So as the creation story goes, God declared that it was not suitable for Adam to be alone. The scriptures indicate that God crafted out of the same soil of which he made Adam every bird and wild animal bringing them to Adam to see what he would call them. After he has given them all names, Adam realized that none of the birds or wild beasts were suitable to be his helper. I’m thinking that perhaps this was because none of the animals or birds looked like Adam or functioned like he did physically or emotionally. Now this is where the story begins to get interesting. Once God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep a rib is taken from him. Out of this rib God fashions a helper. Once Adam sees Eve, Genesis 2:23 records him as saying, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.”
My reflection today centers around the idea that Eve was present within Adam at his creation with the notion that it was just a matter of time before she would be revealed. As I have given this idea much thought I draw your attention to the conversations recorded in Genesis chapter three first between the serpent and Eve and then between Adam, Eve and God. It is interesting to note that the serpent didn’t have anything to say once the voice of God came calling in the garden. After the garden couple partake of the forbidden fruit the scripture records “their eyes were open” and they realized they were naked.
As the meeting between God, Adam, Eve and the serpent continues, a very interesting encounter occurs. A recent rendition or explanation of this encounter told by Paul Young, the author of The Shack, goes something like this. It is recorded that before Eve was taken from Adam, his task was to “keep” the garden. The word “keep” when used as a noun is defined as the innermost and strongest structure or central tower of a medieval castle. In other words when under attack by an enemy this innermost structure was to be kept from invasion at all cost. Then it stands to reason to ask the following question. Where was the serpent when he is revealed in the creation story? You got it! The serpent was IN the garden. In other words, Adam didn’t keep it and allowed the enemy to invade. Remember, this was before Eve was taken from Adam’s side. The only other time the word “keep” is used in the creation story is when Adam is expelled from the garden and Eve follows him out and an angel with a flaming sword is placed at the entrance in order to “keep” the garden.
The conversation between God, Adam and Eve continues and God asks Adam what happened. The way Paul Young tells it, Adam walks over to stand beside the serpent and then points his finger at his mate and exclaims to God, “…that woman you gave me! Its her fault!” Then God asks Eve what she did. She answers, “…the serpent thoroughly deceived me and I ate.” The next focused comments from God reveals a truth that if one is observant will see it portrayed in everyday life. Picture this. God looks at Adam and says, gesturing to Eve, “through her you will be saved.” Then God points his finger at the serpent and says to it gesturing to Eve, “…and through her you will be destroyed.”
It is recorded in Genesis 3:15 that God placed enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. Enmity is defined as a feeling or condition of hostility, hatred, ill will, animosity or antagonism. What I hold up for us to consider in this reflection is related to the absolute value God placed in the woman Eve before she was ever taken out of the side of Adam. It was as though she was hidden within him until she was needed to assist in the salvation of Adam. It is suggested that since Adam didn’t keep the garden that perhaps he had already allied with the serpent before Eve was revealed. God knew before hand that it was going to be through the woman that mankind would realize salvation. If you think about it, a lot of the major religions of the world treat woman as second class citizens or worse. Even in religions claiming to be Christian also behave in like manner. I would suggest that their treatment is an outward expression of the enmity between her and her enemy.
Finally, what I have decided to be on the lookout for in today’s religious circles includes the subtle ways men seek to put down, discourage, reduce, control, contrive or any other description of woman’s belittlement to be just what it is, the hiss of the serpent!!!!