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Hope After Shame

“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” ~ Genesis 2:20

Divinely Fashioned

There was enough light for the Creator to do His work. He took a rib from Adam and specially crafted a second being. When finished, He breathed His sweet breath of life into her. She took her first look around the garden and blinked in surprise at the beauty. Fragrant purple blossoms, luscious red fruit, and exotic animals of all sizes greeted her.

Next, she saw a curious being lying on the ground. They looked alike, and yet he was very different. Even though she didn’t have all the answers, she knew this was the thing, Adam. The Creator said she was divinely fashioned to be his “help meet”. She had no trepidation, no discomfort at such a thought. Instead she looked forward to the meeting.

It was just after daylight when he stirred. Awakening from his deep sleep, he looked into the eyes of the very being of his dream. Somehow he knew she belonged to him, and he was beyond ecstatic. He stood and approached her with complete wonder, genuine delight, and immense satisfaction.

“This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:23

The woman found love at first sight, and her husband’s proclamation proved that he would always treasure her, protect her, and love her as though she were a part of himself. And she was.

Time passed, and the two were very happy. They traveled throughout the garden and ate the best foods. They talked, laughed and planned for the day when they, like the animals, would have offspring. Life was perfect, and Eden truly was paradise until their actions changed everything.

 Hopelessly Fallen

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” ~ Genesis 3:6-7

The woman’s head dropped. Her shoulders shook as she sank to her knees. Her eyes welled with unshed tears and her lips trembled. Burying her face in her hands, she gave into the anguish. Sin had entered her life, and she knew she would never again know complete happiness. No longer would she be able to face Adam; she had brought about his destruction. No longer would she be able to commune with God; she deserved his wrath and judgment. Sorrow enveloped her, and she lay prostrated in the dirt weeping.

The garden was the same place, but she no longer saw it through rose-colored glasses. Humiliation replaced innocence. Scales had been torn from her eyes, and she now knew the truth. She was an underserving, insignificant worm. Shame coursed through her, and she tried to cover herself from Adam’s gaze. Where certainty and safety had once been, she now felt fear. Would her beloved search for a new “help meet” that would not lead him to sin? Would God cast her from the garden, away from His love? Regret, fear, doubt and anxiety filled her soul—new gifts, compliments of knowledge. She had never before felt them, and yet now they would be her constant companions.

That night when God came to the garden, Adam and the woman tried to hide. Unable to escape God, they confessed and awaited judgment. The woman held her breath as the Serpent was cursed. Surely her punishment would be greater than his.

 Eternally Forgiven

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” ~ Genesis 3:15

“Woman, this fallen world will bring you sorrow and pain. You will bear children with travail and great difficulty, and you will be subjected to the rule of your husband. But know this, through you a Savior will come, and He will crush the Serpent’s head with his heel.” Hard as the punishments were, Eve knew she’d experienced grace. She deserved to be cast from Adam’s life, to never experience the joys of motherhood, and to wander outside of God’s love for the rest of her life, yet her Creator had shown her mercy. He offered forgiveness and redemption through a Savior. Tears spilled from her eyes. God had been faithful, loving and kind despite her failure.

The woman’s silent prayers of gratitude caused her to miss Adam’s consequences, but with the judgments pronounced, it was time to experience forgiveness. God killed an animal, covering Adam and the woman’s sins with the blood of innocence. He then covered their shame with clothing sewn from the sacrifice.

Redeemed by God’s grace, the woman tentatively approached her husband. She had been his Woman but now he offered her the reassurance of his love by naming her Eve, mother of all. She had hurt him deeply, yet he still loved her. God would bless their union, and she would mother his children. His hope lay beside her own, in the promise God had given. A Savior would come.

In the creation account, we see God’s justice and His forgiveness. How does this apply today? When have you experienced His love in the midst of the consequences for your actions?

About Heidi Lynn

Heidi Lynn has a passion for women's ministry and can be found writing at Chronicles of a New Creation. Heidi believes that as Christian women, we were created to serve our families, our churches, and our communities. With this calling in mind, she writes and speaks about organization in homes, families, and spiritual lives.

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