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Eve, the Mother of All Mothers
How would you like to have been the first mother? What would it have been like to be the mother of all mothers? What can we learn from her? I think Eve gets a lot of bad publicity especially in our day of let's play the blame game mentality.
THE FIRST WOMAN (2:18-23)
She was the product of divine creation
Eve was not born as other women are born. She was never a baby, never a child or daughter or maiden. The first female born was Eve's daughter.
"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . . .' God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:26a, 27). This is the summit of creation. No animal can knowingly "glorify God, and enjoy Him forever." Only man has an awareness of God's presence. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Mankind has a spirit life, a "God-consciousness" because he alone is created in the image of God and His likeness. There was something unique about the creation of man, and that uniqueness is God's image in man. (All Scripture is quoted from the New American Standard Bible, NASB 1995 Update unless otherwise noted).
The root idea of "image" is a "shadow," outlined resemblance, a profile or definite resemblance. Man created in the image of God has intelligence, emotion, will, a spiritual nature. The Reformers saw that image as knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. Only men and women because they are created in the image of God can have fellowship with God. The only exact representation of that image is in the person of Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:3). In Christ we view the perfect man with that divine image.
Eve was "fashioned" out for Adam. She was a perfect woman in her innocence. Read how beautifully Moses records her creation in Genesis 2:18-22. "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.' Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man."
Eve was God's special creation for Adam. Not a single one of the animals in creation was like Adam. Eve was prepared for Adam. Adam's companion was specially created by God in God's image so she could have communion with God and Adam. Men and women are different, but they are more alike than anything else in creation.
God created sexuality.
Sexuality is the result of the creative act of God. He intended it to be something beautiful and wholesome. Maleness and femaleness is in God's design. Men are to be men, and women are to be women. It is not the other way around. Men are not women. Women are not men. How tragic when men try to be women and women try to be men. Obviously you cannot reproduce that way. That should be a clear revelation that anyone who would try to change our sexual nature and dynamics is wrong. How can they possibly become "one flesh" as God intended husband and wife to be?
Eve was the most beautiful woman created. She represents divine perfection. In a summary passage Moses said, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. . . And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good . . ." (1:27, 31). I think God saw in Eve the loveliest woman ever made. Her face, features and form were incredibly beautiful. I think even far more beautiful than the woman who recently won the Miss Universe Pageant.
Adam saw her beauty and wrote the first love poem to a woman. Genesis 2:23 says,
"This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
Eve was someone beautiful in body, mind and spirit. If you love beautiful women, I think she would have been a delight to be around.
Her name means "living" or "life," and she was the "mother of all the living" (3:20). She is life giving. The first family probably had many sons and daughters because Adam lived 930 years. We do not know how old Eve was when she died, but we can surmise that she lived probably about as long as Adam. God gave them the responsibility of populating the earth (Gen. 1:27-28). "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"
How would you have liked to be the first mother? Have you ever thought about what her life would have been like? I wonder how she parented. We parent the way we were parented until God reparents us. Eve started from scratch.
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24).
She was designed to complement Adam, not be in stiff competition with him. She was to be a helper, not a slave. I think one of the most destructive things that have come out of the modern feminist movement is the intense competition created between husbands and wives and the blurring of parental roles and responsibilities. Men don't know how to respond because it goes against nature. Instead of being a helper in far too many homes she has become his greatest competition. It is a competitive role instead of a supportive one.
The Bible beautifully says, "They shall become one flesh." One of my professors said, "They are two contrasting entities becoming one compound unity." Eve is to be a companion of Adam. The human body is nothing to be ashamed about. It is something beautiful that God created.
The apostle Paul uses this passage when he speaks of the church as the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:31-32).
Jesus accepted the historical credibility of Genesis. In Matthew 19:4-9 he spoke of divorce and said it was granted only because of the "hardness of heart." We have divorces only because mankind rebelled against the laws of God. Selfishness destroys marriages. You cannot worship at the shrine of self and have a strong healthy marriage and family.
