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Enter Evil

Illuminated parchment, Spain, circa AD 950-955...

 

Okay, we know how God created Eve out of Adam’s side and placed her in the beautiful garden paradise to be Adam’s help meet. Everything was provided for them and they walked and talked with God daily. They were pure and innocent until – Enter Evil!!

This entry will show the character of the serpent and what he may have looked like, and the consequences he and Adam and Eve would face because of their actions. It will include the first time God commanded wives to submit to their husbands. I will also give suggestions as to how Eve could have done differently, and how we can avoid giving in to temptations today. Let’s have some fun and do a little imagining as well.

Genesis 3:1-3 “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 (note for later), lest ye die.”

I believe the snakes in the Garden were very beautiful to look upon before God cursed them. Do you really think that Eve would have stopped to talk with a slithering, hissing snake as we see them today? I also believe that he had legs giving him the ability to walk around instead of sliding along on his belly. Envision with me, if you will, that crafty creature leaning on one elbow against a tree, his feet crossed, with his tail waving hypnotically from side to side as he entices the first woman.

“Hey there Eve,” His words rolled smoothly off his forked tongue. “Why don’t you stop in the shade of this tree and chat for a while? You’ve got nothing better to do. By the way, did you know that God lied to you when he said you would surely die if you eat from that tree over there? He knows that if you eat that fruit ‘your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil'” (Genesis 3:4, 5)

Remember, he was the most subtil of all the beasts the Lord had made. The Hebrew word for “subtil” is aruwm (aw-room) which means cunning (usually in a bad sense), prudent, and crafty. Satan’s single goal on this earth is to tempt us away from God. He uses his cunning nature to suggest doubts in our minds. He got Eve to doubt God’s goodness. He, ever so slyly, hinted that God was stingy and selfish because he did not want Adam and Eve to share in his knowledge of good and evil.

Now imagine what Eve’s response might have been, “Hmmm, you know, not only did he say we must not eat of that tree, but he said we are not to even touch it. How dare he keep such a lovely fruit from us? How could he deny us to be just like him? It is just not fair.”

Eve took that evil deceiver’s bait, hook line and sinker. Feeling cheated by God, she told her first lie! As I noted in the verses above, she added that God said they were not to touch the tree. This is what God actually said in Genesis 2:16, 17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17. but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” I do not see anything there about them not touching the tree.

Oh, I just had an epiphany! Maybe when Adam told Eve what God said, he added, “Do not even touch that tree!” because he already knew the woman well enough to know that her curiosity might get the best of her, so he wanted to scare her into obeying. Hmmm. Okay, it is just a joke!

Moving along, Eve was tempted and gave in, and she gave Adam of the fruit and he did eat. He must have thought, “she ate it and she is still alive, so what could it hurt?” We know what happened next. Their eyes were opened and they were ashamed and hid themselves from God when he came looking for them. I am sure God already knew what they had done and why they were hiding, but they needed to come to God and be held accountable.

When God confronted Adam he blamed Eve, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12) God turned to Eve and asked, “What is this that thou hast done?” She blamed the snake, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat”. (Genesis 3:13) It is very easy to justify our sin by pointing to someone else, but God knows the truth.

Because of his perfect moral character, God had to respond by punishing the guilty parties. He dealt first with the snake: Genesis 3:14, 15 says, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15. and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to the “enmity between thee and the woman” part. I hate snakes.

Eve was next: 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.” Hebrew for sorrow used here, “thy sorrow and thy conception” is itstsabown (its-tsaw-bone’) meaning worrisomeness, i.e. labor or pain.

For “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” the Hebrew word is etseb (eh’-tseb) – toil; pang; labour; grievous. I gave birth to both of my girls naturally, and I can totally say, that my labor was all of those things. I must interject that God is very kind in that as soon as the labor was over, so was the pain. I was immediately in awe with the precious gift of life that I was blessed with each time.

The first time that God put woman under submission to man: “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”. I used to think that this meant that woman would desire her husband, but there is much more to it than that. The word desire used here in Hebrew: tshuwqah (tesh-oo-raw) – stretching out after; a longing, from the original word shuwq (shook) – to run after or over; overflow. Woman will have a desire to run over her husband, but he will rule over (have dominion over; reign over) her.

SIDE NOTE: Saying that husbands shall rule over their wives in no way means that gives husbands the right to abuse their wives in any way.

I believe Ephesians 5:22-33 explains God’s plan for the husband/wife relationship best:

“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 every thing.”

“25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26. that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. 27. that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30. for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

“31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. 32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33. Neverthless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

The word Submission is often misunderstood. It does not mean being trampled on like a doormat. Christ submitted his will to his Father. When we follow Jesus’ example, we are honoring him. As we submit to God, we become more willing to obey his command to submit to others. In the marriage relationship, both husband and wife are called to submit. The wife willingly follows her husband’s leadership in Christ. The husband puts aside his own interests in order to care for his wife.

Submission is usually not a challenge in homes where both spouses have a strong relationship with Jesus, and they are both concerned for each others’ happiness.

I believe it is now time to see how God chastised Adam for his part in this fall from grace. Genesis 3:17-19 “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.” Wow. What more can I say?

