Lucia's Blog: IN THE GARDEN: SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, February 13, 2015

IN THE GARDEN: SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN

“It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him…. 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.  The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”’  
Genesis 2:18-23


GOD'S ROLE FOR WOMEN

For the better part of my life, I have watched a worldly feminism tear down the sacred concept of femininity. Even among my beloved sisters in Christ, I have witnessed a shame toward things sacred. Please, consider with me some of the fundamental Bible teachings that can still save us from this error.

It is vital that we understand whether we are old or young, married or single men and women, the nature and character of both male and female.  There can be no better place to start than the Book of Genesis.  In Genesis 1:26-31, we learn that God created both male and female and that they were made in His own image.  He made them on the sixth day of Creation.  God made them both in His own image and they were both given a special kind of dignity and value that was very different from the rest of God’s Creation.  Although they were both made in God’s image, the divine design for the two was not the same.  God clearly made a distinction between the role of a man and the role of a woman.  In the last half of chapter 2, we learn the origin of woman, marriage and family.   There is a lot that we can learn about Eve, the first woman created by God.

The Book of Genesis lays the foundation for understanding the origins of almost everything pertaining to life.  We learn of God’s divine design and purpose for men and women, especially in the relationship of husband and wife.  In this same Book, we read and learn about God’s family covenant:  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, their wives and children.  As we read through the pages of this first Book of the Bible, we notice that these families encountered many problems that families struggle with today.  Struggles such as:  husbands failing to lead well, wives taking matters into their own hands, the consequences of rivalry, envy, strife, jealousy and the rivalry among siblings.  We also read about the breaking of the Ten Commandments by His people and how God used them in spite of their flaws and shortcomings.

I.  THE ORIGIN OF WOMAN AND GOD’S PURPOSE FOR HER

The Book of Genesis opens with the account of Creation.   As we read through the pages of this Book, we learn that our eternal, majestic, almighty God, created the heavens and the Earth out of nothing, simply by speaking the Creation into existence:

In Genesis 1:3-4 God said, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”'

In Genesis 1:10 we read, “God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:12, “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:17-18, “God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:21, “God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:25-27, “God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Genesis 2:7“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  

It is important to notice that after God had created light, land, seas, plants, the sun, the moon and animals of all kinds, He pronounced them each as “good,” and the sum of all of them as “very good.”

But in spite of all this amazing Creation, there was something that was missing and was not good.  Adam was alone:  he had no “help meet,” no wife.

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Genesis 2:18

It is evident to see that man was in need of a companion to complete him.

II.  WOMAN WAS CREATED TO BE MAN’S HELPMATE, HELPERS:

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him…. 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.  The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”  Genesis 2:18-23.


The word “meet” means “corresponding to him;” in other words, someone who would meet his needs and he would meet hers as well; someone who would complement him; someone who would complete him according to her God-given gifts and traits.  This helper or helpmate was to be specifically a suitable counterpart for him.  The woman was made for man, and is the glory of man, I Cor. 11:9-11.  It has been said that man was dust refined and that woman was man refined again.  In all this we can see God’s complimentary design purposes so that they might fulfill what the other is lacking.  We can also see His goodness since He is the Author of Life and the God Who is love. 

“The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time.  You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.  The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.”  Psalm 145:15-17.

Unfortunately, we live in a feminist culture where many women resent that the Bible calls Eve a "helper."  They take it as to imply that a woman is inferior to man, Adam in this case, and less important.  What they don’t consider is that the Bible many times refers to God as a help and helper to us.  Obviously, there is nothing that would make that title inferior.  Notice what Scripture has to say:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.  WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”  Hebrews 13:6

Another absurd and illogical argument feminists make is that God was unfair to women when He created Eve second, after Adam, implying a lower status.  What they forget to mention is that Adam was created after all the animals, yet God said he was superior to them.  The fact that Eve was created after Adam does not make her inferior to him.