A woman has the power to bless or destroy a man's life. She can either love, cherish, honor and build him up or tear him down and finish him off. May God help us to refocus our lives and our marriages on priorities that build strong healthy marriages.
You and I are born depraved. We start life with a strong deadly bent toward sin. It is our sinful nature. The Psalmist David wrote in Psalm 51:5;
"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me."
David's mother was not involved in an immoral act. Man's condition is that he is a partaker of a sinful nature from the moment of his birth (and conception). Our nature is egocentric or self-centered. We are born desiring our own way, rather than God's will. Adam's sin left humanity with a corrupt nature that is in bondage to sin and under condemnation. We sin because we are sinners. It is our nature to sin. We were conceived in sin and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death and eternally lost unless the Lord Jesus Christ sets us free by His sovereign saving grace.
God in love gave Adam a commandment, even before Eve was created (2:15-17). "Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'"
Eve was pure and innocent in the Garden of Eden. There were no hidden surprises for Adam and Eve. God did not suddenly change the rules on them. There were no hidden agendas. God strictly told them this "tree" was off limits. It is His garden!
Temptation in itself is not sin. Satan made it look so beautiful to defy God's Word. He lied and is still telling the same lie even to this day. He is always disguising himself as the "shinning one" (3:1). He makes his temptations so inviting with the fun, thrills, and excitement as if God wants to cheat you out of the best in life.
The process is always the same. Satan tries to tell every woman that God is cheating you out of the best life has to offer. He wants to make it so inviting as to subtly insist that the grass is always greener in some other home and with someone else's husband or job or position or someone else's children. Satan has a better offer of a perfect husband, a perfect home and perfect environment, perfect children with perfect features and of course perfect behavior. Why Eve you can have it all and you won't have to wait. You can have it now. No discipline, no cross, no discomfort, no pain, it is all yours if you want it. Here take eat! It is yours.
Satan led her to doubt God's Word. Her husband didn't help. He didn't refute the false assumptions and hypothesis that Satan offered. If it makes you feel good do it! They didn't stop to ask what is the worse thing that could happen if ___________? Yes, Eve you are free to choose, but you are not free to choose the consequences of your actions.
Men and women are always choosing what they think is in their best interest. They freely choose, but it is based on wrong thinking. Jonathan Edwards said the problem is not with the will itself because the will always chooses what it thinks is best. The will is always free and always chooses what it judges best in any situation.
The problem for the will is what Martin Luther termed the "bondage of the will." The problem is with our moral nature. We are "dead in trespasses and sins" which is opposed to God. Our sinful motives flow from our corrupt sinful nature. The sinner always makes the wrong choices. Because of our fallen sin nature we resist and reject God’s best choice for us. Since the will is simply the mind making choices on what it thinks is best for the individual it is terribly influenced by its depravity. Unless the grace of God intervenes no one chooses God or embraces the free offer of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. We always want our will and our way and left to our sinful choices we would never ask God for salvation.
Did you notice in verse three that Eve added to what God originally said? "You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die." That clearly indicates that she knew the truth and in her mind had guarded against going near the beautiful tree. God said, "you shall not eat" from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve thought well if I don't touch I won't eat.
Satan came right out and contradicted God (v. 4-5). He lied. He is always lying and bending the truth to fit his own schemes.
Eve saw, she coveted, she took, she ate and she became the world's first sinner.
Eve chose to give up her innocence for thorns, thistles and tears. The process of sin is still the same. "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate."
When Adam saw it was safe he joined in the fun and ate it up, too. Adam as the federal head of the human race led his whole family down the long slide of sin and depravity. In Adam we all sin. He is the head of our family until we are adopted into God's family.
Romans 5:12-15 should wake us up. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many."
The image in mankind was defaced, but not destroyed by sin at the fall (Genesis 3). Mankind today is not what God fully intended him to be. The effects of the Fall are seen on every level of our lives. When a person is regenerated or born again he is restored spiritually. It is like being raised from the dead. Man is in spiritual essence made in the image of God. He is like God in his spiritual nature. We know what the image is like when we study man before the fall, the perfect man Jesus, and the new man regenerated by the Holy Spirit when he is born again. We "put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:10-11). The believer is being "conformed to the likeness of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). God makes a new creation.
