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Genesis 3:1-6, 16-19

02 Jan

3 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

Genesis 3:1-6

Dear God, I was thinking about this story this morning and wondering about the oral tradition of it being handed down. Why is it told the way it is told? So I’m going to make some assumptions here. Two key ones, really. Assumption #1: Moses wrote this thousands of years after it happened. Assumption #2: It’s an accurate version of what Adam and Even first shared with Seth and their other children with nothing being changed over the millennia.

So what did Adam and Eve share about this experience? Why did they tell the story this way. I guess I really don’t know why they said what they said about it, but the apparently communicated that the serpent first approached Eve even though Adam was apparently standing right there. Was this significant? Was Eve perhaps a little more precocious than Adam? Could he have just as well have approached Adam first? We will never know. But the order of events does seem to play into the “curse” God gives later.

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
    and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
    but he will rule over you.[c]

17 And to the man he said,

“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
    whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
    All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
    though you will eat of its grains.

19 By the sweat of your brow
    will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
    from which you were made.

For you were made from dust,
    and to dust you will return.”

Genesis 3:16-19

Funny, but I just noticed something in this curse. For Adam, it was an indefinite curse of the ground. For Eve, however, you pointedly say that it is about her relationship with Adam. I suppose I would also point out (and I heard this point from Baylor professor Beth Allison Barr in her book The Making of Biblical Womanhood) that apparently women being subject to men was not part of the created order. You did not design my relationship with my wife to be a dominant/submissive one. Your perfect created order was for us to be truly partners and equal with each other. Isn’t it interesting that, as men (and some women), we have taken this passage of a curse as a justification for male dominance instead of seeing it for what it really is: against the created order.

Father, I don’t want to be domineering over my wife, and I don’t want her to dominate me. That’s a hard thing to pull off in any relationship because, more often than not, one spouse will be more dominant in personality than the other. Frankly, in our marriage, I have the more dominant personality. So it is up to me to submit to and strive to bring our marriage and relationship back to your perfect created order as much as possible. So help me to do that. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear. Help me to be exactly the husband and father you need me to be.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 2, 2022 in Genesis

 

One response to “Genesis 3:1-6, 16-19

  1. Pam Cotten

    January 13, 2022 at 8:16 am

    I guess I have always overlooked the probability that the husband/wife order was a “Plan B” relationship brought about by the Garden of Eden events. But yes, it makes lots of sense! And yes, doesn’t it work out well when husbands feel like you and Marston Sr. do! Megan & I are blessed.

     

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