We’ve been in the splinter removal business for the last few posts. I would encourage you to take a look at the past Splinter posts when you have a chance to get caught up.
We often find ourselves believing lies about God that cause us to blame Him for all kinds of stuff He didn’t do. First we have to understand that God is love:
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us (ESV)
In the last post I talked about how Adam wasn’t cursed. God says the ground was cursed with regard to Adam’s new home in the world. He was about to leave the garden and have to live off the land that belonged to the devil who was cursed. The enemy was going to come against him at every opportunity and feed him with lies and deceit while Adam is just trying to feed his family.
As a side note you should know that God is good and cannot be bad. When God curses anything it is not like we would. It is not a hex or God-exerted evil against the person on the receiving end. It isn’t possible with a good God. When God curses something the word in Hebrew can be translated as detests. When we as a fallen Adam curses something it is with harmful intent. This is why Jesus says:
Matt 5:20 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.(ESV)
The “you fool” part is a curse. Pretty strong language from Jesus.
So hopefully you are getting the idea behind this splinter removal stuff. We need to see how good God is. He is Jesus and Jesus is Him. We can see all the attributes of God in Jesus since He is the exact representation and the fullness of God. Now for the next “splinter.”
Did God punish Eve as the first to be deceived in her apparent female weakness by giving her excruciating pain in childbirth as a continuous reminder of her inferiority as the lesser half of the human race? NOPE!
Here is the passage:
Gen 3:16 To the woman he said,“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (ESV)
So like the last two splinters you have to see this verse in the greater context. The devil just got cursed to the ground eating the dirt. He was also declared the enemy of man with man being victorious over the devil. I would say the devil is not happy. Now God tells Eve what is about to happen as she enters the world with Adam.
First the language here in English doesn’t capture the original Hebrew very well. A Lance Literal Translation would be:
To the woman he said increase in increase will your sorrow be. In sorrow you will have children. Your desire will be for your children and your husband who will have dominion over you.
In Hebrew the verb translated increase or multiply is used twice in a row. This is an idiom of Hebrew that doesn’t translate well in English. It is using the infinitive absolute form of the verb. The best translation is to say that “increase” has a hyperbolic emphasis. It is an extreme emphasis to the point of exaggeration to make a point. It is like saying
“you will have increasing sorrow that you have increasing sorrow that you have sorrow when you have children.”
The word “I” is not in the original language. God is not giving Eve sorrow as a curse. God is not giving Eve pain as a punishment. God is telling Eve that she is about to enter a cosmic battle where the enemy is out to get her. She is entering a world where there will be no rest. She is entering a world that her children will grow up with the same sorrow, shame, guilt, selfishness… I would say that her sorrow will be extreme realizing that her offspring will have such a difficult time. As for her husband, of course he will have dominion over her. She is the child bearer and he is the provider (in this ancient setting). Even her children will leave her to go off and “toil” just like Adam to make a living and provide for their families. Can you see the cycle? All the while Eve has the desire and commission to “be fruitful and multiply” so she is torn between her natural desires, her need as a human to look forward generationally and all the stuff that will likely come against them. Let me be clear one more time…this was not God inflicting Eve with a ghastly punishment of pain.
So again if you don’t buy into any of that, it is OK. It is a huge splinter for me and I really like that it is gone. Jesus is awesome and He is King. I really love my Abba and all He is. I can’t wait to learn more and more about how good my Father is. But just in case it doesn’t sit well with you and you need a good after-the-cross reference, check this out:
2 Tim 14 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (ESV)
2 Cor 11:13But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (ESV)
At first glance this may disturb you but put on your Grace lenses and take another look.
First the deception part. God told Adam to not eat the tree. There is no record that God told Eve. I think that is important. I assume then that Adam told Eve. That means that Eve did not hear from God in regard to this issue. I believe that is important especially when she gets the instructions wrong when she answers satan’s question. She adds the “don’t touch” policy. I think we can learn a lot from that short progression. To avoid being deceive like Eve it isn’t a male/female thing. It is a “heard from God versus heard from man” thing. Our entire reason for existence on this planet is to be in a relationship with God. That is why He made us. We all need the Holy Spirit and have regular conversations with Him. If not we are hearing from man. If not we are left to deception. If not the Bible is just words on a page with no life. If not we never get to know Jesus as Jesus. If not we never get to look through the cross and see the true nature of God.
Second the quote “if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” Without laying it all out this is nothing more that what I just said but a different way. It is the fruit of abiding in Him. These are the attributes of a child of God. This is who we become when we give our lives to Jesus. This is what Adam and Eve were intended to be. This is where we have been destined to find ourselves in Jesus. This is why Eve can now be free of sorrow once and for all. Now she has a child that is born into a world where the devil has been defeated. Now she has a child that has an amazing opportunity to become a child of God and change the face of the planet. Now she gets to give birth to little “Christ like ones.” Now she gets to see her child become a world changer. Now she gets to have a child that can become the expression of the love of God. That is amazing. That is reconciliation of the best kind. That is another splinter removed!!