Eve, the mother of all humans, has often been obscured with the biggest letter ’s’ for Scarlet Woman one will find among humans. Eve is hardly ever referred to in Bible Studies & Christian circles other than to quote how she was the downfall of Adam and humanity and how humanity owes all its woes to her. We often hear the somewhat, semi-joking, semi-serious claim reflected in a nonsensical adage “God created the world and man and all was very good. Then God created woman and all hell broke loose!” Or “God created man and all was good. Then God created woman and the world has never known peace since then!”
Whilst these claims hold no biblical truth, they nevertheless perpetuate Eve’s (and therefore women) reputation as ‘trouble.’ What’s worse is the perpetuation of this perception of Eve in Christian circles. So much so that there’s hardly any theological thought or study devoted to her (we never once studied about her in my entire three years of seminary!). No wonder then that she’s not seen in Christian circles as part of God’s redemption plan, but instead the reason humanity needs redemption!
Our first theme will attempt to show that this position is unbiblical and that not only is Eve not a misnomer in the Creation story, but that she’s equally intimately part of the redemption story.
Before Mary there was Eve:
- Eve, as mother of all living, meant that she made it possible for the Genesis 3:15 promise to be fulfilled. This promise was predicated upon a future child being born. thus, this not-so-simple, but erroneusly-often-taken-for-granted contribution of women, i.e., childbearing, was essential to the fulfillment of the promise of redemption of humankind that was to come. And without Eve functioning in this capacity, there would be no future redemption and there would be no humankind. And so to those who erroneously claim it was Eve’s (and therefore all women’s) fault, let it be also clear that providing a pathway for the solution was also Eve’s contribution!
But more than just being a child-bearing woman, Scripture shows that God gave Eve hope by giving her something to look forward to after the temptation and its consequences.
Eve is both woman and the personification of all women. The negative connotation ascribed to women originates not just from her actions in Genesis 3:, but also from the consequences of those actions. Namely, the ‘loss of status’ in the eyes of her husband Adam. So that whereas once he called her equal “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones” he (men) would now ‘seek’ to dominate and rule over her(women)! (Gen.3:16)
It is important to recognize that nowhere does Scripture say that Eve lost equal status with Adam in God’s eyes. God’s view of Eve didn’t change but her husband’s view of her changed.
How reminiscent of how we humans view one another – we pick and choose who’s worthy based on our own criteria, whereas in God’s eyes, all humans remain equally worthy. So worthy that He paid for redeeming every single one of them with the birth, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
Another interesting fact is that God identifies the serpent as the source of Eve’s (and therefore, all humans – men and women’s) predicament. Thus He promises the serpent ‘the woman’s offspring’s gonna get you!’
Yes, it is true that the serpent first approached the woman, and that the woman first ate of the forbidden fruit and then gave to her husband. But it is also true that she was also the first to receive the promise of rescue! And as the personification of all women, as well as the progenitor of all humans, she received God’s first promise for all humans!
God’s promise to save, to redeem, etc., first came to us in a woman, Eve!
It is in this verse, Genesis 3:15, that God first speaks of woman’s role in redemption and although many immediately jump to Mary, doing so misses the point that the promise was made first to and THROUGH Eve! The Promise that launched humanity, God’s people and the entire creation into a state of Advent was first made to Eve!
In certain theological circles, Genesis 3:15, often referred to as the protoevangelium has been rightly characterized as the hermeneutical key to understanding God’s purpose and plan in Jesus Christ and for also understanding the entire Bible.
Thus when God addressed the serpent, He forever launched a campaign that addressed the enemy of our souls thus, “you will be crushed and your plans defeated through the same woman you tried to rob; her offspring will destroy yours” (my paraphrase of Genesis 3:15).
Thus, in this promise, we see God establish two things. Namely:
- God assured the serpent of failure of its plan to displace humans (men and women) as God’s deputies on earth by relegating it to an even lower place among all creatures!
- God re-emphasized woman’s role of dominion and co-deputy over creation by emphasizing the serpent’s defeat through her offspring. Essentially, God said to the serpent: “you better watch out, she’s gonna whup your…!”
The ongoing activity of the serpent to usurp God’s plan and human’s place in creation would be terminated by Eve’s offspring (whether literal or metaphorical. Eve was the woman of the hour!
Lessons of Advent from Eve:
- Humans may lean towards diminishing each other’s worth as the Fall predisposed Adam (and all men) towards Eve’s (women’s) worth, but human worth never diminishes in God’s sight (Mt. 10:29) no matter what. Nothing will ever make it okay to see another human being as worth less than any other human being in God’s sight.
- Because God never gave up on Eve (women) but instead re-emphasized her place as co-heir and victorious one over the machinations of the Evil One, every woman -colored and white, may also continue to actively maintain her place beside men as co-heir, un-rejected by God.
- In Eve, God made a commitment to all woman- & human-kind, “You shall overcome the forces against you!” And by so doing, woman became the first contender for the faith in the battle of good vs evil.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” -Acts 2:38-39