I remember when both of our daughters were born. I remember the anticipation and excitement. I remember the incredible feeling of becoming a dad. There’s something else that I remember. I remember Tammy expressing how overwhelmed she felt when she realized that she was now responsible for this new life. As I have watched our children grow, I have watched Tammy grow as their mother and I praise the Lord for the godly wife and mother she has become.
It’s amazing how you receive advance training for almost everything in life except marriage and parenthood. I suppose that part of your training comes from the home where you were raised and the rest from the church you attend. That’s why I do premarital counseling with each couple I marry and that’s why Tammy and I are going to try to teach a class this summer on Wednesday nights for parenting. We don’t have all the answers but we’re going to make ourselves available to you to come and study scripture with us and to ask questions. Hopefully together we’ll all gain a deeper understanding of what the Bible says about raising children.
I’ve entitled today’s message – ‘The Story of Eve’. The name Eve means ‘Mother of all living’ and so I feel it appropriate this morning to take a look at her life and see how she fulfilled the duties of wife, mother, and a part of God’s salvation plan.
There are three phases of Eve’s life –
1. Eve and the Side of Adam
2. Eve and the Serpent in the Garden
3. Eve and the Savior of the World
I. Eve and the Side of Adam
We read in the book of Genesis –
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The name Adam is the Hebrew word for man. It comes from another Hebrew word which means ‘red’ and therefore probably his name had something to do with the fact that God made him from the dust of the earth. God made Adam and He placed him in a garden called Eden. As we go a little farther in this chapter, we see that Adam was placed there not only to live, but to serve.
Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Most of us look upon our work as drudgery, but before the fall work was part of man’s worship. Adam was given the duty of caring for the home God had given him. In addition to this, Adam was also given the responsibility to rule over the rest of creation. Shortly after God made Adam, God gave him his first assignment.
Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field …
Adam named all of the animals and he was assigned the task of managing them. Men are often criticized for being so driven in their work, yet men were created to work. They were given a mind and a body that enables them to work and therefore when a man works, he is in a sense fulfilling a part of the reason he was created. Now that’s not to say that men should become ‘workaholics.’ God did not intend for us to put our work before our family or our relationship with Him, yet to work and to be productive is a part of a man’s nature.
We’re uncertain how many different species of animals there were in the beginning. There probably wasn’t a dog and a fox and a wolf and a coyote; or a horse and a zebra and a donkey. There was some form of canines and some form of equines and from them the various types of dog-like and horse-like creatures developed. Nonetheless, Adam had a lot of responsibility. So much so that even before God gave Adam his first assignment, God made a very important statement –
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone …
‘Not good’ means: not pleasant, not agreeable, not prosperous, not beneficial. Most of the time, whenever I conduct premarital counseling, I begin with this passage and I ask this question – “So when God said that it was not good for the man to be alone, was that because God had made a mistake? Was it shortsightedness on God’s part that He took dust of the earth and formed a man but He did not form a woman?” Obviously God did not make a mistake. He knew exactly what He was doing; yet He needed to help Adam realize that he needed a companion. Probably after naming all of the animals, Adam thought – ‘Everything else in God’s creation has a mate. Where’s mine?’ Therefore the Lord said,
Genesis 2:18 “…I will make him an help meet for him.”
I will make someone who is suitable for his needs. Man needed a mate and mankind needed a mother, and so God made a woman and Adam called her Eve, which means – ‘The Mother of All Living.’ Recently I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Ken Ham in person and during his address he stirred an interesting thought in my mind. There are not many races of men upon this earth; there is only one race, the human race, and therefore every human being that has ever lived upon this earth, (whether they are black, yellow, red or white), all originated in the womb of Eve. All the genes necessary to produce mankind as we know it today, came from our first parents – Adam and Eve.
Adam needed a helper and so God made one perfectly suited for his needs. John MacArthur says some wonderful things about Eve in his book, ‘Twelve Extraordinary Women‘ – “No other woman could possibly surpass Eve’s grace, charm, virtue, ingenuity, intelligence, wit and innocence. She was a wonderful illustration of the goodness of God’s grace and the perfect wisdom of His will. She was God’s special gift to man. She was the necessary partner and she complemented Adam perfectly and she enhanced everything in his existence. Eden was now truly paradise.”
