Tag Archives: Eve

Women of the Bible: Eve — Samantha Harvey

When I think of the first woman of creation, my first thought is to wonder “Why, Eve, did you eat that fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Look what you have done!” But is that all she is to us as humans: the first to sin and therefore introduce evil into an otherwise perfect world? When I was given the task to write an article about Eve, I wondered what on earth I could write about her and could any of that be positive. In my study I found there is much more to Eve than sin and upon studying creation in order to research Eve, I learned much about God’s essence in the process.

To better understand Eve’s purpose in creation, we must first look at what God had created before her. After all, she was created last.  As a woman, it is very fulfilling to understand why. God took an empty earth and made light, dry land and seas. He filled the land with vegetation and the firmament with lights. He filled the sky and waters with living creatures and saw that it all of it was good. Then God made man in His own image (Gen. 1:27). Adam was formed from the dust of the ground just like the animals (Gen. 2:7, 19). Yet, Adam was set apart from other living beings because of how the gift of life was bestowed. God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Gen. 2:7). Now man has become a living soul. God planted a wonderful garden for man to care for but determined that is was not good for man to be alone. This is the first instance we know of in which God describes something as “not good.” God gave man company in the form of animals, but none were comparable to him.

Why did God not just make Eve first, before the animals? I believe God wanted Adam to discover for himself the lack of existence of another human in the garden and to have a desire for human and personal fellowship.  In other words, God wanted Adam to desire his future wife. God knew that it was not good because Adam was missing his helpmeet, his completion, his wife.

Once Adam realized this, God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, took one of his ribs and made it into a woman, and He brought her to the man. God had created a desire in man for a wife and now He had filled it. Eve became the subject of the first poem (Gen. 2:23). The relevance of this act is that man and woman are originally one. Even though they each have their own existence, one needs the other for self-completion. “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11). A man shall leave his parents, cleave unto his wife and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). I think it is worth noting that God designed this before Adam and Eve even became parents.

God made Adam and Eve as adults with the ability to communicate with God and each other. Within that communication, He set clear boundaries and gave them a law to be obeyed as well as the consequence for not obeying. He gave them work to do in that they were to tend and keep the garden. God planned for both man and woman to work for their own good. Idleness leads to many other sins (1 Tim. 5:13). “If any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thess 3:10). Man was told to “keep” the garden as well as to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before woman was created (Gen. 2:15,17). In Hebrew, the phrase “to keep” is shâmar, which according to Strong’s definition means to “guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.” What was Adam to protect the garden against? Was he to protect the tree of forbidden fruit? Was he to be on guard from an evil force that might try to deceive him or his future wife? At this time in creation, the animals and humans ate plants so he didn’t need protection from them (Gen. 1:29-30). The Bible does not specify for certain the answer to that question.

Furthermore, Adam and Eve possessed a moral capacity to choose between right and wrong since they were created in God’s image. If not, then how would they be set apart from the animals and able to have dominion over them? It is my opinion that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was placed in the garden to test their obedience and exercise their moral capacity. Remember, God made humans with free will. Man and woman must decide whether they will obey and stay in spiritual communion with God or disobey and separate themselves from their Creator.

Having the ability to choose between right and wrong is different than knowing good and evil; one can be wrong and still not be evil.  I believe such was the case with Eve.  I do not conclude that Eve initially had a desire to do wrong and wanted disobey.  The Bible says she was deceived (Gen. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14).  Eve knew she was told not to eat of the fruit of the tree or touch it, lest she die.  The serpent took what was bad and made it seem like it was not so.  He told Eve she would not die but would be like God (Gen. 3:3-5).  He gave Eve a twisted version of what God said.  It is interesting that Satan presented to Eve the same pride of life that was his downfall (1 Tim. 3:6).  I believe that in her naivety and in her trust and love for God, she thought that being like Him would be a good thing.  However, with his words Satan had planted a seed of temptation.  Eve allowed that seed to grow into a personal desire, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:15-17), and that desire brought forth sin (James 1:14-15).  Thus, she ate of the fruit and gave it to her husband with her, and he ate.  Adam was with her and he did not protect his wife from the serpent’s words, nor did he protect the tree’s fruit.  Instead, he partook in lawlessness.  They both made a wrong choice and they suffered.  Because they became like God in knowing good and evil, they took on a moral obligation to do all that is good and abstain from all that is evil.  Because mankind is not God, we fail at this responsibility.

When Eve was confronted by God about her sin, she did not deny it. She said “I ate” (Gen. 3:13). I believe Eve was sorry for what she did even though she could not undo it. I don’t believe it was only because of the consequences they suffered thereafter. She lost a face-to-face relationship with God! What can compare? Yet Eve did not hang her head and quit on life. She continued to fulfill the role she was meant to do. She still became a mother even though childbirth would be painful. She still continued on after Cain killed Abel and was banished by God. She still gave God the glory for Seth being born.

