up of two words which mean (i) “cry out” or “intense exclamation” and (ii) “run”.  The verb of this word boētheō means “come to the rescue” or “supply urgently needed help”. Some scholars give the meaning of boētheō as “to run to the aid of those who cry out for help . . . “  The following is every verse in the New Testament where boēthos (and its cognates) appear:In Matthew 15:25 and Mark 9:22-24 the word is used where people were crying out to Jesus for help.  In Acts 16:9, 21:28, 27:17 and Revelation 12:16 it is used where strong help and support were required. In 2 Corinthians 6:2, Hebrews 2:18, 4:16 and 13:6 it is used in the context of receiving divine help.

In Genesis 2 God says that, “for Adam there was not found a help meet for him,” and that “It is not good that the man should be alone;” so God said, “I will make him an help meet for him…” (Genesis 2: 18, 20).  In Hebrew the term help meet is used as a whole and is this term is often translated as suitable help.  In the Septuagint – the Greek version of the Old Testament - the words are separated; the word “meet,” is translated as “corresponding” in verse 18 and “similar” in verse 20.  Help is translated as boethos.  This means that in his state of purity and perfection Adam was crying out for help, and God brought Eve to Adam to comfort him.  So, Eve was Adam’s parakletos – the word used in Greek for the Holy Spirit that is translated as Comforter.  A parakletos is called to one's side, esp. called to one's aid, a helper, succourer, aider.  Ellen White expounds on this subject,

Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of the same nature to love and to be loved.  {PP 46.1} 
     God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided "an help meet for him"--a helper corresponding to him--one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it." Ephesians 5:29. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one."  {PP 46.2}

“What therefore God hath joined together , let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9).