It was Mother’s Day this past week and I was on twitter watching it explode over @BethMooreLPM’s words regarding the negative attitude toward women in the church. Here’s a bit of what she had to say:
I had the eye opening experience of my life in 2016. A fog cleared for me that was the most disturbing, terrifying thing I’d ever seen. All these years I’d given the benefit of the doubt that these men were the way they were because they were trying to be obedient to Scripture…
Then I realized it was not over Scripture at all. It was over sin. It was over power. It was over misogyny. Sexism. It was about arrogance. About protecting systems. It involved covering abuses & misuses of power. Shepherds guarding other shepherds instead of guarding the sheep.
Now all the negativity that women endure done (seemingly) because of adherence to scripture is staggering and as I was reading through Beth Moore’s awesome tweet I was reminded of something. I was reminded of those powerful words that God spoke over Eve and women in general — those mysterious, significant words:
It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner. –Gen. 2:18
Notice that it was God who called Eve a helper. GOD called Eve HELPER. Eve, therefore, WILL be a HELP to Adam. God’s words will NOT fail.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them. –Isaiah 55:10–11, The Message
Therefore, Eve will truly come to the help of Adam. Unless, of course, you think God is a liar?
Did Eve Fail Adam – NO!
Eve led Adam astray. Eve is the one who fell into sin. Eve was not helpful to Adam. Women are easily deceived just like Eve. Women should not lead men at all. Women are dangerous to men and this is why they should be kept separate from them.
When we view Eve as the one who failed Adam, God’s words are made void. Our faith in Eve becomes faithless. The helper becomes unhelpful. And our trust in woman — the image and likeness of the God of Help — erodes to the point that woman completely loses her God-given purpose.
This was the realization I had over the Mother’s Day weekend: The church has completely nullified God’s words over Eve. We are faithless when it comes to woman. And we should be ashamed of ourselves. But, strangely, we’re not. Instead, we constantly speak lies over Eve and we keep women at arm’s length all while we align ourselves with the deceiver as we say things like “Eve led Adam astray” or “Eve convinced Adam to sin,” or even “Eve was created second and is, therefore, secondary to man.”
But Satan is a liar.
Eve is helpful.
Let me say this again, EVE IS HELPFUL.
God blessed Eve with significant PURPOSE.
Eve did NOT fail Adam.
Eve — the feminine image and likeness of God — actually saved Adam.
How did Eve HELP Adam — God in the Feminine, Baby!
The word helper (ezer) means exactly what it says, helper. Misunderstanding over the term (ezer) comes from our inability to fathom the type of help this word portrays because of our low view of women. But ezer has less to do with assisting someone than it does with truly coming to the help, the aid, and the rescue of a person. The word ezer is used to denote God-saving help!
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help [ezerah] in trouble. –Ps. 46:1, NRSV, bold added
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help [yeshûwʿâh ] and my God. –Ps. 42:5–6, NRSV, bold added
In the above, the first word for “help” is ezer in its feminine form — ezerah — to denote the feminine aspect of God coming to the rescue: “God is ezerah in times of trouble.” In the second verse, the word “help” means “deliverer” or “savior” and it is also in its feminine form — yeshûwʿâh.
You may recognize this word because it is the feminine form of the word yêshûwa — the name we give Jesus, our Savior. However, in the case of Psalms 42:5, our God-deliverer is not male but female. Which means there is a feminine aspect to God, and She is a helper as well as a savior.
Eve’s Great Purpose was NOT to lead Adam Astray
Since God is not wholly masculine, God created Eve with strategic purpose — to reveal MORE about God. Eve reveals God in the feminine. She looks different from the male image; yet, she is fully able to rescue and save.
Eve’s purpose was certainly not to lead Adam astray by convincing him to eat the forbidden fruit. In fact, there are NO words in the Genesis account spoken by Eve to Adam that convinced Adam to eat. We are merely taught that Eve convinced Adam to eat the fruit. But in truth, Adam ate the fruit of his own accord. Eve was deceived by the serpent and, therefore, she ate. But Adam was NOT deceived. Adam ate the fruit willfully and knowingly. Adam’s sin was that he intentionally broke God’s law and because his sin was intentional it birthed death and the covenant was broken:
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But we have an enemy. In particular, woman has an enemy who desperately wants to see her invalidated, discredited, and ultimately rejected. Our enemy wants us to view women not as God created her — as a saving force — but in the exact opposite way: as unhelpful to men, untrustworthy to lead, and dangerous to male authority. Therefore, Eve is blamed to this very day for the sin of Adam. But Eve is NOT guilty for leading Adam astray. Eve’s enemy wants you to believe she is guilty.
