The Mother of All Mothers
By Wil Pounds
Some unknown wit has penned "Things my momma taught me."
My mother taught me logic. . . She said, "If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."
My mother taught me medicine. . . She said, "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're gong to freeze that way."
My mother taught me to think ahead. . . She said, "If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job."
My mother taught me ESP. . . She said, "Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"
My mother taught me to meet a challenge. . . She said, "What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you. . . Don't talk back to me!"
My mother taught me humor. . . She said, "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
My mother taught me to become an adult. . . She said, "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
My mother taught me about sex. . . She said, "How do you think you got here?"
My mother taught me about genetics. . . She said, "You are just like your father!"
My mother taught me about my roots. . . She said, "Do you think you were born in a barn?"
My mother taught me about the wisdom of age. . . She said, "When you get to be my age, you will understand."
My mother taught me about anticipation. . . She said, "Just wait until your father gets home."
My mother taught me about receiving. . . She said, "You are going to get it when we get home."
And my all time favorite thing - justice. . . She said, "One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU. . . then you'll see what it's like. (Source unknown).
How would you like to have been the first mother? What would it have been like to be the mother of all mothers? What can we learn from her? I think Eve gets a lot of bad publicity especially in our day of let's blame someone else for our situation.
THE FIRST WOMAN (2:18-23)
She was the product of divine creation
She was not born as other women are born. She was never a baby, never a child, or daughter or maiden. The first female born was Eve's daughter.
Eve was "fashioned" out for Adam. She was a perfect woman in her innocence. Read how beautifully Moses records her creation in Genesis 2:18-22.
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
Eve was the most beautiful woman created. She represents divine perfection. In a summary passage Moses said, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. . . And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. . ." (1:27, 31). I think God saw in Eve the loveliest woman ever made. Her face, features and form were incredibly beautiful. I think even far more beautiful than the woman who won the Miss Universe Pageant recently.
Adam saw her beauty and wrote the first love poem to a woman. Genesis 2:23 says,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
Eve was someone beautiful in body, mind and spirit. If you love beautiful women, I think she would have been a delight to be around.
THE FIRST WIFE (2:24-25)
Adam named the woman "Eve."
Her name means "living" or "life," and she was the "mother of all the living" (3:20). She is life giving. The first family probably had many sons and daughters because Adam lived 930 years. We do not know how old Eve was when she died, but we can surmise that she lived probably about as long as Adam. God gave them the responsibility of populating the earth (Gen. 1:27-28). "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. ",
How would you have liked to be the first mother? Have you ever thought about what that would have been like? I wonder how she parented. We parent the way we were parented until God reparents us. Eve started from scratch.
God designed Eve to be a "helpmeet" for Adam
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24).
She was designed to complement Adam, not be in stiff competition with him. She was to be a helper, not a slave. I think one of the most destructive things that have come out of the modern feminist movement is the intense competition created between husbands and wives and the blurring of parental roles and responsibilities. Men don't know how to respond because it goes against nature. Instead of being a helper in far too many homes she has become his greatest competition. It is a competitive role instead of a supportive one.
The Bible beautifully says, "They shall become one flesh." They are two contrasting entities becoming one compound unity. Eve is to be a companion of Adam. The human body is nothing to be ashamed about. It is something beautiful that God created.
The apostle Paul uses this passage when he speaks of the church as the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:31-32).
Divorce was not in God's plan
Jesus accepted the historical credibility of Genesis. In Matthew 19:4-9 he spoke of divorce and said it was granted only because of the "hardness of heart." We have divorces only because mankind rebelled against the laws of God. Selfishness destroys marriages. You cannot worship at the shrine of self and have a strong healthy marriage and family.
A woman has the power to bless or destroy a man's life. She can either love, cherish, honor and build him up or tear him down. May God help us to refocus our lives and our marriages on priorities that build strong healthy marriages.
THE FIRST WOMAN WITHOUT SIN (3:1-5)
Eve had no inherited sin.
You and I are born selfish. We start life with a strong deadly bent toward sin. The Psalmist David wrote in Psalm 51:5;
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
His mother was not involved in an immoral act. Man's condition is that he is a partaker of a sinful nature from the moment of his birth (and conception). Our nature is egocentric or self-centered. We are born desiring our own way, rather than God's, will.
However, God in love gave Adam a commandment, even before Eve was created (2:15-17). "Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." Eve was pure and innocent in the Garden of Eden. There were no hidden surprises for Adam and Eve. God did not suddenly change the rules on them. There were no hidden agendas. God strictly told them this "tree" was off limits. It is His garden!
The first temptation
Temptation in itself is not sin. Satan made it look so beautiful to defy God's Word. He lied and is still telling the same lie even to this day. He is always disguising himself as the "shinning one" (3:1). He makes his temptations so inviting with the fun, thrills, and excitement as if God wants to cheat you out of the best in life.
