Friday, November 11, 2011

Eve's pain

We're all familiar with the curse God placed upon Eve and all women who followed in her path. Genesis 3:16 says, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children." Almost exclusively, we think about Eve's curse in terms of physical pain. Indeed, every mother will testify to the reality of that. Still, could there be more in this curse? I think so.

One doesn't have to read far beyond Genesis 3 to discover more feminine pain bound up with Eve's curse. Chapter four showcases her eldest son's jealous heart inflicting its vengeance on his brother in fratricide. A mother's pain in childbirth may be great, but it is minimal compared to the agony of witnessing her children's sins - sometimes chronic sins that go on for decades and rip the family apart. How ironic: the sin which tasted so delicious (the forbidden fruit) came back to bite Eve - and all mothers ever since - perhaps most of all.

Praise God, therefore, for the promise found in Genesis 3:15 implicit in God's curse upon the serpent, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between her offspring and your offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Eve received the just desserts of her punishment in motherly pain, but in grace Christ (the ultimate Child) came to reverse the curse. One day every tear will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4) and every redeemed woman (we trust Eve included) will say 'good-bye' to her motherly pain to the glory of God.

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