Still others interpret the order of Creation another way.  They say that Eve was created last to place her in fact superior, the pinnacle of all Creation.  This is absurd!  The Bible never said that either.  The absolute Truth here is that man and woman were God’s pinnacle work of creation.  Their order of creation has nothing to do with superiority over the rest of God’s Creation.  They were superior to the rest of the Creation because they were created in God’s image.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  Genesis 1:27

III.    WOMAN WAS CREATED TO BE MAN’S COMPANION, HIS WIFE:

Eve was a woman, but she was also a wife.  Likewise, Adam was a man, but he was also a husband.  Adam needed a companion, and a helper, a wife.  Another man would have provided him companionship and help, but he would not be suitable for the purposes that God had in mind.  What made Eve suitable was that she could with Adam have children.  Eve was to live and work with him as a fellow heir of the grace of life, receiving life and giving life:

“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”  I Peter 3:7

We see the word “companion” throughout Scripture as a facet of the wife’s role as a helper not only in creating a family by childbirth but also in caring for the family, working to adorn them and providing for a successful future.  In Proverbs 31, we read that the husband’s heart trusts in her, his wife:

“An excellent wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”  Proverbs 31:10-12

We see another example of the husband sharing the distresses or cares of his life with her, his wife in Genesis 24 where Isaac was being comforted by Rebekah, his new bride, after his mother’s death.

Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”  Genesis 24:67

All men and women should be like Adam and Eve:  lifelong companions.  God has always been very serious about this.  God was crystal clear when He said it was not good for a man to be alone.  Men need a companion to comfort them, to encourage them, and to support them.  Although the Bible speaks of us, women, as being the weaker vessel, that does not necessarily mean that men are not also weak.  They have weaknesses of their own.  They are complex creatures.  That is why our God in His infinite wisdom thought of this by providing a wife for him.  A man needs his wife’s love, honor, support, and respect.  Together they build a family which provides a support structure that lasts a lifetime.

IV.    WIVES ARE TO HELP THEIR HUSBANDS BE FRUITFUL:

As we read through the pages of Genesis, we learn another fact regarding the wife’s role as a helper:

“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.” Genesis 1:27-28

V.     WIVES ARE TO HELP THEIR HUSBANDS WITH THE WORK OF TAKING DOMINION OVER THE EARTH:

Adam needed a companion, someone to help him bear and raise children.  Likewise, he also needed someone that would help him with the work of subduing the earth, having dominion over living things.  In Proverbs 31 we read a beautiful illustration of this beautiful facet of the woman’s role as a good manager of her home that made her a special and excellent wife.  The excellent wife of Proverbs 31 took her role with pride:  she was the manager of the household which she shared with her husband.

It is important that we understand that Eve was not given her own dominion mandate.  Take notice that men and women were not given two different and separate worlds; they were given the same mandate and the same world to share:  the world of humankind.  Today, in a culture dominated by pure "feminism" and secular "statism," this is difficult to follow and to put into practice.  It 's hard for such a culture to follow the divine pattern for the family defined by God in the Bible.  I am sorry to say, but we have been deceived and brainwashed with superficial, false, shallow and artificial ideas regarding our gender roles.  One of the most ridiculous of these ideas is that a woman can only find fulfillment as an individual through a successful career outside the home.  Let us be wise and not get caught up in this lunacy.  While we pursue our so-called feminine interests, we neglect our role as wife and mother, our husband’s helper.  Lest we forget, this our God-given duty, our calling; the one designed by God for us, women.  This now leads me to the next question: 

VI.    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WOMAN?

Today, in a culture that lacks understanding of gender roles, there is great confusion over what “femininity” or “womanliness” really is.  “Femininity” has nothing to do with frills, lace or wearing pink.  Biblical (hence true) “femininity” is a woman doing those things that fulfill her role as defined by God, such as a wife helping her husband.  Since we were created by our Creator to be our husband’s helper, when we do those things that would help him, this glorifies God in true “femininity.”  For the wife could take out the trash or pay the bills while her husband is occupied doing something that is more important.   Most of what we are accustomed to thinking of as feminine is wrong.  Going to a beauty parlor to do your nails, your hair or perhaps attend a tea party are not especially feminine activities.  They, of course, are valid things to do, but they are not what the Bible encourages us to think of feminine.  If anything, 1 Timothy 2 suggests that outward adornment misses the point.  To think that they are more appropriate for a woman to do than perhaps fixing up the house, painting, mowing, etc. is a mistake.

