Eve: The Mother of All Living
As you walked in this evening/morning you walked past the Creation stained glass Windows. What do you see in the picture of Adam and Eve? If youíre like me, most of the time I really donít think too much about Eve. She doesnít really seem like my mother. She doesnít seem too important to me. After this sermon I hope you will think differently of her and of all mothers. Like many mothers, even though she accomplished many things, for the most part they have gone unnoticed.
Who Was Eve? And What Can We Learn from Her Life?
I. She Was the Wife of Adam. (Genesis 2.18-24)
Genesis 2:18-24 18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." 19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Eve was first of all the wife of Adam. God said it was not good for the man to be alone. Eve is "the helper comparable to him." That is, she was the perfect match for him in order to complete what was lacking in him. The Bible defines marriage here saying that these two people were so joined together in body, mind, and soul that they had become "one flesh." This was no casual or temporary arrangement.
This marriage between the first man and woman receives a lot of attention in the first two chapters of the Bible. Marriage in general receives a lot of attention from God. Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a marriage on more than one occasion. St. Paul and St. John both compare the love of God to all His people as a marriage.
Marriages without Godís love in Christ are like kids playing in an abandoned car with no engine. You can turn the steering wheel and pretend to be going somewhere, but in actuality you are going nowhere. Today the world thinks itís OK to have motherhood without marriage. It is a sad situation because it reflects a lack of fear, love, and trust in God above all things and a lack of love for our nearest neighbors Ė our children.
St. Paul said to both husbands and wives, "Submit to one another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5.21). Eve was the first to take this noble path of life Ė to lay aside that newly won independence that Satan had held out to her like a carrot Ė and in repentance and faith to return to God her Creator and Savior. As she turned in faith to God, she was able to turn in love toward her husband to go on with life even now in the totally unfamiliar valley of the shadow of death.
II. She is the Co-Manager of Creation. (Genesis 1:28)
Genesis 1:28 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Eve was the co-manager of creation. When God said, "have dominion," He did not mean "exploit, misuse, or ruin." "Dominion" from Godís perspective is always a dominion of service and a responsibility for life.
All the world depends on the institution of the family. We hear so much about the need for education, health care, economy, and national defense. Yet all of these things are nothing without healthy families. The work we invest in trying to have a healthy family will never be recorded on Wall Street. But there is no doubt about it Ė there would be no Wall Street, no free society, no civilized life at all without healthy families. Healthy families are miniature society in which people learn to live together, work together, bear with one another and help one another. Above all families are little churches where we hear the truth and love of Christ and first begin to put it into practice.
Eve along with Adam were Co-mangers if this vitally important foundation of all society. Proverbs 31 especially teaches how mothers manage their households.
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all." 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
III. The First to Sin (Genesis 3.1-5)
Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 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 coverings.
She is the first to be tempted and to sin. She fell away from God when she was told to think about the things she didnít have instead of the things she did have.
One of the biggest delusions that still haunts us is the idea that motherhood and family life are necessary burdens. The real life, the important life is the one we find in our careers and in our pursuit of happiness in material things. Christians are still being misled to believe that if they have too many children they will either over populate the earth or, if not that, then certainly they will have to give up all sorts of earthly pleasures. When people have heard that our family has been blessed with five children, Iíve been told "Well, youíre never going to retire." But then God never told Adam and Eve Ė gear your whole life toward your own personal happiness. He did say, "Be fruitful and multiply."
IV. The First to Have Faith in Godís Promises of Salvation (Genesis 3.15, 20)
Genesis 3.15, 20 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel. And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
In Genesis chapter three God spoke to Satan. He said that Eve would one day have a descendent, a special child who would come to reverse the curse of sin. Satan would crush His heal, but He would crush Satanís head. Jesus would die on the cross, but that death would be the undoing and demolition of all the sin and death that Satan brought into the world. Adam rightly calls her "The Mother of All Living" not only because all of us trace our life back to her, but also because all of us trace our salvation back to her special descendent Ė Jesus.
Eve began the noble tradition of not only bringing new physical life into the world but of also bringing spiritual life into the world through Godís Word as it is taught to children. Although sin entered into the world through Adam and Eve, faith was passed on in the world through Adam and Eve and many other godly mothers and fathers. St. Paul reminded Timothy: [I remember] "the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice" (2 Timothy 1.5).
I marvel for the way God worked in Eveís life. I thank God for all mothers, who like Eve, have had the curse of sin reversed in their lives and who now submit to God and are truly physical as well as spiritual mothers. Amen.
Pastor Michael P. Walther
Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 13, 2007
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1300 Belt Line Road, Collinsville, Illinois, 62234
618-344-3151 / fax 618-344-3378
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Michael P. Walther, Copyright, 2007
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