According to Genesis men and women were created for a specific purpose. In other words, purpose is inherent to our creation. God had a purpose in creating us as human beings, male and female, and as unique individuals. Scripture reveals that part of that purpose is to proclaim to others what the Lord has done and to bring Him glory (Ps. 145:1-7; Mt. 5:16; 1 Cor. 10:31). The Westminster Confession puts it this way, “The chief end (or purpose) of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever". The creation of Adam and Eve was a unique act of God. After God formed Eve from Adam's rib, He never "created" a human "from scratch" again. From that point on, men and women were created by God through the way He designed them to procreate. An important aspect of Eve’s creation is that she was a “suitable helper” (Gen. 2:22). Lawrence Richards wrote, “The word helper does not imply subordination or inferiority, but identity, for only a being with the same personal capacities as Adam could have related to him.” Eve is different from the animals. She is of the same components as Adam, a fact which is affirmed by Adam’s reaction to her (Gen. 2:23).
While some like to use Eve as a representation of the position of all womanhood, it should be remembered that she was a flesh and blood person just like you and me. She was industrious (helped tend the Garden of Eden), inquisitive (drawn into conversation with the serpent), observant (initially adhered to God’s commands) and loving (to both her husband and children). Her admiration for beauty is noted in the way she reacts to the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge, but it was also the excuse for her disobedience (Gen. 3:6). Her culpability in this matter is on equal ground with Adam. He never did anything to stop her. They are both held accountable and judged for their disobedience (Gen. 3:16-19) which supports the position that there is an equal and lateral standing in their relationship rather than a positional order (i. e. first place, second place).
Each of us, in our own way, is also created- but not in the same physical sense as Eve. Ps. 139:13-16 states that the Lord forms our “inward parts”. He understands the essence of who we are because He knows what is deep, down inside of us. If Eve (or Adam) is our model, then there are several questions we might ask in light of what we’ve learned about her. Eve was created with a specific purpose. What is ours? Eph. 2:10 says that we were created for good works so that we could walk in them but what does that look like? Just as a child’s features begin to reveal a family resemblance our walk of faith produces a resemblance to Christ (Rom. 6:5; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 3:2) and we develop the same attitude and character as His (Phil. 2:1-8). How is that demonstrated? It is shown in the way we are “suitable helpers” toward one another. We build one another up (Rom. 14:19; 1 Thes. 5:11), use our gifts to care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25; 1 Pet. 4:10), serve one another (Gal. 5:13), bear each others’ burdens (Gal. 6:2), encourage one another (1 Thes. 4:18; 5:11; Heb. 3:13; 10:24-25) and love one another (Jn. 15:12-17; Rom. 12:10; 1 Thes. 3:12; 4:19; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 Jn. 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11) just to name a few!
While Eve is often touted as “the mother of all humankind”, she is also an example of what “new creatures in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17) are to be like. Therefore taking a good look at Eve is a starting point for taking a good look at ourselves. Are you a suitable helper in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-27)? If not, what will you do to change that?
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
Week of 5/21/2017