Eve, Part II

I’ll try to keep from running too wild, as I know the questions from this chapter will make for a lengthy post. If you’re not up to speed, I began delving into the book Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur. Questions from the chapter of Eve are listed under Eve, Part I. I sincerely hope you join in the discussion, leave comments or do some provoking – regardless of your beliefs. It’s what gets it going – makes it interesting! I will say, however, that I may skimp on my answers since I’m writing this at work.

1. MacArthur begins noting that Eve is distinguished because, “No other woman has come unfallen into a curse-free world, no other woman could possibly surpass Eve’s grace, charm, virtue, ingenuity, intelligence, wit and pure innocence.” What a home-wrecker. Am I right ladies? Way to do a number for your self-esteem. But in all seriousness I think this is exactly why God created her. Don’t get too down on yourself. If it wasn’t for Eve’s sin, the rest of us would no doubt be equal to her virtues. The beauty of that original woman is shown through us because of God’s grace. No effort on our part can ever compare to what grace does for us, “which comes from the sovereign will of God.” In other words, celebrate being the most wonderfully-created thing in the entire universe. At least that’s what I’m gonna tell myself.

2. The role of Adam in the creation of Eve stresses again the goodness of God’s grace. It is always received, and never a part of our own efforts. He was put into a slumber as to not interfere. Voddie Bauchman explains the creation and fundamentality of men and women in such a way that I was able to look past the ‘roles’ of men and women and be hypnotized by a love story. Many people need to read this book and hear Bauchman’s sermon to understand what marriage is, because SO many people have the wrong perception. Where it gets hard for me is Eve’s purpose. Although Adam and Eve are completely equal, MacArthur notes in the book that Eve was created to be a helper. Adam was first; Eve filled a void. I’m not power-hungry, I don’t want to be in control all the time and I’m perfectly happy sharing every part of the decision making process. But for the life of me, I cannot find my maternal and nurturing side. I could write for hours on this topic, so I’ll spare you. Shoot, email me if you want me to go further. What I do find spectacular: Eve is completely and utterly unselfish. She is the epitome of “Living to Serve”, through God, her husband, and all of mankind.

3. If you read the scripture in Matthew, you know that Jesus says, “Be joined together as one flesh.” Adam and Eve are literally one flesh. That is the basis of all marriage. Eve came from the rib, not to rule or be ruled, but close to the heart to be beloved. True, lasting marriages understand that marriage is a partnership between themselves – as one entity – and God.

4. Eve is Adam’s peer both spiritually and intellectually. They differ in strength and physical attributes, as well as socially, emotionally and psychologically. These differences play into their individual roles. Going back to what I can’t wrap my mind around: that Eve is subordinate but equal. MacArthur makes the allusion to the Holy Trinity. The Son is equal to the Father, but takes on a subordinate role. I’m still confronting my issues, but being compared to Jesus makes it a bit better.

5. I referred to the ‘subordinate, but equal’ statement in my previous answer. And hopefully that comparison to the Trinity makes a good explanation. As I was writing notes for the questions I stopped when I tried thinking of ways to apply it to my life. My notes actually read, “Who the heck knows.” Depending on the day that’s probably how I would still answer that question. However, I’ll focus less on the role distinctions and say that I plan on using Eve’s influence of total selflessness in my every day routine. Needless to say, I’m still working on that too.

6. When I’m tempted by sin it usually spreads. I’ll influence my brothers and best friends. All around a bad deal, and I’m ashamed for being a bad role model. In a similar way, Eve shared her temptation with Adam. I’m tempted when I question the Word of God. Finding contradictions (not necessarily within the text). Having intellectual discussions that I love so much, that instigates and causes you to think for yourself. The whole of which can be related back to confusion. Like Eve with the apple. She was deceived through partial truths, lies and naivety.
Adam’s sin was deliberate in a way that Eve’s was not (she was deceived).
1 Timothy 2:14
Romans 5:8
James 1:13-14

7. The most effective way to defend against temptation that I have found, and think I ever will find, is reading His Word daily. Reading my Bible on a daily basis is something that I struggle with – much like my exercising or eating healthy – but it by far is the most beneficial remedy for anything I can think of. Don’t believe me? Go try for yourself.

8. The most important relationships for Eve (aside from the one with God) were her with her husband and children. In my notes I asked, “What are these relationships for a man?” If they were the focus of Eve’s curse, what significance do the hold with men, and why should (or shouldn’t) they differ? In Genesis 3:15, as Eve is cursed in childbearing, that scripture is often referred to as Protevangelium or “the first gospel”. Look up aligning scripture in Romans 16:20, Hebrews 2:14 and John 3:8. It is said that Eve’s species will be saved in childbearing. “He has come from the womb.” “Next will come from the belly of the earth…woe to you who bear children.” An incredible amount of parallelism throughout scripture.

9. This is the only question on which I didn’t write notes. I find distinct principles throughout my previous answers: the importance and true meaning of marriage, living with complete selflessness and consistently defending myself against temptation through daily scripture. I still have to confront my issues with subordination, but I have no doubt that everything will fall into place.

Let me know what you think. Are there certain questions that you answered? Topics you flipped over in your mind? A new perspective that you have from delving into Eve’s story? In the next chapter MacArthur delves into the life of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Hoping Against Hope. Check out Hebrews if you want to get a head start or go ahead and read the chapter!

Here is the link for Voddie Bauchman’s sermon: Love and Marriage

Eve, Part I

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’…Eve, Part I

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!