When you think of Eve what comes to mind? Is it the fruit eater (Genesis 3:20)? Is it the one Paul says was deceived and became a transgressor (1 Tim 2:14)? I think for the vast majority of us, when we think of Eve we think of the fall. This is understandable, and yet it does not tell Eve's complete story. One of the most beautiful things about Eve is that she was a woman of faith. A woman of extraordinary faith.
God called Eve to be a helper to Adam in the garden. God created her "very good" and equipped her with everything she would need to work in the garden alongside her husband Eve. God gave her the role of helper (Gen. 2:18), or as the old translations put it, a "helpmeet". If you find this an offensive imagery, let me encourage you; it is the same word God takes for himself as his peoples helper. He gave Eve a great responsibility to use her image bearing power to help her husband govern the garden.
As we well know Eve, like her husband, did not live up to the grand calling God placed upon her. Eve saw the fruit was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, and was desirable for wisdom. She took, ate, and gave it to her husband. Rather than helping her husband, she harmed her husband (the man bears his own guilt, and primary responsibility for the fall, but that is for another article, this article is about Eve). Eve failed to fulfil her calling as a woman and as a wife.
Eve may have failed her calling, yet she is a woman that we all can look to as not just a mother of the faith, but a woman of our faith. In Genesis 3:15 God cursed the serpent with the following words, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” We call this the protoevangelium, the first gospel declaration. In this curse, Eve found the promise of the gospel that would spur her faith to trust in the saviour to come. Eve was to have faith that through her one day the Lord would bring a saviour into the world.
The beauty of Eve is that she placed her faith in this promise. Look to Genesis 4:25. Having been bereft of both her children (one through murder, and one through exile) Eve gives birth to another child. She calls him Seth and says, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him." Notice what she states about this child. Eve believes that God appointed this child to her, and also she believes this child is an offspring. She uses the very word that God uses in the curse upon the serpent. So with eyes of filled with faith, Eve declares that God will make good on her promise to provide an offspring to crush the serpent.
Can you imagine being Eve? You have received a beautiful promise that through you the world will receive a saviour. You trust that promise and have children. Your hope soars, and then your hope is dashed as you are bereft of both of your children. Would you be given over to despair? Would you give up hope? Would your faith be shaken? Not Eve, her faith is strong, she goes back to her husband as the God ordained seed-bearer of the saviour. She gives birth and, with a heart erupting in faith in God's faithfulness to fulfil his promises, declares that God has provided her with a seed to bring about the promise.
Oh, that we all, men and women, had faith like Eve. How many of us fail to trust the promises God gives us? How many of us give in to despair? How many of us reflect doubting Thomas? Let us, like Eve, trust in the promises of God, even in the face of fear and failure. Let us trust God, who is faithful, and will surely do it. Praise God for women of faith who adorn the history of the Church. May he raise up for us a new generation of women (and men) of faith.
Logan Hagoort, Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church.