From the foundational truths of the Bible, we find out that femininity is not the opposite of masculinity. Rather, it is essentially a complement to it.  Both femininity and masculinity are naturally connected to each other.  Femininity is that facet of God’s image that only women carry.  It is the sum of all the characteristics and attributes that make women unique.  Those things about Eve that completed and supplemented Adam.  Eve’s femininity did not compete with Adam’s masculinity.  It did not fight against it.  Did you know that all those characteristics, traits, and gifts are what make men and women unique and different?   In fact, they are useful and helpful to each other.  When we speak biblically of wives being a helpmeet to our husbands, it means doing all those things pertaining to our husbands and our family that need to be done and accomplished.  Perhaps those things that he cannot do or things that he entrusted to you to do.  Perhaps the only and most important things that we can do to help our husbands when we are in the season of babies and young children is for us to help him in the care and the managing of our homes.

So, when we speak of fundamental truths in the Bible, we see that femininity is not the opposite of masculinity.  It is the accompaniment or companion to it.  The two, femininity and masculinity are connected.  They walk hand in hand.  Femininity is that detail of God’s image that only women carry.  It is the essence and the sum of all the qualities or characteristics which are distinctive to women.  Likewise, when the husband is employed outside the home, it is the wife’s responsibility to help him in running the home in his absence.  If he is working from home, you can help him in many ways with his work as well.  It is important to let him define the ways that he can best use your helpWhy not ask him?  You might be asking yourself, “what about my own needs and the things I want to do too?”  You might find it boring to take care of all this for your husband, but in fact, you can be of great help to him.  In the end, this is what we are called for.

So if you find yourself thinking like the world, you might have a big problem.  Why?  Because you are not thinking like a Christian woman. Why not go to the Bible and find the answer to your questions and concerns?

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”  I Cor. 6:19-20

“For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.”  I Cor. 7:22

When one claims to be a Christian and a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, one is declaring that he is the Lord’s propertyDon’t you think?  The Word of God refers to us, Christians, as His slaves who live only to do His will.  If our way of thinking is in harmony with the Word of God, then we will see ourselves as created by the One Creator to be our husbands’ helpers and we will humbly and willingly submit to His authority and leadership, His rule.  It is our sincere and genuine faith in our Lord that allows us to see helping our husbands as God’s will for us.  In the end, this will definitely become something that we truly want to do from the heart without complaint.  I leave you with two questions:  What are some ways in which your femininity may complement your husband’s masculinity?  What are some ways you can become more feminine in the real and Biblical sense of the word?

VII.    WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE BOOK OF GENESIS ABOUT WOMEN?

Why not turn the pages of your Bible back to the Book of Genesis to see what Scripture has to say about this issue?  We all know what happened back in the beginning, in the Garden, with Adam and Eve.  Eve was deceived by the serpent in the Garden.  Satan was this serpent.  And in this beautiful Garden we see the origin of temptation and sin.  Notice what the Word of God has to say regarding this origin of temptation:

“Now the serpent was craftier than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 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.”’ Genesis 3:1-6.

Let’s try to understand what this text reveals to us:

In verse 1, the crafty serpent is identified as Satan.  Moses speaks of a real talking serpent in the Garden.  The New Testament apostle Paul also affirms this:

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  2 Cor. 11:3

Also, Jesus identifies this serpent as Satan and describes his pursuits in John 8:44:

“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. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus speaks of Satan as the serpent of old time in the Book of Revelation:

“And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”  Rev. 20:2

“And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”  Rev. 12:9

This leads me to this question:  What is the origin of this crafty, talking serpent that is identified in Scripture as Satan?  What is the origin of Satan?

Well, the answer is not given to us by God.  We do know that this evil tempter and accuser was in the Garden.  How did he get in the Garden?  Again, we are not told.  And although his origin is not given, his end is given:

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.’”  Revelation 12:10-11

“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  Rev. 20:10

Notice that in Genesis 3:2-3, Eve knew what God had commanded them to do.  She knew that God had spoken specifically about not eating it and the consequences of disobeying Him.  She knew the Law, the Word spoken by God.  She had no excuses!