She was the first woman to use cover up. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings." The only problem is it didn't work. "Fig leaves" have never covered the guilt of sin.
There is only one remedy for sin. God provided the first garments that cover sin (v. 21). "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them." I think when He made the coverings He explained that the animal gave up its life so that they have coverings. Behind those garments there has been a substitutionary penal sacrifice by death. His garments of skin foreshadowed the spotless robe of righteousness that covers all our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). "God made." It was His own free gift for Adam and Eve. He took matters into His own hands and by the shedding of blood, which is implied, He provided a covering for them. Even with skins we stand naked if we are not clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God laid the foundation for animal sacrifice in those coverings.
The trail of sorrow and anguish always follows sin. Cain, her firstborn became angry and killed Eve's son Abel (4:8). "And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." Eve has the dishonor of being the mother of the first murderer.
You can imagine the chaos that was created by the first sin and its evil affect on the first couple. Home life and the family were broken up because of sin. Eve had another son and her name disappears from history but not without a word of hope.
Eve could identify with the pain and hurt that some of you are experiencing. I am sure she felt guilt when she looked at the consequences of her actions and behavior. She could say no one knows the grief I have suffered because of the loss of my two sons. She knew the embarrassment and damage beyond repair of having a son become the first murderer in history. She knew the grief of losing both sons––one to death and the other to estrangement.
As they stand confronted with their sin and plead their guilt before God there is a marvelous promise of redemption. God is spelling out judgment on Satan when he says in verse fifteen.
"And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel."
Dr. Harold Stigers writes, "Genesis is the record of God's work of deliverance from the corruption of original sin resulting from the Fall . . . . God's redemptive work began with Gen. 3:15."
Dr. Merill C. Tenny says, "It may be believed that resurrection faith is at the center of the paradox of the Savior-man. In the crushing of the head of the serpent, deliverance was promised: and in order to effect that deliverance, the redeemer had to be able to conquer death." He adds, "How could Christ (the seed of the woman) take upon Himself the consequences of the serpent's sting and yet live? Resurrection seems to be the answer."
Death symbolized the wounding of the heel by Satan and takes place before the smashing of the head of Satan by the seed of the woman. The wounding appears to be the death on the cross, since Christ identified His executioners as the seed of the serpent. Jesus said, "You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him . . . " (John 8:44).
This preceding death makes mandatory the resurrection of the seed of the woman to perform the smashing of the serpent's head.
Genesis 3:15 is the first shining light on the horizon of eternal life. It is the root of Abraham's obedience to the Lord to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. Why else would he make such a sacrifice if he did not have the hope before him that God would raise the son of the promise from the dead? Abe probably believed the seed of the woman was the promise of a seed through Isaac. Abraham "considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type" (Hebrews 11:19). Jesus said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad." This promise in Genesis 3:15 was no doubt the cause of Abraham greeting the "day of Christ" with glad assurance in John 8:54.
Genesis is more than a story. It is the record of God's work on behalf of the redeemed. It is the history of God's redemptive work.
Romans 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." That crushing certainly includes all the labor of Jesus the Messiah. The hope of the resurrection is as old as sinful men and is mighty to support them in all their pilgrimages to heaven. Dr. Harold Stigers, "Genesis 3:15 has become the most important verse in all the Bible." The central message of the whole Bible, old and new covenants, is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The greatest commentary on Genesis 3:15 is John 3:16.
No doubt, the "seed of the woman" is referring to the virgin birth of Christ. The virgin born conquers death, hell and the grave. Christ will give the deathblow to Satan when He returns.
The antagonism between Jesus and Satan reaches its climax with the bruising of Jesus and the crushing of Satan and his power.
