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Mary Elizabeth Baxter :: Eve—Genesis 2:18

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The Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone."-Genesis 2:18.

When the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul, He said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." (Gen 2:18.) Even unfallen human nature was possessed of a selfish principle, which needed the discipline of considering and of caring for others. There are very few unmarried men who are not selfish, and only those unmarried women can be unselfish who have found something definite to live for. It needs the check of another will, the friction of the dispositions in another which are contrary to our own, in order to develop in us the consideration and thoughtfulness for others which are so characteristic in the life of Jesus.

It was God's own thought that man should not be alone; He said: "I will make him an help meet for him." (Gen 2:18, or R. V. "answering to him.") God saw the need, and God created the supply. He had already made every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and had brought them to Adam that he might give names to them; but in all God's fair creation there was no true companion found for Adam. He alone was made in the image of God and in His likeness; he alone had dominion over the animal creation; there was not an equal to be found for him.

In order that a helpmeet should be created who should respond to the necessities of man, who should be the complement of himself and his representative, Adam must suffer loss. "The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man." (Gen 2:21-22.) It was a type of death and resurrection. Adam suffered loss in order to gain what was better. It was a true picture of the death of Christ, in order that the Church, His Bride, might be taken from His pierced side, blood‐bought, living out of His death. Just as man proceeded from God, and was made alive with His very breath, so woman proceeded from man, and we understand the depth of that word of Paul's, "He that loveth his wife loveth himself." (Eph 5:28.)

After man had sinned, he no longer trusted God to prepare a help meet for him. "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of

ALL WHOM THEY CHOSE." (Gen 6:1-2.)

Their object was a selfish one. They sought in their wives what should please them, and, doubtless, the wives sought in their husbands what should please them. Every marriage entered into with a selfish object produces bitter fruit; it is wrong at the very root.

Eve was created for Adam's sake, and Adam said of her: "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen 2:23-24.) There must be sacrifice on both sides.

One of the happiest marriages we know was entered into by a dear Christian woman on the Continent with a blind minister for the very purpose of caring for him. Being eyes to him, she enables him to carry out his ministerial work. Why is it so happy? Because it is unselfish; she is a helpmeet for her husband, and she has found in him a patience and a self‐denial which, with her naturally impetuous and impulsive disposition, makes the gain as much hers as his.

When a wife seeks in her husband the affection which shall satisfy her, or the attention which shall gratify her self‐love, she is not acting as a helpmeet; she is making her husband minister to her, instead of taking her place as minister to him. And when a husband is exacting with his wife, claiming all her time, all her attention, all her thoughts to revolve around him, he will never be fully satisfied with her. Selfishness is a plant that produces sour fruit, and sows discord wherever it grows.

There was no jar in the union of Adam and Eve until the serpent made his appearance. He approached the weaker vessel, saying to the woman,

"Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Gen 3:1.)

How should Eve act? Created to be Adam's helpmeet, her duty was to sustain her position and dominion over the lower creation. How could she consistently listen to a serpent, and how could she, who shared Adam's dominion over all but God, endure that her God should be called in question? The very listening to the reptile was a departure from God and a treachery against her husband.

Her answer was a true one, but she ought never to have answered at all. It gave ground to the serpent to continue his temptation. The serpent had already found out that it was more easy to draw the woman into conversation than the man; and her first answer gave him ground to speak again:

"Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:4-5.)

The enemy of souls was wise in his tactics. He knew that in these early days, when man was fresh from the hand of his Creator, he had not yet become flesh. (Gen 6:3.) The spirit, which responded to God, had still the upper hand, and he addressed his chief temptation to the higher and not the lower part of man's nature: "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:5.)