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

Now if we turn the page back, we can read of the commandment given to them by GOD:

“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.”  Genesis 2:16-17

There is no doubt that they knew what to do.  God had spoken!  Today we, just like Adam and Eve, live by what God has spoken through His revealed Word, His Law, and all authority.  They all originate from God.  We need to follow Jesus’ example when He was tempted by Satan in the desert.  What did Jesus do or say to Satan?

And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”    Matthew 4:3-4

Eve was responsible for obeying it.  Once God has spoken, it is man’s duty or obligation to obey or take heed.  Eve most likely heard of God’s Law or Word from her husband, Adam.

Notice what Eve told the serpent, “but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

God had said and commanded, “Don’t eat it.” Instead, Eve said, “don’t touch.”  She even added additional limitation or restrictions to God’s spoken Word.  Where did all these restrictions come from” From Adam or both?  Whatever the answer might be, they broke God’s Law.

In verses 4-5, we read of the first big lie:

”The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

Notice the word “not.”  Isn't it something that Satan is always contradicting God and His spoken Word?  Take note of what Jesus said to the Jews:

“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. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

Can you see how obviously Satan loves to contradict God’s spoken Word?  He did it with Eve.  How could she, Eve, and so many after her fall for this?  We must remember that when God clearly says one thing, the serpent apparently wants to say another thing.  Satan is crafty!

In verse 5, Satan deceives Eve by suggesting, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

“You will be like God.”  Satan insinuated to them that God was keeping them down or oppressing them.  And that God’s ways were too restrictive, and there was no good reason to obey.  He is still doing the same evil thing today with deadly results.

“Knowing good and evil.”  This is the part that snared Eve.  This was the chief temptation. 
Adam and Eve found out the hard way that knowing good and evil was not really all that good.  So very often Satan deceives us with empty promises that frequently don’t turn out to be so good as we have imagined them.  Satan is the chief of the “bait-n-switch.”  How often do we desperately want to know, know, know but when we discover it, we wish that we had not?  There is a big difference between having a knowledge of what it is good and having a knowledge of what is evil.  They are very distinct and separate things.  Which do you think will help you gain that knowledge?  Which can you use for both good and evil?  Unfortunately, although many of the so-called branches of knowledge are morally neutral, they can be used for great good or evil depending on who is using them.

“Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.”  Ecclesiastes 1:18

The saddest part of all is that we cannot undo the consequences of our sins.  Thanks be to God that we have the hope of forgiveness.  Thank God that we have Jesus as our High Priest, and He knows that it is common for all men to face temptation.  He faced it Himself.  But He is willing to come to our rescue.  Hebrews 4:15.  And although Satan desires to corrupt us, we can choose to say no.  Titus 1:15.

One thing to take to heart is that evil is not produced in our lives until we internalize the temptation.  Then we lust, pursuing that which has been offered to us by Satan.  James 1:13-16.

In Genesis 3:6, we see the origin of sin.  “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.”

Eve’s big mistake was to listen to the serpent’s words instead of listening to what God had spoken.  Consider what Scripture has to say about this:

“My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.”  Proverbs 1:10

The Bible presents us with some great examples of the consequences of being with and listening to the wrong people.  In the end, this determines what we become.
  1. Ahab was bad, but Jezebel’s influence made him worse.
  2. Lot’s family was morally destroyed by their Sodomite neighbors.
  3. Although Israel was forbidden to marry their pagan neighbors, they disobeyed God anyway and were corrupted by them.
  4. Seed always produces fruit after their own kind.
  5. If you go with sinners and consent, you are one of them.
A man is known by his friends.  We must choose our friends well because they are our future.

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.”  Psalm 1:1-2.

You see, one of Eve’s biggest problems is that she preferred to listen to the serpent.  Lust was then conceived giving birth to sin.  Eve was enticed and carried away by her own desires which brought forth death to her, separation from God.  James 1:13-16

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  2 Cor. 11:3.

