Monday, September 15, 2008

A New Name

I've been studying Eve. It's stunning, really, to consider the swell of God's handiwork culminating with Woman--the crown of creation and image bearer of God. She lived in perfect union with Adam and walked intimately with God ... until.

The love story turns into a tragedy, as Woman falls prey to the serpent and is deceived by the enemy. Perfect union is destroyed as Adam goes passive and fails to rescue Woman. And intimacy with God is shattered as sin and shame are introduced into the garden. As a result, a series of curses are bestowed upon the serpent, Adam, and Woman.

Genesis 3:16 tells us, "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth; In pain you will bring forth your children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.' " Agony, loneliness, and striving are introduced into Woman's world. She's fallen from glory, separated from God, and living under a curse.

But this is not where her story ends. The hope of redemption is introduced into her story, with the giving of a new name: "Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living." (Genesis 3:20)

Eve. Adam could have chosen any name to bestow – temptress, weakling, failure, destroyer, sinner – but he doesn’t choose one that reflects Woman’s fallen state. He selects a name that is stunning in its revelation of staggering grace – the grace of the one whose image he also bears, the grace of God. What is significant about the name change?

Eve means “life,” “life giving,” and “mother of all living,” which describes her function and her destiny in spiritual history. Can you imagine the impact of this moment? How Woman felt when she heard her new name? How this new identity removed the mantle of guilt and shame she was carrying? Can you feel the seed of hope it planted in her heart – hope for restoration to her former glory and for reunion with God?

In Genesis 3:15, Eve is among the first to receive the prophecy of the cross: " 'And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.' "

Yes, Eve would experience the turmoil and tragedy of life in a fallen world. Yet, she knew God, she believed He was still present, and she raised her children in this faith. And through the line of her son, Seth, the savior Jesus would be born. Eve knew of God’s promise, and she expected the redemption and the restoration of mankind – herself included.


Rachel said...

Great insight! Are you speaking on this tomorrow?

Tim, Susan, Seth and Reed said...

Thanks! Yes, this is a bit of my talk about Eve. Yikes, still working on it!