Eve – Our first bad girl
Join me as we embark on a new study – Bad Girls of the Bible.
Yes, there were some bad girls, slightly bad girls, and really bad girls in the Bible.
Can we learn from them? Definitely.
Have we made similar mistakes? Can we say, “Oh yeah girl, been there, done that.” Yes.
For the next several weeks, we are going to dive into some of these bad girls and see what we can learn from their lives.
I believe we can learn a lot from their stories. We will take some direction from our feature book, “Bad Girls of the Bible,” by Liz Curtis Higgs.
She is a fabulous and humorous writer, so if you want to join in the discussion, please pick up a copy of her book.
Get your Bible
Any form of Bible – whether paper or electronic will do.
Open your Bible to Genesis chapter 2, verse 16-17
The Garden of Eden was where God placed the first man and woman. Eden was beautiful and excellent. The first guy had everything he needed in the garden – food, shelter, animals, flowers, trees, and so on – except one thing – a suitable partner.
The only restriction was what God commanded the man in Genesis 2, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.” Gen 2:16-17
It seems simple enough. The man has free reign of everything else, except this one tree.
We learn the man’s name in Gen 2:20 – Adam
Here we see that God says there’s no suitable helper for the man. In verse 21, we read that God makes a woman from one of Adam’s ribs.
Think about what God made for a moment. God made a perfect fit for Adam in every way. “Genesis 2:22.”
Genesis 2:25 – They were both naked, and this didn’t seem to be a problem.
Enter in the crafty serpent in Genesis. Chapter 3. While Satan isn’t explicitly named in this passage, we are confident he was the one behind the deception.
The serpent wastes no time jumping into the thick of things in Genesis chapter 3:1 – “Did God really say…?
Notice he doesn’t speak to Adam but approaches the woman. We don’t know why, but we know she engaged in the conversation. Yes, with a talking snake. That should have been the first clue – the animal was speaking. We have no records of animals talking prior, and the only animal I find in scripture after the garden incident is Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22:30. In our story here, the snake is holding a conversation with the woman.
Notice how the serpent twists the Lord’s instructions. And he uses a tactic that is all too familiar today – he makes God seem less than fair, less loving, and less kind.
We ask difficult questions when tragedy strikes, and we wonder if God is good. Of course, the enemy wastes no time casting those doubts for us to marinate on and question God’s goodness. Have you ever had that happen? How did you respond?
Genesis 3:2 – The woman responds and starts off good, but then goes off track by adding to the command God gave Adam in chapter 2. remember what God said? “You are free to eat from any tree in
the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17
The woman says to the serpent, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, for you will die.”
Notice the addition – touch
Her first mistake? Having a conversation with a talking snake.
Her second mistake? Adding to the Word of God
The serpent doesn’t correct her but instead grabs onto the last part – dying, and he follows up with what sounds like good news to her – “You will not certainly die.” Genesis 3:4
One has to wonder what the woman was thinking at this point. Does the fruit look that good? The temptation is legit, and of course, verse 5 gives us a big clue.
“For God knows when you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis chapter 3:5
Did she even hear the words good and evil? We don’t know. What we do know is before this, no one had touched the tree. It hadn’t been a temptation.
And now we see the woman eyeing the tree and forgetting what she had just told the serpent – that God said not to eat from it and her own words, no touching.
From here, we don’t hear the serpent say anything else. Why should the serpent speak now? The woman was trapped. All he had to do now was sit back and watch.
Genesis 3:6 – we read that she takes a bite and offers some to her husband.
Many folks assume she ate an apple. Many replications of the story use an apple for the fruit. We might even think Snow White pulls their storyline from the Genesis story, by eating an apple before Snow White falls asleep. But the Bible doesn’t tell us what kind of fruit they ate.
Commentaries offer up three kinds of fruit as possibilities: figs, pomegranates, and apricots.
The woman could have stopped at touching the fruit. After all, God said, don’t eat from it. He said nothing about touching the tree.
However, she failed to listen to God and plunged headlong into eating the fruit and changed human history forever.
Enter what we call the fall. Enter in sin for all humanity. One bite, and we’re toast.
Before we get too hard on our first woman, we could all use a check of ourselves.
How often are we tempted to do the wrong thing?
How often do we forget the boundaries and ignore them only to suffer the consequences?
How often do we ignore all the warnings going off in our heads?
How often do we find ourselves living with regret for that 30 seconds of pleasure or fame?
Unlike the woman, we can run away. We can say no to temptations. We can obey the instructions we are given.
Oh, Adam, where are you?
Where was Adam when all this was happening? We don’t know when Adam happened onto the scene.
All we know is he also took a bite of the forbidden fruit. Adam then became her partner in sin.
If Adam hadn’t taken the bite, I wonder what would have happened. We won’t know this side of heaven.
Genesis 3:7, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked…”
We are all sinners in need of a savior
The man and woman had enjoyed fellowship with God, but now sin had repercussions, and separation from God was the worst of all.
And as he first commanded the man in Genesis 2:17, man would surely die. God has kept that promise since the fall.
When we make a mistake and try and hide, we welcome more problems.
God already knows what we’ve done, so it is in our best interest to come clean, to fess up to our wrongdoing.
When we fail to repent, we make the situation worse, and we disappoint God with our wrong behavior.
The other thing we tend to do is place blame elsewhere.
The woman blamed the serpent in Genesis 3:13.
Come on, sweetheart, own up to what you did — you too, Adam.
In Genesis 3:20, the woman finally gets her name – Eve. “Adam named his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all the living.”
Eve is the first woman God ever created.
Eve wouldn’t be shunned for long, though.
We read that she eventually gives birth to a son and names him Seth. Seth stands in the lineage of Christ.
Through her offspring, that old serpent will eventually be crushed forever. This makes Eve unique among the bad girls.
Is there a lesson for you to learn from Eve’s life?
Is there an example for you to follow?
Is there a promise for you to believe?
Is there a sin for you to avoid?
Until next time, keep your hands off the forbidden fruit!
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