Eve's ambition was stirred. Could there be anything wrong in desiring to be like God? But Eve, in entertaining such thoughts without reference to her God, failed in her position of helpmeet to Adam. She acted without respect to him, and without considering either God's authority or her husband's good. It was


in God's creation. It is, however, this very object of being like God that He sets before His people now, "Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." (Rom 8:29.) It is only through Christ that we find the way to be conformed to Him. Disobedience towards God can never lead to God, and Satan's short cut was a fatal one. No sooner had the enemy laid hold of Eve on this point than he could appeal to her on lower ground.

"The woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food," and "the lust of the flesh" began to work within her; "and that it was pleasant to the eyes;" "the lust of the eyes" was awakened too; "and a tree to be desired to make one wise," "the pride of life" (1Jo 2:16) was working, and acting upon her own judgment,-a judgment biassed by the serpent-"she took of the fruit thereof and did eat." With this fatal act, every unselfish instinct seemed to die within her; "she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat." (Gen 3:6.) Adam's helpmeet had become Satan's instrument of temptation! The knowledge of evil awoke within them, and the man and his wife began to be afraid of God.

It was a new experience to them to find evil where they had not formerly suspected it, and to feel the need to hide themselves away from God. It was an awful moment when the man and the woman made in God's image found within them an impulse to flee from Him, as though their Father and their Creator were their enemy. The sin of the first woman brought about this grievous, this disastrous change. But neither the fig‐leaves nor their hiding‐place among the trees of the garden answered their purpose. God found them out, and He said unto Adam:

"Where art thou?" (Gen 3:9.)

The man's answer condemned him: "I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." (Gen 3:10.)


"Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" (Gen 3:11.)

Adam lost his manliness and said: "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." (Gen 3:12.)

Eve had become, not a helpmeet, but a hindrance to her husband. Adam had become, not a protector, but an accuser to his wife; sin and selfishness came in together, and the seeds of disunion were sown which were to bring forth the harvest of earth's sorrow. And when God questioned the woman:

"What is this that thou hast done?" she said: "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." (Gen 3:13.)

It is a sorry history; but oh, what a picture of many a household where self is ruling! How often, when a loss occurs in business, and the husband is deeply mortified, the wife will speak bitter words of reproach: "If you had only done as I advised you, you would not have ruined us all." Or the husband will bitterly retort: "If only you had not been so extravagant, things would never have come to this pass; you have yourself to thank for it." How often when a son or a daughter brings shame and grief upon their parents, bitter words of recrimination and retaliation are spoken! The wife, given to be a helpmeet, a blessing to her husband, to win him back when he has wandered, only galls the open wound; and the history of fallen Adam and Eve is constantly repeated even in the houses of God's children! If only the wife could recognise her high calling to suffer for Christ and with Christ in relation to her husband; the Bible tells us that the husband, even without the Word, may be won by the conversation, or manner of life, of the wife, which they behold with fear. (1Pe 3:1-2.)

But Adam and Eve were still in Eden, and before the Lord cast them out, He gave them the promise, spoken, neither to the fallen man nor yet to the fallen woman, but to the serpent-that her Seed should bruise the serpent's head, and a way of salvation should be made.

There is just one other instance of self‐life recorded of Eve. Sent out from the garden into the world which had become full of thorns and briars, Eve became a mother, and named her first son Cain, saying,


a man from the Lord." (Gen 4:1.) The selfish wife becomes a selfish mother. "I have gotten" expresses her thoughts regarding her boy. If the first idea in the possession of a child is the selfish one, what we have got, and what the child is to be to us-how can we be fit to train him for heaven? It is only as we count our children to be the Lord's possession that we can bring them up in His nurture and admonition.

Eve became a mother a second time, and had the bitterness of seeing her child's blood shed by the very son whom her selfish heart had named Cain; and, perhaps, it was only when she learnt the lesson of sacrifice from Abel's altar that God could trust her with her son Seth, who was "appointed" or "put" by the hand of God in the place of his slain brother. (Gen 4:25.) Seth was, so to speak, a resurrection child, and through him the family of the faithful descended.

The Women in the Word—Front Matter ← Prior Section
Sarah. Part 1—Hebrews 11:2 Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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