Eve should have literally run from that serpent in the garden instead of taking up a conversation with him. In giving him her attention, she allowed herself to be led astray, and she forgot about all that God had given her. She began to focus on what he had forbidden instead of being thankful for his blessings. When we start to dwell on what God does not let us have, that is when we get into trouble. Instead, we must think of the many blessings and promises he has given us and be thankful for them.

Paul gave some great advice in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. 17. Pray without ceasing. 18. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in God's Love

 

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Creation of the First Woman

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The first time the word woman appears in the Bible is when God created Eve from Adam’s rib or side. The Hebrew word for this usage of woman is nashiym (naw-sheem), “because she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). The stress is on identification of womanhood.

God’s word tells us that he created the earth and the heavens and everything in them in seven days. It was on the 6th day that he created mankind. Genesis 1:26, 27 – “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

We see that God made both man and woman in his image. One was not any more the image of God than the other. Neither sex was of more or lesser value to God. He fashioned and prepared us for various tasks, but his purpose was for us to live with the same intent: to honor God. Though one of us is not superior to the other, each of our genders has its own exclusive privileges.

In Genesis 2:18 God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone; he was incomplete. “I will make him an help meet for him.” So God formed all of the beasts of the field and the birds in the air and gave them to Adam to see what names he would give them. But there was no help meet found for him among all of those.

God put Adam into a deep sleep and took one of his ribs and made a woman and brought her to him. The Hebrew word for rib used here is the feminine tsalah (tsal-aw). Literally it means a rib, as curved, of the body; or figuratively, a side or chamber of a person. Wow! It makes me think of woman actually being taken out of a chamber in man’s side. That helps me to understand why it is a God-given instinct for a man to take his woman under his wing to care for and protect her. It also explains why we women have a deep desire for our knight in shining armor to ride in, whisk us off our feet and devote his life to us. I believe that deep down inside, every woman wants her husband to step up and be the Godly leader that God created him to be. I know that I find that very comforting.

God could have made Eve from dust as he did Adam, but he chose to create her from the man’s flesh and bone. This symbolizes how a man’s and a woman’s hearts and lives are mysteriously joined together in marriage. We can see throughout God’s word that he takes this union very seriously.

A good question to ask ourselves before marrying is : “Are we willing to keep the commitment which makes the two of us one? The ultimate goal in marriage is more than friendship; it is oneness.

Side Note: God did not create man out of man nor woman out of woman that they would be godly joined in union as one. His word clearly states that he made woman from the side of man. The natural union of man and woman in marriage is a sacred blessing from God.

Homosexuality: to “change” or “leave the natural use of” sex

For those who live a homosexual lifestyle and try to justify it by pointing to God’s love and grace, I say, examine yourselves as to whether you are truly a born-again child of God, or ask yourselves if you are being led astray by Satan’s deceivers. Some are choosing to be deceived by so-called preachers (some who are homosexuals themselves) who teach that they cannot help being the way they are. Many believe and teach that their desires are normal and that they have a right to express them. God does not encourage us to fulfill all of our desires, as they are not all good desires. We must restrain those desires that violate his laws. Satan’s liars do not set the standard for God’s Law, and they will answer to God for it.

Yes, God does love the sinner, but he does hate the sin. He is willing to receive anyone who comes to him in faith, and as Christians, we should always love and accept others, but not their sin. We are not to stand in judgment, but to use good judgment when it comes to tolerating what God looks upon as sin.

Homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes. Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.” The Hebrew word here for abomination as referenced to God (because this act is an abomination in God’s eyes) is toebah (to-ay-baw) – and it describes people, things, acts, relationships, and characteristics that are detestable to Him because they are contrary to His nature.

Can a saved person live the life of a homosexual? I have pondered that question much because I know and love some who live that lifestyle and say that they are saved. Only God knows that for sure. Saved people are sinners and we will be until we be with our Lord. We are to live day by day in God’s grace, repenting for sins that our natural flesh is tempted to. Repenting means turning away from.

I would venture to say that if they are saved, they are ignoring the roots of whatever issues they have in their pasts that may have led them to this lifestyle. I would also submit, that if they were totally honest with themselves, they would admit that they do not have God’s peace that passes understanding in their spirits.

To those who have homosexual desires: You can and must resist acting upon them. As with temptation to any sin, you must consciously stay away from places and behaviors that you know will spark these temptations. Do not underestimate Satan’s power and goal to lead you astray. Also, I beg you to consider the risk you take for serious harm if you keep giving in to these temptations.

If you are saved and living a homosexual lifestyle: Do not forget that God will forgive sexual sins the same as he forgives other sins. The key is to completely surrender yourselves to the grace and mercy of God, and ask him to show you the way out of sin and into the light of his liberty and love. Immerse yourselves in prayer, Bible study, and the loving support of Christians in a Bible-believing church that does not water down God’s word to make you feel better about your sin. Those actions will help you to gain the strength that you need to resist those powerful temptations. You may even need to seek the help of a trustworthy and professional true, Christian counselor. Christian meaning living a Christ-filled, Christ-like lifestyle.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in God's Love

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
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