Eve: Don't Listen to the Serpent
This article is part of Sister Alena X. Ricci's series on Women of the Bible.
Oh, Eve. I have started and stopped writing this blog so many times over the past couple of months. Every time I think that I’ve found something worth writing when it comes to Eve, I get to the end and realize that it’s not worth mentioning. I realize that I think God has something better for me.
And spoiler alert: He does. He always does. Not just in writing blogs, but in everything. But specifically about Eve, I feel like I have looked at this story every way that I can. I
have viewed it from Eve, from Adam, from everyone — and nothing stuck.
It wasn’t until I realized that I am Eve that the story clicked. I have read and heard Eve’s great failure so many times, and I have never related. I never would’ve taken the fruit, right?
I never would have disobeyed God so blatantly.
But news flash: I do it every day. When God says, “Alena, I don’t want you going there. It’s not good for you,” I go and get my purse and walk right through that doorway.
When God says, “I have given you everything you need,” I look up and say, “But I really need this last book and also this jacket and a random item from Target; they will satisfy me.”
And this is sobering. It is sobering to realize that we are all Eve. We have all been at that moment, whether we know it or not, directly disobeying what God has for us.
So, with that, let’s dive in.
Genesis 3 starts by saying that the serpent was more “subtil” or cunning than any other beast. So right off the bat, I’m sitting here like, “Satan isn’t subtle. I know exactly when he’s tempting me.”
But do I?
Do I realize that the hours I spend on Amazon window shopping ... is that subtly stoking greed and envy?
So Eve takes the fruit, eats of it, and gives it to Adam, and their eyes are opened and they are expelled from the garden.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever did they expect to be expelled from paradise.
But the reality is that we are all just a few choices (or even one) away from doing things we never thought we would and from being where we said we never would be.
This false satisfaction is the fruit of disobedience. This feeling of wanting more and more and more is the trap that Eve fell into, and it is the trap that we fall into every day.
In doing this, I made a list on one side of a piece of paper that said “If only I had” and I listed things I want. On the other side across, I wrote the counterpoint to it, what God has already done or is doing.
So, instead of spending the hour before bed looking through Target’s website at stuff I want (and ironically don’t need), I should remember that God is reminding me to listen to Him and spend time with Him.
Instead of listening to the serpent in the garden, I should be sitting at the feet of Jesus Christ Himself listening to the love and redemption pouring from the nail prints in His hands onto me.
So, I started this with reading the very beginning of the Bible, and then found myself going to the beginning of the story of redemption with the birth of Jesus Christ, and found myself in Luke 1.
Luke 1:78-79 have become really key verses for me in recent months, as peace is something that I, along with Eve, yearn for.
Paraphrasing the verses (please read them for yourself), I come to this: Because of God’s great mercy, which brings the sun itself to me from heaven, it shines on my darkness, and when I am trapped in the shadow of death, I find mercy.
And this, readers, is my understanding of Eve.
That when we are tempted, when we are outright disobeying God’s plan for our lives, when we are trapped in the shadow of death and concealed in darkness, God’s mercy rains peace and protection and love.
Eve fell to the subtle, slippery slope of yearning for satisfaction, but if we lean into God’s mercy and grace, we can walk away guarded with peace.
Image credit: Detail from "Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" by Michaelangelo Buonnaroti c. 1508-1512
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.