The serpent, Satan, has many deceitful tactics that influence us to do lawlessness.  He corrupts our healthy ways, but we have a choice.  We can reject him!  The problem of sin starts within, in the heart.  We must purpose to stop the lust and the sin and not end up like Eve whose eyes were full of the lust of the flesh.  Oh! It looked good to her. She consented, and she ate it.  It felt great to her!  She allowed her passions and desires to gratify the flesh, Gal. 5:19-21.  Eve was full of herself!  She desired to do what she wanted seeking gratification.  Proverbs 16:18.  What Eve did not realize was that this enticement promised so much to her when in fact it brought her terrible consequences attached to it.  James 1:15-16; Romans 6:23

Let us learn from Eve who desired the prohibited evil as food as the most attractive thing to her.  Her desire to be like God in a sinful way was wrong and reflected her desire to choose what was wrong; in a few words, she wanted to be her own god.  She wanted to direct her life independently from GOD.  Our primary desire must be that of wanting to do what is right, the will of God, and not our own will, or what is right in our own eyes.  We must take heed to what God has spoken as being right.  Let us not make our own restrictions and rules rather than following His divine plan and design for us.

One of Eve’s biggest problems was that she wanted to do things her own way.  She wanted to be the god who has the power to control our lives.  Unfortunately, we all have this tendency.  But let us not forget that God is God and we are not God.  He is King of kings and Lord of lords and Creator and Author of everything.  Therefore we must obey Him and His rules rather than making up our own.

Today, men and women have this in common when they seek autonomy from God.  For men it is wanting to be their own boss and doing as they please; neglecting their families and responsibilities.  For women, it is the same problem.  They want to make their husbands do what they want and desire.  Sadly, this often ends up with the wives running their families and being the head which God has not authorized.  They are breaking God’s laws and yes they are sinning and need to repent.

Ironically, these women called themselves Christian but fail when they want autonomy and independence from God’s laws as well as whatever male authority there is over them.  Instead of humbly submitting to God and their husbands, they rather undermine God and their husbands at their weakest point.

Moreover, men also sin when they want autonomy apart from God; independence from God’s direction for them.  They would rather be unfaithful in their God-given duty and responsibility instead of being faithful to Him leading their families the way God has ordained for them to do.  They would rather be passive and ironically find it easier to be. What these weak men don’t realize is that this becomes their wives’ prey.  This prey is the weak point in their wives which pushes them to take all matters into their hands.  When either husband or wife are disobedient to God and His Word, this will encourage them to disobey God’s laws, ending up in complete disobedience of the other.  They both begin a situation that gets worse and worse and out of control which ultimately will lead to the destruction of their marriage and the family.  This is sad but it is what happens in many marriages today when both husband and wife refuse to surrender to the authority of God and His norms for marriage and the home.

In today’s culture, most women have the tendency to fall back to the default position of control.  They want to take the role of men:  first, they start with wanting to lead or be the head of their families.  But wait, men are not off the hook.  Men also have this same tendency to default by taking the woman’s role.  They become more and more submissive husbands.  They become submissive regarding their leadership.  They want and prefer to switch roles.  What they don’t realize is that their weaknesses are aggravating each other’s weaknesses.

Strength, in fact, becomes a weakness, because it is not used for building each other up.  This happens because both are not governing themselves in a manner worthy of their calling.  Unfortunately, these characteristics make them more prone to tear each other down.  So we sin, just as Eve did.

I will leave you with this question:  Do you see yourself as Eve?  What was Eve’s sin?  Are you tempted like Eve or do you resist Satan in obeying God’s laws?  Which one do you prefer, your selfish desires, autonomy, and restrictions or God’s laws?  It is your choice and on that rests your salvation.  Let us be women who fear the Lord and are here to please and honor Him.

Lest we forget, marriage is a fragile balancing act that demands constant attention and effort that it be not broken.  It can be broken so easily!  When husbands and wives humbly surrender to God’s laws and rule, their marriages and everything else starts to improve.  They start building each other up in love and good works.  When both, husband and wife, start supplying their strengths to the well-being of the family, the family becomes more than the sum of its parts.  But when even one fails to meet these needs by disobeying God’s rules, they become weaker and weaker, worse and worse to the point where they start tearing each other apart, biting and devouring one another.

