Eve: Stripped, Mocked, and Shamed

For the last two weeks, we saw that Woman was innocent, perfect, and powerful. She was fully known to herself, her husband, and her God. Woman had no reason to fear the corners and undercurrents of her heart, mind, or soul. She had absolutely nothing to hide and no trust issues.

We have finally arrived at Genesis 3 and it’s going to take some time to set up the context. Here are some details to consider:

  • Both Trees (Life and Knowledge of Good and Evil) were placed at the center of the Garden (Gen. 2:9)
  • Adam was tasked with filling, subduing, the earth; ruling all living things (Gen. 1:28); and managing the Garden (Gen. 2:15).
  • Most commentaries suggest that the command not to eat of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was given from God to Adam (Gen. 2:15-17). Then Adam passed it on to Woman.
  • Satan is too smooth to use a startling, scary method of temptation, therefore, it’s possible that animals (or at least snakes) originally spoke.
  • Adam was nearby when Woman was being tempted (Gen. 3:6).

Keep these details in mind while we dive into Genesis 3:1.

Let’s set the scene: Woman, ezer, and Adam, steward, were in the center of the garden near the two trees—The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This does not necessarily mean that they were flirting with temptation; as the gardeners and stewards, both man and woman had the right and responsibility to tend to all that lived.

Many expect Woman to be seeking trouble that day, but she didn’t have to look for it. It is entirely possible that Woman was simply caught up in Satan’s hidden agenda. In my opinion, Satan tempted Woman while she was operating in her gifting and calling. He engaged her in what must have been a fairly benign (from Woman’s standpoint) conversation.

God told Adam that he could eat freely of any tree in the Garden, except one, otherwise he would die (Gen. 2:16-17). Satan, however, exaggerated the limitation, excluded the consequences, and suggested a gap in the provision of God (Gen. 3:1).

Woman acknowledges God’s provision, but adds a little caveat to the original command: she says that she can’t even touch the fruit or she’ll die (Gen. 3:3).

Who knows whether Adam or Woman added that little hedge of protection around God’s command? Most religions start off with the same kind of innocent bumper for sin. But here’s the problem: God will not provide the consequence to a command he never gave.

When Woman touches the fruit in Gen. 3:6, nothing happens. Suddenly, there’s the possibility that God is lying.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s one more detail I’d like to point out. If we can assume that Woman was fulfilling her calling and gifting to help Adam in his responsibilities, then what Mr. Snake suggests next is crucial.

He says that the fruit will grant wisdom (Gen. 3:5). The Hebrew word used here is saw-kal, which means to have skill, understand, and guide (Strong 535). Remember, if Woman wasn’t willfully eyeing this fruit, then she was performing her job—to be the in-the-nick-of-time help for Adam— and what better tool could she use than wisdom?

Next, Woman double-checks her information. She knew God created the fruit and trees in the Garden to be pleasing to the eyes and good to eat (Gen. 2:8). So she examined the fruit and found it pleasant to the eye and good to eat (3:6). It appeared to align with what God had planned, just as Satan knew it would.

I’m not saying that Woman is the victim and isn’t responsible for her choice. Ultimately, she chose to believe Satan and disobey God. But what I’m seeing here is a pattern that the Enemy has used on me over and over again.

What I’m seeing is a tailor-made trap to strip Woman of her God, her power, and her dignity.

 

Strong, James. “Sakal.” The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson, 1996, pp. 535.

Eve: The Original Wonder Woman

Here’s a quick recap of last week’s post— Woman was created:

  • Innocent,
  • Perfect,
  • Last,
  • In the image of God,
  • For relationship with God and Adam,
  • In the garden of Eden,
  • And shamelessly, happily, and blessedly naked.

In short, Eve was exactly who God said she was.

Let’s look at the God-designed context of her creation: Genesis 2:7 explains how God made Man, 2:18 states that Adam was alone, and 2:22 describes that God made Woman out of Adam.

Between Adam’s creation and Woman’s creation, God put Adam to work naming all the animals God had created (Gen. 2:18-20). Talk about a long day. Why didn’t God give that assignment after Woman was created? She could’ve taken half of the animals and helped get the job done in half the time.