Scripture tells us how God made Eve.
Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
One of the things I often go over with couples in premarital counseling is that God did not create the woman the same way He created man. God created man from the dust of the ground, yet He created the woman from a rib that came from the man’s side. Matthew Henry said something very important about this in his commentary –
“The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
When Adam awoke and saw his mate, he said –
Genesis 2:23 And Adam 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.
There was immediate intimacy between the first husband and wife. She was literally bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. The title ‘woman’ means – “from man” marking forever her origin and purpose. She was created to come along side of her husband and to help him fulfill his God-given duties. That was true for the first marriage and it has been true for every marriage since then. As we continue to read in the book of Genesis we find –
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
That statement – “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” is so important in the sight of God that it is quoted both by Christ and the Apostle Paul to emphasize the sacredness of the marriage covenant. God’s plan for the home is that one man be joined to one woman for a lifetime and that they working together, form what we call the family.
The Apostle Paul teaches us how this special union is to be lived out –
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
There are three key words that help us to understand the marriage relationship: Support, Sacrifice, and Sacredness. Eve was to give of herself to support Adam as he endeavored to fulfill his God-given duties, and Adam was to sacrifice of himself in order to provide for and to protect his special gift from God. As they mutually submitted and cared for each other, there was to be a bond and a trust between them that could only be described as sacred. This is seen in the next statement in Genesis 2 –
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
II. Eve and the Serpent in the Garden
Yet, unfortunately, paradise did not last forever.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it; neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened , and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
We’re not for sure how long the first honeymoon lasted. Probably for like the rest of us – not long enough. Sometime after God performed the first wedding ceremony, sin entered the home. Satan found a way to drive a wedge between God and man and between man and his wife.
Many have tried to understand why Satan tempted the woman instead of the man. The apostle Paul states twice that she was deceived. (2 Cor 11:3; 1 Tim 2:14) Some suggest that perhaps Adam had not completely informed Eve regarding God’s command, yet in her reply to the serpent she seems to have a pretty clear understanding of what they were to do and not to do. She even takes it a step further and says that they should not even touch the forbidden fruit. Perhaps Adam added that thinking that it would help protect them.
Personally I believe that Eve was deceived because Satan appealed to her desire to please her husband. Many attack Eve for what she did and indeed she deliberately disobeyed God. Yet the Bible says that she was deceived. That is not to say that what she did was any less wrong, yet it does help us to understand why she did what she did.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this but it seems to me that it appealed to her natural instincts as a woman (food and appearance) as well as perhaps something that would please her husband (something to be desired to make one wise).
Having been created from the man’s side, the woman was more focused upon relationships than rules and therefore she reasoned that perhaps it was best to disobey. It also seems to me that she took the fruit and prepared a meal and perhaps didn’t tell Adam at first where the fruit came from.
Regardless of the reason, Eve’s decision has affected each of us. We are each born with a sin nature that is the result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden. The Bible says:
- ‘Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.’ (Psalm 51:5)
- ‘All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23)
- ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ (Rom 5:12)
The affect of Adam and Eve’s sin was the passing down of a sin nature to every human and a hardship and every life. For men, it involved their work nature.
Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said , Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
A part of Adam’s curse for disobeying God was that his work was no longer joy, but now drudgery. Man would struggle with the dirt of the ground the rest of his life. He would struggle with making a living until finally, he would return back to the ground. ‘for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’
Sin affected the woman in an entirely different way.
Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Sin affected Eve’s relationship with her husband and with her children.
Many have tried to interpret – “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” It seems to me that God was telling Eve that never again would she and Adam know the kind of intimate relationship that they had experienced before the sin. These words indicate that from this point on, there would be some kind of a power-struggle between the man and the woman. Paul refers to this in the book of Colossians-
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Sin causes us to become selfish and therefore Paul had to write these words to teach a Christian husband and wife how God intends for them to act. The bitterness and harshness of a sinful husband is seen in the way Adam spoke of Eve after sin had entered their home.
Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
In addition to this, sin affected Eve’s relationship with her children. Childbirth itself became something very painful and traumatic for the woman. But I don’t think that the pain ended there. John Phillips in his commentary on Genesis says – “There was to be sorrow – sorrow centering in the area of a woman’s greatest fulfillment, in the bringing forth and in the bringing up of children.” We only have to go one chapter to read of the pain Eve must have suffered when her firstborn, Cain, murdered his brother Abel. Sin brought a friction into the family that has been hard to handle ever since.
What a great change it was that occurred in the life of Eve in only one chapter of scripture. She went from being God’s special gift to man to the one who bears the blame for all of our sorrows. God would have been justified if He had ended the story of mankind right here. “I gave you a chance and you blew it.” But praise the Lord, our God is gracious, and that brings me to the third point of the story of Eve.
III. Eve and the Savior of the World
I am so thankful for vs. 20 of Genesis 3.
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
I am so thankful that with God, there is always hope, even for a struggling marriage. Adam named his wife Eve, which means ‘The Mother of All Living.’ Giving her that name is a ray of hope on a dark day. It says that life will go on and indeed it has.
‘The Mother of All Living’ is a wonderful title, yet the name Eve can also mean something else. It can also mean ‘The Mother of Life.’ Perhaps you are thinking – ‘What is the difference?’
It’s easy to understand how Eve is the ‘Mother of All Living.’ Without Eve, Adam would have lived a lonely life. He would have had no mate nor anyone to become the mother of their offspring. Quite frankly, we wouldn’t be celebrating Mother’s Day if it hadn’t been for Genesis 3:20. For that matter, we wouldn’t be celebrating anything because we wouldn’t be here! We celebrate Mother’s Day today Eve is ‘The Mother of All Living.’ But the title ‘The Mother of Life’ is also very important. Notice something that God said in vs. 15. Speaking to the serpent or literally to Satan, the Lord said –
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (her seed) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his (her seed) heel.
The hostility between the woman and the serpent is more than women hating snakes. It is what many Bible scholars call the ‘protoevangelium’, which means – ‘the first gospel.’ In Genesis 3:15, God revealed to Satan and to mankind His plan of salvation. Eve’s sin did not catch God by surprise. He already knew what she would do and He already had a plan for how He would rectify it.
We read in Ephesians 1:4 – “… He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world …“ Before Genesis 1:1, there was John 3:16. Before there was ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’, there was ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.‘ The decision had already been made for how God would save the world from its sin and the plan had already been established that the Savior would come – ‘born of a woman.’
The ‘seed’ Genesis 3:15 speaks of is a reference to a child or offspring that would save us from our sins. When Eve gave birth to her first child, Cain, she thought that he would be her savior.
Genesis 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived , and bare Cain, and said , I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Many believe that she said, “I have gotten ‘the’ man from the LORD.” But soon it became evident that Cain was not the savior. Cain was born with the sin nature passed down to him from his parents. How then would God send His Son into the world? We are told in the book of Isaiah
Isaiah 7:14 “…Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” God used another mother, a virgin named Mary to give to His Son a human body. The seed that God promised to Eve was the Lord Jesus Christ, the divine God-man who came into the world to save sinners.
I chose the story of Eve for today because it reveals to us much about our lives. God created us for a very special purpose, yet that purpose was contaminated by sin. Since the days of Adam and Eve, many husbands and wives have longed for a perfect relationship, yet have failed to find it. Sin has made every one of us selfish and self-centered.
But there is hope. God has a plan. Through the sending of His Son and His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, God has crushed the head of the serpent and if any man or woman be in Christ, they are a new creation. Left to myself, I would not be a very good husband or dad. Yet as Christians, if Tammy and I will allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, we can enjoy fruit as sweet as Eden. We can live in a home filled with love, peace, patience, gentleness, and goodness. In our home, we can have a bit of heaven here on earth.
It’s a sad thing but many homes never get beyond the fall of man. They never recover from the effects of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They never receive as their Savior the seed produced by the woman. They never become a child of God and therefore they are left to live the rest of their lives as fallen creatures.
What about you? Have you come to Jesus, confessing that you are a sinner, believing that He came to save you from your sins, and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior? Does the Holy Spirit of God have control in your life, producing in and through you His wonderful spiritual fruit?
I can’t think of a better day to do so than on this Mother’s Day.