Just like Eve, we make wrong choices and even desire to be rebellious at times.  Yet we must persevere just as she did. Do not let sin overcome you so that you feel like you cannot go on. Remember that God sends rain on the just and the unjust; God forgives. Now we have redemption through Christ who is our mediator, who also came from lineage of Eve.

Samantha and her family live in Florence, SC.

What Eve Has Taught Me – Debbie Kea

Eve. Mother of all living. First woman. First wife. First sinner. I’ve heard women speak negatively about Eve for most of my Christian life. But as I have studied her, I have developed a great sympathy. Let me show you why.

Sin.  We are all well aware that Eve was deceived by Satan (Gen. 3:4-7). She learned that just because something looks good doesn’t mean it is good. She learned that the Devil lies. She learned to listen to God.   We are critical of her; yet who of us has not sinned? The apostle Paul declares that all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). As I review my own sins, I feel pity for the first woman. There is no record of any other sins of Eve, but this one teaches us serious lessons.

Obedience.  God’s first law was a law of obedience to Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:17). They were clearly instructed by God not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Obedience to God’s laws remains for all of us today if we are to be pleasing to our Maker. We must not only obey God’s commands but we are also to teach obedience to our children and our grandchildren. A lack of respect for authority has become one of the worst problems of our society. Lawlessness reigns in our world. Most importantly, this disobedience separates us from God.

Blame.  We have played the blame game since the beginning and we continue it still! When accused, it’s usually the first thing we humans do—point to someone else. It’s a rare individual that takes personal responsibility for his actions. Adam started this habit by blaming “the woman thou gavest to be with me” and Eve continued by pointing at “the serpent” who beguiled her (Gen.3:12-13). They both knew the truth; that’s why they knew they were naked—their guilt. Our task now as humans is to build our character so that we will be strong enough to admit our sins, repent of them and grow! We must be responsible for our own actions—to God and others. We must be willing to say, “Yes, it was me and I’m sorry.”

Power and Influence.  Eve teaches me that women have great power and influence. Adam was created first and had the responsibility to be the spiritual leader of his home; therefore, Adam should have stopped Eve from disobeying God but he didn’t.   We, as women, must recognize our role in the home as God’s plan. Paul tells us man was not created for the woman but the woman for the man (I Cor. 11:9). Submission and subjection are not inferiority. They are the role that God has given us as women. However, our influence and power can only be for good when we allow our husbands to lead our homes. We must use our influence for good there as well as everywhere we go.

Suffering.  Women have endured suffering since Eve sinned. She was banished from the garden. She suffered in childbirth. Most of us who are mothers understand this well. She suffered over her children. One of her sons was a murderer, and one of her sons was killed. She suffered great loss with both of them. We learn that children who grow up in the same household may very well take different paths in life.   Eve suffered watching her husband work by the sweat of his brow for over 900 years! Sin brings suffering.   Eve learned this.

Desire.  God told Eve that she would have desire only for her husband. This seems an odd thing to say at a time when Adam was the only man there! But as I think about this, I am reminded of many women whose desire is not for their husband but for other things, such as money, career, popularity or a variety of other cares of the world. Unfortunately, today we Christian women are considered peculiar if we care about what our husband wants instead of what we want. This is one of the contributing factors to the destruction of the home in our world now. The world sees nothing wrong with a woman satisfying a man in her career or job; yet Christian women are ridiculed for wanting to satisfy or help their husbands to be happy in their marriage!

Wisdom.  Satan tried to convince Eve that she could be as wise as God. We must not let Satan fool us in this. Instead of trying to be as wise as God, we need to recognize His power and greatness and our dependence upon Him! “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). If we would truly be wise and happy, we would come to the One Who gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding (Prov. 2:6; 3:13).

Salvation.  Like me, Eve needed salvation. God, through His lovingkindness, provided from the beginning a way for Eve to be saved, to be brought back into a right relationship with Him. Jesus would come and bruise the head of the serpent, Satan (Gen. 3:15). And my obedience through faith would find access to the Lord’s saving blood (Rom. 5:1-2; 6:1-4). God did not leave Eve without hope. Jesus’ blood reaches back to her (Heb. 9:15). Neither does He leave us hopeless, for Christ is the Savior of the world if we would hear His voice (John 10:27; 3:17; Heb. 2:9).

Eve, mother of all living, continues to teach us lessons today. Though I am empathetic, it is still clear that Eve sinned and was punished for it. She remains, not a myth, but a real woman, made to be a helpmeet for man, a position that no other creature could fill. God help us to learn by studying Eve to be obedient children so that we can fulfill our role as women in His kingdom.