Instead of detailing all the creativity and wonder of Adam as he named every living thing that could move on its own, Genesis 2:20 focuses on the search for a helper comparable to Adam. Despite all the diversity of creation, Adam came up empty.

During this time, Adam discovered that he was the only one who was alone in his kind and his responsibilities. Then God, in his mercy, remedied the situation by creating Woman out of Adam’s rib (Gen. 2:21-22).

Woman filled the only void that existed in creation and God made sure that Adam knew it. She was the companion in mind, body, and spirit that he needed. But, wait! There’s more.

The Hebrew word ezer is typically translated as “helper” (Strong 42). I don’t know about you, but that feels a bit First Grade to me. Not flattering.

However, this word is only used twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Eighteen of those times, ezer refers to God’s divine intervention on behalf of his children who are on the cusp of disaster.

One of the remaining references is a negative (Is. 30:5). In other words, that verse is saying, “Dude, you are so not helping.” The last two refer to Woman.

Breathe this fact in until it mingles with your toes, my friend: The positive identifications of ezer only refer to God and to Woman.

Based on the uses throughout the Old Testament, here’s my functional definition of ezer: powerful, overwhelming, in-the-nick-of-time military help. Think Gideon with three hundred men carrying jars and torches defeating well-trained, well-armed soldiers. Jericho’s walls collapsing at the sound of a worship service. A stone toppling a giant.

That’s the word God uses to describe Woman.

That’s the mold in which you and I were made: that of a powerful warrior lending aid to an ally.

Woman not only kept Adam from aloneness, but she was empowered to render the essential assistance he needed to carry out his purpose: The steward, filling and subduing the earth, and governing all living things.

How breath-taking. What a mission. What a woman she must have been. Woman was fully confident, fully capable, and fully empowered to assist in the exact moment and the exact manner that was needed.

No wonder Satan went after her.

 

Strong, James. “Ezer.” The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson, 1996, pp. 472.

Eve: The Face Behind the Blame

What would you give to know that who you are, what you look like, where you are, and what you’re doing is precisely perfect?

We can get close, but sin keeps us from fully walking in that assurance. We can thank Eve for that one, right? Without her, we’d be sun-bathing in paradise right now.

Before we start resenting her cravings, however, let’s pause to consider who she was before she lost everything. Because, make no mistake, if anyone knew who and why she was, it was Eve.

Woman was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Shifting his creation technique, God meticulously crafted man and woman. He touched them—molded them like a potter with clay (Gen. 2:7, 21-22). That’s intimate—a tactile process that the rest of creation doesn’t share.

Whereas Adam seems to be fashioned outside of the garden, then placed there, (Gen. 2:7-8,15), Eve seems to be created inside the Garden (2:21-22).

God created the garden to provide pleasure, purpose, sustenance, and access to his presence (Gen. 2:9). Adam was brought into Paradise. Eve was made for Paradise. She knew nothing but comprehensive pleasure, purpose, sustenance, and access to God.

She was also created for Adam—she was his physical, emotional, and relational match.

Let this saturate your soul: Woman was crafted at the end of creation to fill a specific, God-designed void (Gen. 2:20).

Imagine the freedom, delight, and fulfillment she must have experienced! Woman was needed, wanted, and perfectly equipped to fulfill each God-designed aspect of her niche.

She was innocent of all doubt, insecurity, fear, or stress.

Yeah, but then she started talking to snakes, you might be thinking. That’s true. Eve screwed up. So have I. Haven’t you?

My biggest, most shameful screw-up is the last thing I want people to remember me by. But that is exactly the legacy we assign Eve. Why?

Perhaps there is power in knowing the mold we were crafted in. If so, I can think of no better tactic for the Enemy than to get us caught up with the blame game. In fact, that’s precisely what has occurred in western civilization since the fall—women consistently have been considered Jezebels who must be controlled and trained to stay in their place.

I want to explore the grace, mercy, and God-ordained vengeance that Eve inspired at her darkest moment. Perhaps her story can give us a bit of light for our own path as women. Join me?