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”  Galatians 5:14-17.

Living in a culture where everyone is encouraged to be autonomous, rebelling against God altogether, one may find it easy to turn his back on God and fail to be a faithful Christian in word and deed.  We must not allow Satan to get away with this!  We must turn to God, repent and surrender to His will.  We must reject all that is against God’s laws, will and rule.  We must choose to want to do what it is right before God’s eyes.  We must refuse what is wrong for us and perhaps for those around us as well.  We must obey and abide in the Word of God, God’s laws, rules, commandments, edicts, testimonies and promises.  They are for our own protection.  Let us be wise and not forsake them.

Going back to the Garden, once Adam and Eve had sinned or transgressed God’s law, the consequences were immediate.  And although God had warned them that they would die, Gen. 1:27, they disobeyed.  They did not die physically that moment (although they began to die when they were driven from the Garden of Eden) but they did die spiritually when they separated from God.  Let us learn from Adam and Eve.



VIII.    IN THE GARDEN:  THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED ON ADAM AND EVE AND OUR HOPE:

The Book of Genesis records the origins of the universe, of life, of man, of woman, of work(labor), of law, of marriage, of family, of temptation, evil, of sin, and the curse on the serpent and the hope of One who would be the One to defeat such serpent.

The aftereffect of sin leads us to the sentence on the man and the woman and the undeniable reality of the consequences of such sin. Isn’t it something that the world that is depicted towards the end of chapter 3 of Genesis, it is a lot similar to the world we now live in?  It is a stark reality that this beautiful paradise they once had ceased to exist for them and us.

 ADAM AND EVE ARE FOUND GUILTY & SENTENCED: GENESIS 3:16-19

Although we speak of the curses bestowed upon Adam and Eve because of their sin, the word “curse” is not used with regard to the man and the woman. The reality here is that the serpent was the one that was cursed. God cursed not only the serpent but also the ground. This chapter says nothing about the curse being on the man and the woman. The serpent was cursed without hope of redemption. God placed him in eternal enmity against the woman and her seed promising an ultimate defeat. But after the judgment, there was hope for mankind with mercy and hope of redemption.  Isn’t that amazing!

A.  SENTENCE OF THE WOMAN, EVE:   GENESIS 3:16

“To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

         1.  Pain In Childbirth

           a.  Conception: The first part of this text speaks of those things that are related to bringing children, that is babies, into the world. The original word means “conception.” This same concept is seen in Ruth 4:13:

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” Apparently, the task of conceiving refers to all those things related to the anatomical and physiological part of reproduction that is unique to women.
               
b.  Childbirth:  In the Bible, labor and delivery pains are described as the worst kind of anguish and are typically used to illustrate the worst kind of suffering. Believe me, I know as a woman the pains and anguish of childbirth!

“Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? “Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, like a woman in childbirth; For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies.” Micah 4:9-10

and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.” This is a horrible great pain, but as soon as your see your baby’s face, it is one that is forgotten soon! I know some women today avoid this anguish of childbirth by having C-sections. They are missing out on the beauty of labor and childbirth. “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.” John 16:21

          c.  Eve’s New Relationship With Her Husband:

“Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

The phrase, “your desire will be for your husband” strongly suggests that she will have to be dominated by him. He was to rule over her. What this passage means is that Eve and all women after her, will bear and raise children only with difficulty. And in spite of such difficulty with children, she will also have to want to be with her husband. Also, she was to be in a submissive role relative to her husband. Before the fall, the assigned roles for Adam and Eve were different. As a result of the fall, the harmony, and collaboration that God had planned for the marriage was going to be impaired. So often we wives have the temptation to take control, taking all matters into our own hands. Husbands are left with the option of either forcing their wives into submission or tragically, submitting themselves to their wives’ leadership. When this happens in a marriage, it is catastrophic! It brings bitterness, discontent, strife, hate, unfaithfulness and finally separation. If there are children involved, it only makes things worse for them. Eventually, it becomes a stumbling block for them as well.

