Lessons from Women of the Old Testament Day 1: Eve’s Wandering Eyes
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17, ESV)
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6, ESV)
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2, ESV)
When I think of women in the Bible, Eve is one of the first names that comes to mind. We may think, It’s all her fault that the fall happened—it’s a lot easier for us to play the blame game when we’re not the ones in the situation. Sadly, the result would’ve been the same regardless of who was placed in the Garden of Eden. Sin was, and continues to be, human nature, and the fall from perfect communion with God was inevitable. Although Eve is most famously known for her sin of taking the fruit, there are some noteworthy lessons to take away from her time in the Garden.
I often imagine what the Garden of Eden looked like: animals living in harmony with humans, beautiful scenery, conversations with the God of creation… I don’t think there would be much to complain about in the Garden—all was “good” as God created it. God provided Adam & Eve with everything they could ever need; with all that the Garden supplied, they had more than they could eat in any given day. I’m sure Adam and Eve spent some time enjoying all God had prepared for them. Yet instead of continuing in this state of thankfulness, Eve experienced discontent. The Lord had given them permission to eat of “every tree of the garden,” but He had specifically commanded them not to eat from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” He didn’t explicitly say why, but that was His command for them to follow. Considering He provided them everything, you would expect obedience for the one rule He gave. Yet the attitude of thankfulness completely changed when the serpent entered the picture.
We read that the serpent was “crafty,” and he knew exactly how to convince Eve to take of the fruit of the tree. Eve knew what God had commanded them, and Satan knew it would take convincing for Adam and Eve to disobey. He tried to convince Eve that they would not die, but that their eyes would be opened to wisdom. Instead of focusing on all that God had provided, Eve took her eyes off of what He had given and instead focused on the one thing she couldn’t have. We read that she “saw the tree was good for food,” and both she and Adam ate from the tree—and their eyes were opened (3:6-7). This simple look and moment of indulgence changed the history of mankind forever. The natural communion with God was broken and would now have to be repaired because of sin.
In many ways, I see the parallels between Eve’s wandering eyes and our world and my life today. Instead of focusing on blessings we have been given, we are dissatisfied. We are constantly looking toward the next stage of our life or the next big thing. Our new possessions suddenly lose their luster when someone else gets one that’s newer and better. If we spent more time focusing on what God has blessed us with, contentment would begin to set in. God has blessed each of us in many ways; some are unique to our own lives, but He has also given us the gift of salvation. Yet the God of creation didn’t stop there; He has blessed us with spiritual gifts, with family members, with our church family and other believers, and so much more. I understand that we might not all have the same privileges, yet the Lord has blessed each of us in our own way.
Obviously, many things have changed since the beginning in the Garden of Eden because of the fall of mankind and our sinful nature, yet we serve the same God today. We serve a God who blesses us beyond measure each and every day that He provides us breath. I encourage you to take a moment and think of all God has given you. May our hearts overflow in thankfulness and may our eyes stay fixed on the One who gives us far more than we could ever deserve.