Eve – the
Mother who made a bad Choice!
Have you ever had a go at constructing a
Family Tree? I have made a start but have only got back so far till
about 1850. What is amazing is that if it was possible for me to
trace my ancestry back to the beginning of time, I would find that
my great-great……grandmother mother was Eve. In Gen 3:20, it says
Adam called his wife “Eve”
because she was the mother of all living.
On this Mothering Sunday it is a sobering thought that we are
all descendants of this lady, perhaps with very long family trees
originating from her.
Her immediate qualifications for her being
a mother was that it is recorded that she gave birth to a son “Cain”,
then to “Abel” (Gen 4:1-2), and then
later in life to a third son, Seth
When God had created her from
Adam (Gen 2:22) she was a completely
innocent person, flawless in a flawless world with a flawless
relationship to her Creator and her husband. She was a complete
woman, what any woman could wish to be. She had never done anything
wrong. However that state of innocence didn’t last too long for
through the subtle temptation of the Devil in the form of a serpent,
she broke the commandment of God by taking of the forbidden fruit.
God had said (Gen 2:16-17) that she and her husband could eat of
every tree in the garden with one exception, the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil.
The first question in the Bible was asked
by Satan and he used it to project doubt on what God had said. It
was a leading question (Gen 3:1, 5), designed not to provoke
rational thought, but to instil doubt. The question that was really
being asked was “Can God be good and yet limit you in such an unfair
was led astray by the master of deception. First the Devil urged her
to doubt the command of God. Next he persuaded her to deny the Word
of God. Amazingly she believed God had lied to her; that there would
be no adverse consequences to her action, and so she disobeyed His
command. She ate of the fruit (Gen 3:6) and fell into sin, dragging
Adam and ultimately the whole human race down with her. Satan's
tactics - doubt God's word, then deny it, and finally disobey it
- worked on the woman, and he still uses the same tactics to-day of
undermining what God says.
Sin is so attractive and it is very easy to
our disobedience. Eve was thoroughly deceived, but Adam's guilt was
greater because he acted deliberately, conscious of what he was
doing. The Bible says “by
one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin”
view of the above, “Eve”
named by Adam as “the
mother of all living”,
could also be described as the “mother of all dead”, because as a
result of her submission to Satan’s charms, sin not only came into
her life but into the lives of all her descendants (Rom 3:23). It’s
sad to report that her first son, Cain, the first person born into
this world, was a murderer.
Within this tragic story lies one tiny ray of hope. Buried in God’s
curse on the serpent (Gen 3:14-15) was a statement of God’s care for
the sinner – like Adam & Eve, like you and me, like all mankind. God
warned Satan that his victory was not going to be for ever. The day
would come when One born of the seed of the woman – an unusual
statement when “seed” always comes from the man – would crush the
head of the serpent.
Eve was “the
mother of all living”
and in the fullness of time One would come forth from a woman who
would destroy death, and bring life and immortality to light (2 Tim
1:10). The Lord Jesus would be that
specific, individual seed that would offer God's blessed salvation
to the entire world.
Rahab – the Mother who made a good Choice!
(Josh 2:1) was a prostitute described as the oldest profession on
earth; we know nothing of her ancestry. She lived in a house
situated on the city wall of Jericho, a city in the land of Canaan,
that was going to be attacked and subsequently conquered by the
armies of Israel; it was really a condemned city. Prior to that
attack, the then earthly leader of Israel (Joshua) sent out two
spies to view the land and the city. The spies finished up at
Rahab’s house and they lodged there, but their presence in Jericho
had been noticed, and the king of Jericho ordered soldiers to
Rahab’s house. Rahab hid the spies
in the roof space and told the soldiers that two men had been to her
house, but she didn’t know where they were from, and then went on to
say that when it was dark they had left and she didn’t know where
they had gone.
Rahab then had a serious chat with the
spies, still up in her roof space (Josh 2:8). She had strong
convictions of the supremacy of their God and how He was going to
give to the Israelites their land. She admitted everyone in the city
was afraid and felt powerless. She was conscious of what God had
already done for them, enabling them to escape from Egypt, how He
had parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could go across on dry
land, and how the pursuing Egyptian army had been drowned. Of how
neighbouring kings had been utterly destroyed. She was a frightened
woman alert to the fact that God acts in judgement.
She recognised that “the
Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath”
(Josh 2:11), and she made her decision, and did a deal with the two
spies. “I have saved your lives; when you come to conquer the city
save my family – my parents, brothers, sisters, and their families”.
The men agreed on the condition that she would not disclose their
business. So she let them down over the city wall through a window,
told them where to go, and where they were to hide for three days.
But the men told her, "In order to keep this oath you made us swear,
this is what you must do.
this red rope out the window through which you let us down and
gather your entire family with you in your house--father, mother,
brothers, and sisters. Anyone who goes out of the doors of your
house into the street and is killed, it's his own fault--we aren't
responsible. But for everyone within the house we take full
responsibility” (Josh 2:18-19).