Only those who are wise enough, to heed the Word of God with its biblical principles for marriage, will enjoy a relationship restored to something similar to its original state. The way God has designed it to be. The fact that Adam was created first and Eve second as the “helper” or companion suitable for him brings forth many implications of leadership. Notice what the apostle Paul has to say concerning the order of creation and the reasons for God’s order of things:

“For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.” I Timothy 2:13.

Notice that Paul also refers to the sin committed by Eve as a reason to follow the leadership of the man.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” I Timothy 2:14.

In speaking of the spiritual equality of both men and women, Paul says:

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28.

Even so, the New Testament qualifies this equality repeatedly with the endorsement of man’s headship over the woman:

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

“Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” Colossians 3:18

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.” I Peter 3:1

My sisters and friends, I leave you with the following question: Taking into consideration the sentence given to Eve, what can or what will you do to improve your family relationship, especially that of your husband, your helper?

B.       SENTENCE Of THE MAN, ADAM:  GENESIS 3:17-19

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.  “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”'

1.  Adam Sinned By Listening To Eve Instead of God:

In the Garden before God sentences Adam, He declares Adam’s guilt.  Adam did wrong because he listened to his wife, Eve, instead of to God.  Man not listening to God’s voice, His authority, is something that has been repeated over and over again.  Lest we forget, God’s voice, is the only one we must always go by and obey.  In the New and Old Testament we read:

“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.”'  Jeremiah 7:23

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:17

2. The Ground Was Cursed Because of Man, Adam:

In Genesis 3:17-19, we read that God cursed the ground because of man’s sin just like He cursed the serpent.  The cursing of the ground makes things more difficult for man, teaching him this lesson daily:

All a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied.”  Eccl. 6:7
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”  Psalm 127:2

How difficult it is for the farmer to grow pleasant, useful and valuable things and how easy it is for kudzu, tallow trees, rag weed, any kind of weeds, etc., he does not want growing on his farm.

3. Eating Bread By Working Hard:

Before Adam was sentenced by God, he picked up the fruit of readymade trees for food, but after the sentence he had to work hard in the difficult earth.  Now Adam gained his food with difficulty by the sweat of his brow.  Eating bread is what sustains humankind.

“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth.”

Working hard to gain his food, his bread, is something all men have to do.  Even though it is difficult, it is his duty under the sun.

“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”  2 Thess. 3:10-12

4. Man Then Returns To The Ground:

Man is sentenced to die.  “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”  Heb. 9:27

This death sentence is for ALL.  It is one that is slowly executed, but there is great mercy in the time allowed for man to live before he dies.

“All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust.”  Job 34:15
“All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.”  Eccl. 3:20
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”  Eccl. 12:7.

The sentence that God imposed on Adam was not a sign of God’s anger or hatred toward him and his wife, Eve.  It was, in fact, a sign of His love for them.  I find the phrase God used interesting, “Cursed is the ground because of you.”  It is evident that after this sentence things became difficult for them, but it was for their own good.  So many times, God gives us difficult challenges that we may humble our hearts and draw closer to Him.

“There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they had rebelled against the words of God and spurned the counsel of the Most High.  Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; they stumbled and there was none to help.  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses.   He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart.”  Ps. 107:10-14.

We usually get in trouble when things are too easy.  We get into trouble when we have too much idle time on our hands.  An important side of work is that it helps us to humble ourselves, keeping out of trouble.  This leads me to the following questions:

Firstly, in what way have you accepted your culture’s view that work is a nuisance rather than part of God’s good plan for man?  And secondly, will you allow God’s sentence to humble you and draw you closer to Him?

In my next study, I will be discussing the traits seen in women in the Bible, the influence of women, feminism, and submission.

When we speak of wives being a “helpmeet” to our husbands Biblically, it means doing all of those things that need to be done that will help our husbands and our family.  They can be either what he can’t do or what is specially assigned for us to do.  Perhaps, the most important and useful things we can do to help our husbands during  our season of bearing children is to take  care of them and manage our homes.   These may be the only things you can do to help him during this season of your life.

May the Lord help us, women, to escape the clever deceptions of the modern feminist movement and fulfill the role that God has given to us.

Luci