I’ve been thinking a lot lately of Eve in the garden. (Oh, Eve…the only woman I know who can claim she was ever naked and unashamed.)
Have you read this passage lately?…
Genesis 3:1-6 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
My eight year son, Carter, recently lamented to me, “Mom, Eve ruined Paradise for EVERYONE.”
(Clearly he was feeling included in the “everyone”. )
He went on to imagine what would have happened if Eve had never sinned. Likely Carter’s vision of Paradise has something to do with all day video game marathons and gorging on whatever he wants to eat, but I digress. I tried to reason with him that if not Eve, surely one of Eve’s kids or their kids would have been the Paradise-killer, but no, he was not to be dissuaded in his disgust over Eve’s poor choice.
I’ve come to realize that we can all stand in judgment over Eve or we can realize that Eve is a pretty good replica of the struggle that each of us women face.
What was Eve’s deal anyway? She had been blessed by God, filled with purpose, walked with God, was a recipient of the provision of God for her needs and, of course, she had been hand-delivered to her spouse. She had no “Jones’“ to keep up with, no one to compare herself to or compare her husband against, and never once had to complain about having nothing to wear. She was innocent to sin, living in blissful paradise. She lacked absolutely nothing.
Eve proves that you can have the blessing of God on your life and still struggle with temptation and sin.
So she enters into conversation with a talking snake, and perhaps even that we could chalk up to naïve curiosity. But the snake very quickly gets her to doubt some foundational aspects of God’s character. He basically tells her that God is a liar, and she starts wondering if perhaps God has been holding out on her all along. The Bible tells us that when she SAW…, she took it and ate it. She was deceived when the lies of the enemy were able to distort the truth that she knew, the very truth that God had already revealed to her. She rationalized, “What’s the big deal? It’s just fruit. It looks good. I bet it tastes good. This here chatty snake sure sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. What can it hurt?”
Oh, Eve. I feel your struggle. I live your struggle. I can be my own worse Paradise-killer.
You see, the issue for Eve wasn’t the fruit itself…And it almost never is for us either. The fruit is about “another way”, a self-way, independence, doing what feels good or feels right at the time.
The flirtations, the gossip, the back-biting, the sarcasm, the rebellion, the over-eating, the anger, the passive-aggressive behavior, the fill-in-your-sin-of-choice-here, is so often about filling our FELT NEED in OUR OWN WAY. And each time we do we are biting into the fruit of self-will all over again. Like Eve there is so much to enjoy and yet we fixate on that which is just out of reach.
Eve, if we could go for coffee I could tell you all about how I know what it’s like to get the end of the tasty fruit and be left holding nothing but a dirty core in my hand. I know what it’s like to realize I need quite a few fig leaves to cover up my shame. I understand regret. I’ve done more than my fair share of hiding, hoping God would just stop seeking me out already.
And yet, there He comes, doesn’t He?
The absolutely scandalous news of the gospel is that God still comes after sinners, while we are standing there trying to cover ourselves with foliage, thinking that perhaps it might be enough. God shows us that it is only His blood that truly covers. In the garden, God killed an animal(s) for skins to cover Adam and Eve. This event foreshadows the death and resurrection of Christ which is the only thing able to cover up our sins today.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
A few brave questions to ask yourself today:
In what ways have you been “eating the forbidden fruit” and then trying to cover it up?
In what ways have you been listening to the lies of the enemy?
In what ways have you stopped listening to the truth of God for your life?
In what ways do you need to allow God to cover you again?