This past summer I thoroughly enjoyed a study with shereadstruth.com, walking through the pages of scripture and getting to know various women in the Bible. What were their stories? How did they encounter Almighty God, stand in awe of Him and yet find Him intensely personal? What can we learn about God from their experiences? What can we learn about ourselves? What a joy to look for the Lord’s Presence in their lives and find Him in our own!
Our family has joined many others in the new year, starting at the beginning of God’s story, reading Genesis! So our lovely lady for today is EVE.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~ Genesis 1:27
Then the Lord said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” ~ “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” The man and the woman were naked and they felt no shame. ~ Genesis 2:18, 23-25
The serpent said, “Did God actually say…?” ~ the woman said, “but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” ~ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. ~ And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the presence of the Lord God. ~ Then the Lord said to the woman, “what is this that you have done?… in pain you will bring forth children; your desire will be for your husband and he shall rule over you.” ~ The man called His wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them. ~ Genesis 3, selected verses
Eve was perfectly created by God, in His image, with a special role that only she could fill, a helper perfectly suited for her man. She felt no shame, no insecurity! She and Adam walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day. She was the delight of her Creator and the delight of her husband.
Then the devil entered the picture and cast doubts in her thinking. “Did God actually say…?” I can only guess that she was taken aback. No one had ever suggested the idea of questioning what God said, whether He meant it, what exactly He meant by it. Adam and Eve had been abundantly provided for in their garden home and obeying their Creator had resulted in only good things. But the serpent was crafty and wiggled his way into Eve’s head.
Rather than taking these new questions to her Creator, or even to her husband, she acted on impulse. “Well… it looks good!? Maybe this serpent has a point. It’s just one piece of good-looking fruit. What harm could it bring?” Sadly, not only did she disobey God’s instruction and ate what was forbidden, she was Adam’s helper… she helped him to some forbidden fruit too… and he also ate.
They immediately knew that something drastic had changed. They now saw themselves and everything around them differently – and most tragic of all, a new feeling of panic caused them to hide from the presence of the Lord. Their perfectly stable and lovely relationship with God had been dramatically interrupted. They were no longer comfortable facing Him. Sin had separated them from a holy and righteous God.
They soon learned that they could not hide from God. In true mercy, He pursued them. He asked them to name their disobedience. He did not accept excuses. He judged them rightly. The consequences of sin would be deeply painful. In severe mercy (a mercy so severe, a severity yet merciful), God put them out of their beautiful garden home, preventing them from eating of the tree of life and living eternally in their sin-marred state.
He put them out of the garden, but He was never far from them. We don’t read any more about them walking with God in the cool of the day – an adjustment I can only guess would have been very, very sad. But chapter 4 in Genesis leads us to believe that they still looked to God for help, prayed to Him, acknowledged His hand upon their life, and His gifts to them in each of their children. In the immediate sense, He also clothed them. Animals’ blood was shed to make coverings for them. He covered their shame. He provided for their need. He met them where they were, marred by sin, and graciously provided in ways only God could.
So, what do we learn about God? What do we learn about ourselves?
He is Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, creator of man and woman. He made us in His image! He made us uniquely, with distinct characteristics and special roles to fill. He desires a close relationship with us, to walk with us every day! He gives us instructions to follow that will protect us from harm and keep us in a place where we can enjoy the abundance of His provision. When we make choices that separate us from Him, He still pursues us. He leads us to confession and repentance. His judgment against our sin is just, and consequences are severe and painful. But in His mercy, He steps in even then, especially then, to provide for our needs. What we are incapable of doing for ourselves, He does for us! Sin is costly – it leads to death, blood is required to make atonement, to provide a covering for shame – but it is a price He is willing to pay to redeem us, to restore a close and growing relationship with us.
God’s Son, Jesus, offered His own blood to cover our shame, to pay the penalty for our sin, to restore a right relationship between us and our Creator God. In Christ, we are a new creation, clothed in garments of salvation! We once again enjoy the opportunities Eve enjoyed – to feel no shame, no insecurity, to display the glory of God, to bring delight to His heart.
Our freedom and confidence has nothing to do with us and everything to do with our Creator and Redeemer… getting to know Him better will help that confidence to grow and help us to truly rest in His perfect plans, trust and obey His instructions, and enjoy being in a place where we can receive His very best provisions for us!
Listen to the Lord who created you… the One who formed you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1
For further study ~ Genesis chapters 1-4 – Hebrews 9:22 – Ephesians 1:7 – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Isaiah 61:10