Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If It Weren't for that Woman

By Brenda Black

Eve – She was fashioned by intentional thought and loving consideration from the heart of God and the side of man. Her name means life-giver and she was designed to bear the seed that would populate the earth. One would think such a woman so notable would be talked about over and over in the Holy Bible, yet her name is spoken only a handful of times in all of Scripture.

Though referenced in Gen. 3:1-19, she is identified as “the woman” and “his wife,” but never called Eve until the twentieth verse when Adam names her because “she would be the mother of all the living.” He only learns that bit of information when God pronounces the curse. “I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish. Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16)

Again she was called by name in Gen. 4:1 when the conception of a child is discussed. And this woman acknowledged that Cain was delivered “with the Lord's help.”

Eve is called by name again in the New Testament, but unfortunately only when temptation is mentioned. Paul says it this way: “But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:3). And sadly, she is tied again to the dangers and consequence of weak resistance in one final mention in a letter to Timothy. Eve's sins are immortalized; the fall emphasized.

She barely existed before she blundered and the rest of history remembers only her folly. Did she do anything right? Did God not call her good the moment He laid eyes on her? Adam said of this gift from God, “This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called 'woman,' for she was taken from man.” (Gen. 2:23) And remember: “Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.” (vs.25)

It started out GREAT! And then it went South! And Eve fell from perfection to the butt of bad jokes passed down for generations. She exchanged her innocence for cruel insolence directed at her name and every daughter of Eve since that time. All because of her own weak will and a deceptive enemy, who was a crafty liar and evil destroyer.

Oh sure, I've been mad at Eve myself – especially during child birth! But I've also grieved for the first woman who made one terrible mistake and went down in history as a failure. We have to remember, God is in the business of redemption. That didn't begin at Calvary, it began in the Garden. God covered the shame of both man and woman. In his punishment, He also protected. And though we never hear how old she was or when she died, I have to believe that Eve was loved – by God, by Adam, by her children and friends she knew and lives she touched. We'll never know her whole story. But I do know, God blessed her from the beginning. He saved her from her sin. I'll get the rest of the story when I see her in heaven.

None of us are perfect. We all give in to temptations through far less threats than coming face to face with that serpent of old. If our names were written for all the world to read, how many times would we be mentioned in shameful terms? How many times would our sins be documented as bad examples? Before we cast the first stone at any other, we should look first to our own blunders that need God-covers.

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