As we jump feet first into a new year, I am excited to bring some changes to Dwelling On Grace. One desire of mine is to focus us on some of the women of scripture, and how God worked gracefully in their lives. Many of these women you already know well, so let’s see if we can dive into their histories to learn something new. Or perhaps we can simply look with fresh eyes at God’s grace in their everyday moments – in these stories, which frame our understanding of God and His love for us. For some of the other changes which I hope to implement, you’ll have to subscribe! These changes won’t all be showing up on this site, but in your inbox as well. Ready?
Our first woman of focus from scripture is Eve. Oh, Eve. As soon as you read her name, so many things came to mind, I’m sure. She of course receives the worst rap of all the ladies in the Bible because we think of her as the sin-initiator. And indeed, she made quite the error – listening to the serpent, doubting God’s intentions for her, being the first to disobey the Word of God. Yeah, not so good.
But, what if in the midst of all of this betrayal and shame, there is also a great, big, beautiful example of grace? A testimony which is still relevant to our lives today?
A purpose fulfilled
Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. Genesis 3:20 (NASB)
I find it interesting that Adam did not give Eve her name until after they had sinned. Prior to that, the Text only refers to her as the Woman. At that point, she was simply the helper to the Man. But once she receives her name, Eve, she takes on a whole new purpose. To be the mother of all future human beings. The mother of all the living.
Even in the midst of her failure to trust God, He – through Adam – gave her an incredible purpose… which she of course fulfilled. There were only 2 people at this point. God could have simply wiped them out and started fresh. (We see Him willing to do more than that in the days of Noah!) But, He didn’t. Instead, He gave her a purpose. A future filled with hope… and life!
How readily do we take notice of God’s goodness and grace in our lives when we know we have failed? Do we assume we’ve completely thwarted His plans for us when we sin? When we fail to trust Him? Clearly Eve messed up, but her God-given purpose was fulfilled.
A New Covenant
“Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD.” Genesis 4:1 (NASB)
When Eve describes her relationship with God in this verse, she uses the term for Yahweh. [In many of our English translations, “LORD” – in all caps – is a translation from “Yahweh” in the original.] This the first time we see this name of God used by a person in the Genesis story. ¹ Yahweh refers to God’s holiness and salvation/deliverance, but also to a covenant relationship between God and man (or in this case, our girl, Eve).²
Don’t you find it encouraging to read that Eve, the woman we all associate with bringing sin upon us, was the first one to notably speak of a covenant relationship – an unbreakable bond – between herself and God? While under the weight of sin’s curse and fallout, she experienced a whole new side of her Heavenly Father. Have you ever noticed a brand new understanding of God after walking through a dark time? I certainly have! It’s as if He allows us those moments, or seasons, to show us that He is more loving, kind, merciful, gracious, and compassionate than we ever realized.
Would any of us have made a better choice?
Again, poor Eve. Whenever I feel an ache or pain, especially as I first became a mother, I certainly didn’t thank her for her choice in the Garden that day. I have had moments where I downright resented her for it. Of all the women that God tells us about in scripture, Eve is the only one who we truly feel angst over because her choice has affected every single one of us.
But, would any of us have made a better choice? When faced with very cunning lies from the Serpent, would we have been able to stand on the solid ground of God’s word better than Eve did?
We are all still faced with that choice every day. We are fed many lies and half truths straight from the pit of Hell… do we know how to stand firm on God’s word? Do we spit right in the Liar’s face as we focus on the life-giving truths of the Bible? Do we spend enough time reading the Bible to know what it says – to be prepared to fight off the lies?
Eve may have messed up big time, but man does her story bring a great challenge to know the word of God, and it brings a wonderful reminder that God’s purposes for us will be fulfilled. We are a part of a new covenant, and we will stand firm in it!
¹ Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Eve
² Elwell, Walter A. “Entry for ‘God, Names of'”. “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology”