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By: Larry Shaffer
Speaking of pain in childbirth….here’s Beri with Ryker!
Last time we considered the post-fall curse of the serpent and Satan. From the ashes of despair, God immediately introduces hope. Satan will do some damage but ultimately the seed of the woman, the virgin-born Messiah Jesus, will crush him.
The curses continue, first the woman: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” This is harsh. Especially because the curse is relational in nature; it affects her children and her husband. The bond between mother and child is like none other. A mother has a love and bond with their own children that is even beyond what the husband/father fully experiences. It just is. This doesn’t take away from the love of father’s, I am one. What a mother and child has is just unique. But that deep bond is born out of immense physical pain. And then later in life, often much emotional pain as the child goes through the trials of life.
Husband and Wife
Additionally, the curse changed the relationship of Adam and Eve and consequently, men and women throughout the ages. The text is a little confusing as written in English. “Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Whether you like it or not, the phrase “he will rule over you” is straightforward and easy to understand. But the first phrase is confusing and doesn’t seem to fit the second phrase. But fortunately, we can use other scripture to help us interpret this scripture. The similar Hebrew phrase is used in the next chapter. God is warning Cain about the dangers of sin. He said to him, “sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is for you, but you must master it,” (4:7). Sin desires to control you or overtake you, but you Cain, must master it. Now back to the curse toward the woman. Understanding the phrase, “yet your desire will be toward your husband,” simply means ‘woman, your desire will be to rule or control your husband.’ Now that makes sense with the context. The deception of Eve and the consequent results of sin ushered in the battle for control that will haunt man and wife for all ages. The roll of the husband to lead was established by God but the woman will have a desire to resist. It’s the tension that exists in all marriages in varying degrees, and it goes way back to Adam and Eve.
Take me to your leader
Paul expands on this principle in the very politically incorrect passage of I Timothy 2:8-15. People want to believe that the principle of submission is not relevant in our current age. It is an antiquated notion from biblical times. But Paul refers to source of the principle as going back to Adam and Eve, thus inferring it as timeless. When teaching on the submission of woman, Paul says, “For it was Adam that was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” This passage from the apostle is politically incorrect but this is not a principle of differing “value” but of differing “roles”. I’m just trying to interpret according to sound principles of interpretation. I’m writing according to what I see in the Bible. Well, that’s all I’ve got to say about that for now.
The ground is hard
Whereas the woman’s curse was relational, man’s curse was related to his work. Interesting in that, generally, woman gain most of their significance in relationships and men from their work and accomplishments. Because of the sin of Adam, God said to him, “cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…by the sweat of your face you will eat bread.” The curse of Adam affected the land and the difficulty of making a living was introduced. Thus, man was destined to live a life of hard work and toil. Graciously, God granted men a sense of fulfillment in an honest, hard day’s work.
Joy and Pain
Lord, our lives and our relationships are trying and difficult. Yet, in them, You have graciously given us times of great joy in both our relationships and our work and accomplishments. But in most cases, submission to your biblical principles, whether relational or in all other areas of life, precedes the joy. Sin has a desire to control us, but we must master it. Give us the strength to so, by Your power and grace. Amen!