Posted by: Ety W. | August 4, 2008

Genesis 3 – The Consequences, Part 2

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Continued from Genesis 3 – The Consequences, Part 1.

Besides pain in childbirth, another consequence for Eve’s disobedience is an externally imposed order on marriage. Husband and wife were created of one flesh, intended to be two complimentary parts of a whole. Being perfect, they would function exactly as the Lord intended, fulfilling the purpose for which they were created. Sin destroyed the natural unity and harmony which were meant to exist between husband and wife. No longer would they instinctively work together, now they would strive against one another and compete with one another.

To preserve the marital and family unit, order had to be established. Woman was now placed under the rule of her husband (Gen. 3:16).

Rule – Strong’s 4910 – משׁל – mashal = to rule, have dominion, reign

Why the woman? Because she was disobedient. Whether she was deceived or not, she knew that they were not supposed to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and she knew that there would be consequences for disobeying (Gen. 3:2-3). Yet she did it anyway. We may well try to argue that we shouldn’t suffer the consequences of her sin, yet that is the problem with sin. It’s consequences affect everything. It is not only the sinner who suffers those consequences, but untold others as well. The argument “it isn’t hurting anybody,” is an illusion.©2008
We might well wish to point out that Adam was disobedient as well, so why was his wife put under him?  Why not him under her?  Before we begin to resent Adam, we need to remember that Man has his own set of consequences which, while they may look more appealing to deal with than those given to Woman,  are in fact no better at all. Adam’s consequences for sin definitely do not put men in a more enviable position.

The other consequence mentioned in Gen. 3:16 for the woman is, “yet your desire shall be for your husband.”

Desire – Strong’s 8669 – תּשׁוקה – teshuwqah = in the original sense of stretching out after, a longing.

This word is used only three times in the Old Testament. Here in Gen. 3:16, in Song of Solomon (7:10), describing the Beloved’s desire for his bride, and in Gen. 4:7, when the Lord tells Cain that sin desires to rule over him.

I have heard it taught that some biblical scholars interpret desire to mean “to devour” and therefore refers to a woman’s desire to dominate her husband. I cannot find this by doing my own word studies. I can find that this is one of the meanings when used in the context of animals, but unless one is willing to classify women as mere animals, which negates everything the Lord said, then it is quite a quantum leap in biblical interpretation.

What I do see, is that women have a deep seeded desire to be married. No matter how liberated she becomes, no matter how career oriented she is, she still has the desire to be a wife and mother. And this seems to be the case throughout history and across all cultures.  Sometimes women struggle against that desire.  I have met women who claim that they never wished to marry, but conversation will usually turn up a deep hurt from the past.  Then there is the wedding industry, which capitalizes on this desire with no regard to marriage.

Woman’s consequences for sin: pain in childbirth, a desire for a husband, to be under a husband’s rule.  Easy? No way.

We cannot change the consequences of sin. The question therefore becomes, how do we choose to live our lives in spite of it? We can balk and complain. We can look for philosophical loopholes. We can shake our fists at God and say, “It’s not fair.” We can fight and strive to make things different. But in the end we can change very little. Except our attitudes.

Sometimes I am victorious in this area, sometimes I am not. When I am not, there are two verses that I cling to. I would like to close by sharing them with you.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares upon Him because He cares for you…. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5: 6, 7, 10©2008

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