Donald Barnhouse said, "When the Lord Jesus Christ was born Stan's hatred came to white heat. We can see the hatred of Satan at every point in the earthly story of the life of our Lord. . . . The child of promise, the seed of the woman, the branch of David, was born, the Eternal Word was made flesh. . . . The promises were fulfilled and Satan bruised the heel of the Lord Jesus Christ and had his own head crushed in the bruising."
The bruising of the Lord Jesus took place at the cross. Satan had nailed Jesus to the cross. It was not defeat because three days later Jesus rose from the tomb triumphantly.
John Gerstner writes, "While Satan was celebrating his triumph in battle over the Son of God, the full weight of the Atonement accomplished by the Crucifixion (which the devil had effected) came down on him, and he realized that all this time, so far from successfully battling against the Almighty, he had actually been carrying out the purposes of the all-wise God."
Jesus took the place of the sinner, bearing his punishment, and broke the power of Satan in the process.
Remember, in Adam we all die, but in Christ we are all made alive.
Who is your father? To whose family do belong today? Who is the head of your family? Adam or Christ.
For a detailed study on this beautiful promise to Eve read The Seed of the Woman in Christ in the Old Testament.
We do not have to go down the same journey she did. Satan uses the same lies and the same techniques on us he did on Eve. Let's learn from her mistakes and put on the whole armor of God as a defense to defeat Satan in his tracks. You can overcome temptation today. You can be a winner in the greatest vocation in life, but you have to be responsible to build in the safeguards. No one else can do it for you. Make a commitment of your life today to be a godly mother. Begin each day with a determination to let Christ live His life through you in your home.
Where do the greatest temptations come to you? In what area of your marriage, your responsibilities as a wife and mother are you subtly tempted? What are you doing to make sure you don't blow it? Is there a temptation at the office, with coworkers? Or do you sneak off to the chat lines on the internet thinking no one will ever know about your secret desires and intrigues. Nothing is secret on the Internet. Every Webmaster knows who visits his site. If he is unethical he gleans your email every time you click on his chat site or pornography site. Do the soap operas bring out the worst in you? Or the novels you read? Do something about it now. Do something now to make a change in your behavior. Burn the magazines, clean off your hard drive, get up and do something away from the TV.
Your marriage and your commitment to it should be the most important thing in your life. It is more important than your job or position or responsibilities in the community. Make a commitment to yourself to not buy into Satan's lies about you, your husband and your family.
If you are hurting because of the pain of divorce, grief, emotional injury or other loss start a support group in your church. Learn through other women's encouragement. Get into a healthy women's Bible study. I'm not talking about a poor is me club. Find a mature, healthy group of Christ-centered women who love Him and serve Him. Find true friends who will confront you with your indiscretions. Grow from your hurt and reach out to someone else who is hurting to share God's love and grace.
We need to tell those that we love how important they are to us now. We can't afford to wait. My mother said, send me the roses now, not after I die.
If you have blown it stop and pray and ask God's forgiveness. Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for your sins. He wants to give you His peace right now. He is committed to your very best.
God saves the whole person. The context of this great passage of Scripture on Eve is the creation. Men and women created in the image of God. God saves us spiritually first. We acknowledge our need of salvation, and with conviction confess to Him our sinfulness, and place our faith in Jesus Christ as our only possible Savior. Mankind has been running from God ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against Him. God in His grace reaches down to the depraved sinner and regenerates the sinner spiritually. This is the new birth. He is born spiritually. We were dead in trespasses and sins. Man's spirit, that part that communes with God died instantly when Eve disobeyed. Communion was broken and eventually they died physically. The moment you are born again that spirit part of your nature is restored. Your sins are forgiven. You have a new nature. Then the Holy Spirit in His work of sanctification renews the image of the person after the image of the perfect man, Jesus Christ. This takes a life time as He works in your soul. Then on the resurrection day this physical body of ours will be redeemed and glorified like the resurrection body of our Savior.
If you need help in becoming a Christian here is A Free Gift for You.
Title: Genesis 2-3 Eve, the Mother of All Mothers
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2012. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.
Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972 until 2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist missionary and teaches seminary extension courses and Evangelism in Depth conferences in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Ecuador.
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