The process is always the same. Satan tries to tell every woman here that God is cheating you out of the best life has to offer. He wants to make it so inviting as to subtly insist that the grass is always greener in some other home and with someone else's husband, or job, or position, or someone else's children. Satan has a better offer of a perfect husband, a perfect home and perfect environment, perfect children with perfect features and of course perfect behavior. Why Eve you can have it all and you won't have to wait. You can have it now. No discipline, no cross, no discomfort, no pain, it is all yours if you want it Here take eat! It is yours.
Satan led her to doubt God's Word. Her husband didn't help. He didn't refute the false assumptions and hypothesis that Satan offered. If it makes you feel good do it! They didn't, stop to ask what is the worse thing that could happen if _____________? Yes, even you are free to choose, but you are not free to choose the consequences of your actions?
Did, you notice in verse three that Eve added to what God originally said? You “shalt not eat from it or touch it, lest you die” That clearly indicates that she knew the truth and in her mind guarded against going near the beautiful tree. God said, you “shall not eat” from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve thought well if I don't touch I won't eat.
Satan came right out and contradicted God (v. 4-5). He lied. He is always lying and bending the truth to fit his own schemes.
Eve saw, she coveted, she took, she ate and became the world's first sinner.
THE WORLD'S FIRST SINNER (3:6)
Eve chose to give up her innocence for thorns, thistles and tears. The process of sin is still the same. "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate."
When Adam saw it was safe he joined in the fun and ate it up, too. Adam as the federal head of the human race led his whole family down the long slide of sin and depravity. In Adam we all sin. He is the head of our family until we are adopted into God's family. Romans 5: 12-15 should wake us up.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Eve was the first seamstress (3:7)
She was the first woman to use cover up. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings." The only problem is it didn't work. "Fig leaves" have never covered the guilt of sin.
There is only one remedy for sin. God provided the first garments that cover sin (v. 21). "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them." I think when He made the coverings He explained that the animal gave up its life so that they have coverings. Behind those garments there has been a substitutionary sacrifice by death. His garments of skin foreshadowed the spotless robe of righteousness that covers all our sins. (2 Cor. 5:21). "God made." It was His own free gift for Adam and Eve. He took matters into His own hands and by the shedding of blood, which is implied, He provided a covering for them. Even with skins we stand naked if we are not clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God laid the foundation for animal sacrifice in those coverings.
THE FIRST WOUNDED MOTHER (4:8)
The trail of sorrow and anguish always follows sin. Cain, her firstborn became angry and killed Eve's son Abel (4:8). "And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him." Eve has the dishonor of being the mother of the first murderer.
You can imagine the chaos that was created by the first sin and its evil affect on the first couple. Home life and the family were broken up because of sin. Eve had another son and her name disappears from history but not without a word of hope.
Eve could identify with the pain and hurt that some of you are experiencing this Mother's Day. I am sure she felt guilt when she looked at the consequences of her actions and behavior. She could say no one knows the grief I have suffered because of the loss of my two sons. She knew the embarrassment and damage beyond repair of having a son become the first murderer in history. She knew the grief of losing both sons-one to death and the other to estrangement.
Some one has written "Reflections of a Mother."
I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you. I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warm you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God's famil y.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life. I can love you with unconditional love all of my life. . . and I will !
THE WONDERFUL PROMISE OF THE SEED OF THE WOMAN (3:15)
God provided perfect salvation for a sinning race
As they stand confronted with their sin and plead their guilt before God there is a marvelous promise of redemption. God is spelling out judgment on Satan when he says in verse fifteen.
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel."
Dr. Harold Stigers writes, "Genesis is the record of God's work of deliverance from the corruption of original sin resulting from the Fall. . . God's redemptive work began with Gen. 3:15."
Dr. Merill C. Tenny says, "It may be believed that resurrection faith is at the center of the paradox of the Savior-man. In the crushing of the head of the serpent, deliverance was promised: and in order to effect that deliverance, the redeemer had to be able to conquer death." He adds, "How could Christ (the seed of the woman) take upon Himself the consequences of the serpent's sting and yet live? Resurrection seems to be the answer."
Death symbolized the wounding of the heel by Satan and takes place before the smashing of the head of Satan by the seed of the woman. The wounding appears to be the death on the cross, since Christ identified His executioners as the seed of the serpent. Jesus said, "You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. . ." (Jn. 8:44).
This preceding death makes mandatory the resurrection of the seed of the woman to perform the smashing of the serpent's head.
This promise was no doubt the cause of Abraham greeting the "day of Christ" with glad assurance in John 8:54.
Genesis 3:15 is the first shining light on the horizon of eternal life. It is the root of Abraham's obedience to the Lord to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. Why else would he make such a sacrifice if he did not have the hope before him that God would raise the son of the promise from the dead? Abe probably believed the seed of the woman was the promise of a seed through Isaac. Hebrews 11:19, Abraham "considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type." Jesus said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad."
Genesis is more than a story. It is the record of God's work on behalf of the redeemed. It is the history of God's redemptive work.
Rom. 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." That crushing certainly includes all the labor of Jesus the Messiah. The hope of the resurrection is as old as sinful men and is mighty to support them in all their pilgrimages to heaven. Dr. Harold Stigers, "Gen. 3:15 has become the most important verse in all the Bible." The central message of the whole Bible, old and new covenants, are the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The greatest commentary on Gen. 3:15 is John 3:16.
