Evening the Playing Field?

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had about three instances where someone has brought up Eve and her knack for being "easily deceived." In two of the cases, it was brought up in a way that made the people conclude that women shouldn't lead - because of this "genetic" deceivability. In the other case, it also had to do with why women shouldn't wear gold or pearls and will be saved via childbearing (okay, so one of these people was St. Paul).

But anyway, all this talk about Eve got me thinking:

What exactly do people mean when they talk about Eve being so easily deceived? When we say it's "no wonder" that Satan chose Eve (as someone recently commented on a post here), what exactly does that "no wonder" imply? Are we right to assume that Satan chose Eve to slither up to (or hang down toward) because she - not Adam - reflected the gullible, easily duped side of God? That just doesn't seem right. Does it?

Now, I have to warn you: What I'm about to write could be complete heresy. So please keep your grace handy - ready to toss at me as you feel led. But I write this in a genuine attempt to understand how God created women to be and how he longs for us to live. So here goes:

My first stop in working through some of these musings was to revisit the story of the Fall. I read this passage (Genesis 3:1-6) over and over:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

I need to credit Carolyn Custis James and her book Lost Women of the Bible for being the first to introduce me to a couple important little nuggets often left out of this story in Sunday School: 1. That the thing Satan tempted Eve with was being like God - which would've been her heart's biggest longing (and should be ours). And - the one most glaringly omitted - 2. That Adam was with Eve during the whole conversation! Adam was standing right there the whole time!

July 28, 2009 at 2:58 PM

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