What words come to mind when you hear the name Eve?
Is it Apple, Sin, Adam, First, Flawed, Fall?
Let’s read a few passages in Genesis to start.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams[b] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.[e] 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Isn’t it interesting?:
• Our God, the One who speaks the world into existence and who flings stars and planets and galaxies into the sky with a word, He scoops up ordinary dust in His almighty hands and forms humanity.
• God formed man. Other verses mention that God created or made the rest of creation, but when it talks about God making us scripture uses the word formed. Formed indicates a slower more gradual work, a work with great accuracy and exactness. We were made with care and intention by God’s hands and breath.
What does the scripture say about Eve? What can we learn from her?
She was made in God’s image (1:26)
She was given God’s blessing and favor (1:28)
She was created for community, to be with Adam that they might complement one another (2:18)
She was made from Adam’s rib (2:18)
She was created for harmony, not shame (2:24-25)
She was free, along with Adam, to roam and work within God’s perfect creation, to live fully within her purpose and design. She was beautiful and complete “very good” according to the words of the Creator Himself (1:31)
Eve was the first woman created. She was made by God out of Adam’s rib. She was meant to be Adam’s partner and companion because none of the other living creatures were suitable.
Adam and Eve were given the Garden of Eden to live in and told they could eat of any tree except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Doesn’t that name make you curious about it? The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Let’s look a little further.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
So what did Eve do?
Listened to the serpent
Ate the fruit
Brought Adam down with her
When Eve ate the fruit she lost many things.
She lost: her perfect relationship with God (Genesis 3:8), the bliss of a sinless marriage (Genesis 3:12), her ideal home in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:23), and her lack of acquaintance with evil (Genesis 3:22).
Part of me wants so badly to say WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? but then I think about it.
Aren’t I just like Eve?
I can defend Eve. The serpent was sneaky, he told lie after lie. There is no danger. What you have is not enough. You deserve more. God is not protecting you. He’s holding out on you. One bite won’t hurt. BAM! Wouldn’t we all do the same thing? Take a bite?
In 2 Corinthians 11:1-3 it says… “I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
Thousands of years later Eve is still being blamed for the fall of man. And I’m not saying she shouldn’t be the example, but if she hadn’t wouldn’t someone else have? It was only a matter of time before the serpent got someone to take a bite.
Have you ever been tricked into doing the wrong thing?
I have. Many times. My forbidden fruit litters my past.
As a small child my parents had a rule at dinner time. If you finished your meal you got a dessert, but if you did not finish your meal you did not get dessert. One night we were having mashed potatoes. I hated mashed potatoes. I was the last person at the dinner table and I was not eating my mashed potatoes. Instead of eating them or not getting dessert I stuffed the mashed potatoes down the sink. I was supposed to eat them, but I didn’t.
When I was a teenager I wasn’t supposed to drive on the interstate, but I was asked to drive to a lake house. I had never been their before and was following the church van. When they got on the interstate I felt like I had no choice but to follow them. Later when I was asked about whether I had driven on the interstate before I lied.
The list could go on and on. I know we try to be good and make the right choices, but the truth is we do not always get it right, just like Eve didn’t get it right. We each face these apple-moments in our lives, in our everyday. We know truth and we live in it, but the lies just get so loud. We get weary, we get confused, we get angry, we get jaded. And we bite. We sin. Immediately the shame settles in. Like Eve, we hurriedly begin to sew together fig leaves in an attempt to hide our brokenness and our guilt.
Let’s stop. Let’s put down our DIY efforts to self-salvation that Paul warned us about, and let’s run fast to the foot of the cross. We will find Jesus there, ready for us. Ready to forgive.
I cannot go back and take the mashed potatoes out of the sink or not drive my car on the interstate, but I can ask for forgiveness and let Jesus save me from my sinful way.
(Sunday School Lesson from February 23, 2014 based off of She Reads Truth Women of the Bible Part 1)