In other words, our enemy (Satan) does not want God’s words regarding Eve to bear the fruit they were meant to achieve. Eve is the revelation of the God of Help and because of this she has been targeted for complete destruction by the enemy — from the beginning.
Eve’s Purpose was to SAVE Adam
I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. — Rev. 2:23
Then the LORD God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. –Gen. 3:22–23, bold added
The words, “the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil” does not mean that Adam was suddenly welcomed into some “club” of the gods…. like, “Hey, you’re now one of us!” It means, Adam has become like ONE among us… knowing good and evil. The danger now is that if Adam eats from “the tree of life” — he cannot be saved, because he will live in this state of death forever, just like “that other ONE who is among us.” (A.K.A. Satan).
Therefore, Adam must be expelled from the garden — for his own safety. Notice that only Adam is expelled. Eve is not. Since Eve is not like “one among us, knowing good and evil,” there is no need to chase her away from the tree of life. Eve’s sin was that she became deceived. This is a sin that does NOT lead to death — in fact — Eve desperately needs to eat from the tree of life!
Suppose you see your brother or sister commit a sin. But that sin is not the kind that leads to death. Then you should pray for them. And God will give life to them. — 1 Jn. 5:16, bold added
Adam is in Deep Trouble
So here we have Adam, he was not tricked into eating the forbidden fruit. Instead, he willfully chose to eat thereby aligning himself knowingly with death. The result is he becomes “like one among us” … like Satan the accuser. Therefore, when God asks Adam why he ate, Adam (now in alignment with the accuser) accuses both Eve and, indirectly, God for giving him the fruit:
[God said] “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” –Gen. 3:11-12, bold added
Adam’s words, though technically true, conceal his inner motivation and they redirect the blame to Eve. Eve, whom God had originally created to be the powerful helper, now (because of Adam’s accusation) becomes a suggested hindrance, a detriment to the man since, according to Adam, she was no help at all. But this accusation, though it definitely fools us (because we all blame Eve for leading Adam astray) doesn’t fool God. Instead, God forces Adam from the garden because he has purposefully aligned himself with death:
[God] drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. — Gen. 3:24
God Does not Expel Eve – Eve Chooses To Leave the Garden
But we soon realize that Eve actually leaves with Adam. We are not given the specifics about why she leaves; all we know is that — on the other side of the garden, east of Eden — Eve is there, giving birth to Cain. There are, however, two very telling clues that reveal what really went down in Eden. One clue is found in the prophetic words God speaks to Eve after she and Adam eat the forbidden fruit:
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” –Gen. 3:16, bold added
Eve’s “desire” is for her husband. This word “desire” is very telling. It means to “stretch out after” and it’s from the root word shûwq “to run.” Therefore, Eve chooses to run after Adam, and in so doing her lot is to be ruled by him — a man who has completely aligned himself with death!
This is WAR!
Which brings me to our final clue regarding why Eve might have felt extremely justified in leaving that garden. Our final clue is found in the prophetic words that God speaks to the serpent:
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.” –Gen. 3:14–15, bold added
The Message puts Genesis 3:15 this way:
“I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.”
Eve left garden life far behind as she ran after Adam. And the first thing Eve does after leaving the garden behind is she gives birth to a son. Because of this birth, it becomes likely that Eve is acting out of faith in response to God’s words: “I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers.”
Because of Eve’s actions, the world’s course has now been set (cue menacing music): the serpent’s now immanent defeat is in motion. In other words: WAR HAS BEEN DECLARED BY EVE against the serpent:
The LORD God sent [Adam] forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have produced a man with the help of the LORD. –Gen. 3:23–4:1, bold added
Eve suggestively named her first-born son Cain, which means “spear.” It’s like Eve got straight to work on producing, hopefully, that son who will strike the serpent’s head.
Sadly, Eve (and her daughters) would have to wait a long, loooong time before the right son would come. But eventually, Jesus would be birthed and a new covenant would be established and finally the world would begin to change for the better.
So did Eve save Adam? — absolutely. She sacrificed her life in order to gain victory over the serpent. Without Eve, Adam is lost in his sin, exiled from God. With Eve, Jesus and the Spirit are on the way, ready to restore everything that had been lost through sin — and this includes not only Adam’s redemption but also the restoration of the helper’s reputation and her rightful place of authority.
Eve is the helper. Eve did not fail Adam. Eve rescued Adam in his time of trouble. Eve is a hero. Women are the image and likeness of the God of Help. Women are an indispensable HELP. The world cannot be saved without them. Women are amazing.
God’s words never return void. God’s words always come to fruition. Eve did carry out her purpose. Eve really is Adam’s HELPER. It’s time we began to honor her — Happy Mother’s Day Eve, you HELPED save the whole world!
*New Revised Standard Version has been used unless otherwise noted.