Israel utterly destroyed that city, men,
women, young and old, cattle, sheep, but
Rahab and her family were rescued and went on to live with
The special thing about Rahab was that she
had simple faith. She is one of only two ladies mentioned in
Hebrews 11, that chapter that explains what faith is, and
illustrates it so forcibly. It says there of her,
By faith the
harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had
received the spies with peace
(Heb 11:31). How do we know
she had faith?
She believed the awful news of
She desired greatly that she might
She cried for mercy and included
She took the means appointed by
putting the scarlet line in the window.
She trusted in the promise given
It was this – she believed God and
God counted her simple faith for righteousness.
But what made the difference was that she
let down the scarlet cord. If she hadn’t done that, all her good
beliefs and desires would have come to nothing. If she hadn’t let
down the cord what would have happened? She would have perished! And
it’s the same with us. We might know a lot about God and have great
desires that we are right with Him, but unless we act in faith, it
is just good head knowledge that we have.
Faith knows no boundaries, either racial,
national, social, cultural or anything else.
By faith, Rahab went from
judgment to deliverance, from idols to God, from shame to
yes, and on Mothering Sunday what about her being a mother? She was
the mother of a gentleman called Boaz, who married a Moabite girl
called Ruth, who had a son called Obed, who was the father of Jesse,
who was David’s earthly father. And Jesus Christ was born of the
line of David – He was called David’s greater son. She was the
great-great-grandmother of King David, Israel’s greatest king. Even
more amazing she was the ancestress in the genealogy of Jesus.
that was the good choice Rahab made. Being joined to the family of
God has nothing to do with our goodness. It has everything to do
with God’s grace. Through a prostitute, God teaches us that we are
saved by grace, not by being good.
Dorling Kingsley Bible clip art
Mary – the Mother of Jesus who didn’t really have a
a real sense Mary didn’t have to make a choice. God made it for her,
for she found favour
with God (Luk 1:30), and became a mother, not through her
relationship with Joseph, but through the Person of the Holy Spirit
of God. He was to be called “Jesus
for He would save His people from their sins”.
Not surprisingly Mary was shocked by what was happening to
her, but having taken in the message of the angel said, “Behold
the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word”
(Luk 1:38). Later she was to say, “My soul
magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour”
One of the characteristics of a mother is
that she doesn’t forget “things” which occur respecting her
children. Everything they do or suffer – everything that is said of
them, is treasured up in her mind, and often she thinks of those
things and anxiously seeks what they may indicate respecting the
future character and welfare of her child. Mary was no different (Luk
2:19). Every circumstance relative to her son’s
birth, Mary treasured up in her memory; every new circumstance she
weighed, or compared with those which had already taken place, in
order to acquire the fullest information concerning the nature and
mission of her Son. She “remembered” what the angel had said to
her,what had happened to Elizabeth and to the shepherds - all the
extraordinary circumstances which had attended the birth of her Son.
We know very little about Jesus’
childhood. We know He had 4 brothers and at least 2 sisters, and was
brought up in Nazareth, working no doubt in His legal father
Joseph’s carpenter’s shop. At the age of twelve He was taken to
Jerusalem by His parents to celebrate the feast of the Passover.
When they set off for home, the child Jesus waited behind in
Jerusalem, sitting in the temple listening to teachers, asking
questions, and answering their queries. At this time, at the age of
12, He announced to His parents “Didn't you know that I must be
about My Father’s business?” When He had become an adult, He
confirmed this statement, “My meat is to do
the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (John
We know only a little more about Mary. 30
yrs or so later she was invited with her Son & disciples to a
wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1). After that it was probably another
18 months before we hear of her again, this time at Capernaum (Mat
12:46-49), where Christ uttered the memorable words, “who
is my mother? And who are my brethren? And He stretched forth
His hand toward His disciples, and said, “Behold
My mother and My brethren”. The next time she is mentioned is
at the crucifixion, along with her sister Mary, Mary Magdalene, and
Salome, and other women, Joh
19:26. Here she witnessed the physical and mental agonies of the Man
she had brought into the world, who was now bearing our sins in His
own body on the tree. This One whose delight had been to do those
things that pleased the Father was made sin for us – and for her.
That this Man with whom even Pilate could find no fault (John 19:4),
and who the centurion who was responsible for His execution declared
“certainly He was a righteous Man” (Luk
23:47), was forsaken by God. From that hour John took her to his own
abode. Then we read she was with the little company in the upper
room after the Ascension (Act 1:14).
This is important for us to notice, because although she had been
blessed above all women, she knew now that her future rightful place
was in the company of those who believed and followed her Son. From
this time she wholly disappears from public notice. The time and
manner of her death are unknown.
This then is the story of a humble,
ordinary, decent living girl who was used by God to bring His Son
into this world. Seeing that lovely Son on the cross, with all the
abuse thrown at Him, must have been particularly hurtful. But she
had the joy also of knowing He was raised from the dead.
She knew too that she needed a Saviour. “My
spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour”. Does our spirit
rejoice in Him?