Firstly, let me just say that I know I’ve been making this out to be dreadful with the whole, “most challenging literature I’ve ever read” stuff. Despite what I’ve told you, PLEASE be optimistic. After diving into the book Twelve Extraordinary Women, I thought through how I wanted to present it. Ideally, so you and I could study it in our available time, without overloading you with information, but also keeping it from dragging on forever. So, I’ve decided to split each chapter into two parts. I’ll summarize the jist of each ‘woman’ and then leave you with some questions to answer for your self or, even better, share in the comments! Let’s finally get to talking about the ‘Mother of All Living’…
John MacArthur takes the audience through each period of Eve’s life: creation, temptation, humiliation, and expectation. Her creation obviously set the stage for role distinctions. The hard part for me was coming to terms with the fact that women are subordinate to men. STOP! (Did she just say what I think she said?) Yes. Yes, I did. BUT! Women are still equal to men. Hard concept to grasp. I was literally staring at the pages for a good hour with tears rolling down my cheecks because this idea was just absurd to me (and I’m not a crier). Not only was it absurd, but I had to believe that it’s true because God’s Word is all or nothing. MacArthur parallels it to the relationship between Jesus and God. Don’t think this is the first time I’ve thought this through, and don’t abandon ship yet. More on this in the next part of Eve’s chapter… Starting to realize why I split it up aren’t you?
Moving on, the author dives into the marriage of man and woman. He basically interprets that woman was created to fill the void of humanity. There was something missing from Adam: Eve. So ladies, go ahead and give a “you’re welcome” to your other half. Then of course sin entered the world and blame was shifted from serpent to Eve, so much confusion. And lastly, we’re shown the hope that was given to both Adam and Eve through God’s mercy, but not without punishment. Of course all of this is a study of the real thing. Go read Genesis for yourself and tell me what you think. Ponder over the study questions for this week:
1. What distinguishes Eve from all other women? Why did God create her?
2. The way Eve was created speaks fundamental equality with Adam (see…?). What does this mean to you? How do you understand the duty and role of women?
3. Read Matthew 19:4-6. What did Jesus say about the relationship between men and women and what does that mean today?
4. In what ways was Eve a peer to Adam? In what ways were they different? What does this say about the marriage relationship today?
5. On page 7, John MacArthur says the wife is “subordinate, yet equal” to the husband. What does this mean and how can this be a reality in your life?
6. Read Genesis 3:1-7. In what ways is your temptation similar to Eve’s temptation? What process does Satan use to tempt you?
7. How can your personal Bible study help defend yourself against temptation?
8. The two most important relationships to a woman were the focus of the curse as a result of Eve’s sin. What were these relationships and how important are these relationships to you?
9. What life principles did you learn from the study of Eve’s life? How will you apply these principles to Eve’s life?
Remember that all the study questions are drawn directly from MacArthur’s book. I look forward to hearing what you think!