No doubt, the "seed of the woman" is referring to the virgin birth of Christ. The virgin born conquers death, hell and the grave. Christ will give the deathblow to Satan when He returns.
Remember, in Adam we all die, but in Christ we are all made alive.
Who is your father? To whose family do belong today? Who is the head of your family? Adam or Christ.
For a detailed study on this beautiful promise to Eve read The Seed of the Woman in Christ in the Old Testament.
We can learn from Eve's mistakes.
We do not have to go down the same journey she did. Satan uses the same lies and the same techniques on us he did on Eve. Let's learn from her mistakes and put on the whole armor of God as a defense to defeat Satan in his tracks. You can overcome temptation today. You can be a winner in the greatest vocation in life but you have to be responsible to build in the safeguards. No one else can do it for you. Make a commitment of your life today to be a godly mother. Begin each day with a determination to let Christ live His life through you in your home.
Where do the greatest temptations come to you? In what area of your marriage, your responsibilities as a wife and mother are you subtly tempted? What are you doing to make sure you don't blow it? Is there a temptation at the office, with coworkers? Or do you sneak off to the chat lines on the internet thinking no one will ever know about your secret desires and intrigues. Nothing is secret on the Internet. Every Webmaster knows who visits his site. If he is unethical he gleans your email every time you click on his chat site or pornography site. Do the soap operas bring out the worst in you? Or the novels you read? Do something about it now. Do something now to make a change in your behavior. Burn the magazines, clean off your hard drive, get up and do something away from the TV.
Your marriage and your commitment to it should be the most important thing in your life. It is more important than your job, or position, or responsibilities in the community. Make a commitment to yourself to not buy into Satan's lies about you, your husband and your family.
If you are a hurting mother take time to heal
If you are hurting because of the pain of divorce, grief, emotional injury or other loss start a support group in your church. Learn through other women's encouragement. Get into a healthy women's Bible study. I'm not talking about a poor is me club. Find a mature, healthy group of Christ-centered women who love Him and serve Him. Find true friends who will confront you with your indiscretions. Grow from your hurt and reach out to someone else who is hurting to share God's love and grace.
Accept God's forgiveness today
If you have blown it stop and pray and ask God's forgiveness. Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for your sins. He wants to give you His peace right now. He is committed to your very best.
If your mother is still living take time and tell her you love her today.
Ed Rutherford tells a fitting story that pulls it all together on this Mother's Day.
John had been on the road visiting clients for more than three weeks. He couldn't wait to get back to Ohio to see his wife and children. It was coming up on Mother's Day, and he usually tried to make it "back home", but this year he was just too tired. He was in a small town just outside of Little Rock when he drove by a flower shop. He said to himself, "I know what I will do, I'll send Mom some roses."
He went into the small shop and saw a young man talking to the clerk. "How many roses can I get for six dollars, ma 'am?" the boy asked. The clerk was trying to explain that roses were expensive. Maybe the young man would be happy with carnations.
"No. I have to have roses," he said. "My Mom was sick so much last year and I didn't get to spend much time with her. I want to get something special. It has to be red roses, 'cause that's her favorite." He was emphatic.
The clerk looked up at John and was just shaking her head. Something inside of John was touched by the boy's voice. He wanted to get those roses so badly. John had been blessed in his business, and he looked at the clerk and silently mouthed that he would pay for the boy's roses.
The clerk looked at the young man and said, "Okay, I will give you a special deal on a dozen red roses for your six dollars." The young man almost jumped into the air. He took the flowers and ran from the store. It was worth the extra thirty-five dollars just to see that kind of excitement.
John ordered his own flowers and had the clerk to be sure that delivery would include a note telling his mother how much he loved her. As he drove away from the shop, he was feeling very good. He caught a light about two blocks from the shop. As he waited at the light, he saw the young boy walking down the sidewalk. He watched him cross the street and enter a park through two huge gates.
Suddenly, he realized it wasn't a park. It was a cemetery. He could see the young man turn by the gate and walk along the fence.
The light changed, and John slowly crossed the intersection. He pulled over and on an impulse got out and began to follow the boy down the fence line. John was on the sidewalk, thirty or forty steps behind the boy, who walked inside the cemetery fence. The young man stopped by a small monument and went to his knees. He carefully laid the roses on the grave and began to sob. John felt like an intruder but he couldn't leave. He stared at the little boy's heaving body and listened to his muted crying.
As he cried, he heard the young man speak, "Mommy, oh Mommy, why didn't I tell you how much I love you. Why didn't I tell you one more time? Jesus, please, find my Mommy. Tell my Mommy I love her."
John turned, tears in his eyes, and walked back to his car. He drove quickly to the florist and told her he would take the flowers personally. He wanted to be sure and tell his Mother one more time just how much he loved her.
Too many times, I have had men and women ask me that question. Why didn't I tell her, or why didn't I tell him just how much they meant to me? There aren't enough flowers to make the pain go away. We need to tell those that we love how important they are to us now. We can't afford to wait.