Woman utters seven words, which declare, “I have been stripped of my dignity, worth, and power by this, my enemy.” Woman confesses her sin and laid her shame bare before the Lord.
No one in history has been more distressed than Woman that day. Why? Because Woman lost everything. In order to lose everything, one must first have everything. Until that moment, Woman had never experienced anything beyond perfect harmony, capability, and utter satisfaction.
If you consider her purpose as in-the-nick-of-time helper, Woman’s sin was ultimately a mis-application of her God-given position and power. I don’t know about you, but nothing wrenches my soul like hurting someone I’m supposed to help.
Woman’s confession was not a beggarly excuse from someone who is weak and incapable. It’s a plea for understanding from the only One who could fathom the depth of her sorrow and loss.
What an invitation. Without hesitation, God confronts Woman’s Enemy and defends her with breath-taking accuracy. He declares a blood feud between Woman and Satan. And He pronounces Satan’s ultimate destruction.
If that sounds unimpressive to you, think back to the last time God declared something. “Let there be light” had immediate and comprehensive effect (Gen. 1:3).
Have you ever wondered why it seems that Satan has it out for you personally? Why he just won’t leave you alone? Satan is fighting so hard because he is a cornered, wounded animal whose doom has been pronounced. He has lost. His time is running out. He knows it. And you are an echo of the original Woman.
God’s vengeance encompasses the enemy that Woman knows about (Mr. Snake) as well as the enemy of creation itself (Satan). You know who else it encompasses? Woman’s faithless husband, Adam.
God reclaims all the dignity that Woman lost to her three accusers. He corroborates her claim of being cheated (Gen. 3:14), letting all three know that God is not deceived by any of them.
He lays no blame on the Woman (Gen. 3:16-17), despite laying blame both on the serpent (Gen. 3:14) and Adam (Gen. 3:17). God declares Woman the conduit for Satan’s destruction through her descendant, Jesus Christ (Gen. 3:15).
Then God returns to Woman the dignity of life-giver (Gen. 3:16) and describes the desire she will always have to return to perfect unity of relationship with her children and her husband (Gen. 3:16).
After God’s thorough defense of Woman, including His pronouncement of Adam’s sin and consequences, Adam repents and reclaims his wife. He names her Chavvah, which means life-giver. He gives her a name that describes her vengeance from God. Every time someone hears it, they will be reminded of the time God Almighty defended her. Talk about being clothed in dignity!
Eve’s vengeance is complete. She, Adam, Mr. Snake, Satan and God all know it. But Eve is still in danger from two quarters. She and Adam:
- Ate the forbidden fruit, which demands death as payment (Gen. 1:17), and
- Might eat the fruit from the Tree of Life, which gives eternal life (Gen. 3:22).
God addresses the first threat by appeasing the requirement with a substitute—an animal whose blood mitigates Adam and Eve’s guilt and whose skin covers them from the now-difficult terrain and temperatures of Earth (Gen. 3:21). Why did He bother? Due to the nature of God’s vengeance for Eve, she cannot die childless. He clothed her to facilitate her continued life and vengeance.
God addresses the second threat by sending Adam and Eve out of the Garden and setting a cherubim guard over the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:22-24). Why? Up until now, the Tree wasn’t forbidden, but since Adam and Eve are now vulnerable to the warring options and desires of good and evil, God protected them from bearing the weight of sin for all time.