Friday, January 27, 2012

Sorry Pop; I'm Stickin' With My Wife

Maybe Adam felt guilty for not teaching Eve more completely. After all, when the serpent tempted her, she revealed she misunderstood the command, for she told the serpent (Gen 3:2):
We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, "You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.”
whereas in reality, God had said nothing about touching the fruit; He had just forbidden the eating of the fruit (Gen 2:17).

Maybe it wasn't guilt (maybe Eve just wasn't paying attention in class that day), but rather empathy. Maybe it was just extreme love. Or maybe it was some other motivation we can only guess at. But the result was that when Eve came to Adam to offer him the forbidden fruit, he knowingly chose Death in order to be with his wife rather than with his Parent, God. The apostle Paul wrote (1 Tim 2:14) that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived...".

It's ironic, I suppose, but God established that it should be this way. After forming Eve from Adam's rib, He stated (Gen 2:24):

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.
Eve was deceived; Adam chose. He left his "father" and "mother" and chose Death in order to stand by his wife.

If that action had not have destined the rest of us to pain and death, we might would have thought he was honorable for doing so. Consider his other option: letting her wither and die while he continued on in perfect health. I have no idea how that would have worked out, but we'd see his actions as a bit selfish in that case, I suspect.

Could it be that God saw that Adam made decisions based on what was best for his wife, and saw that Eve was more prone to making decisions based on emotional issues (what is pretty - Gen 3:6), and this is why He said that her husband would have the rule over her (Gen 3:16)?

I don't know; I'm just thinking out loud.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Breastplate of Righteousness, Helmet of Salvation

Many Christians are familiar with the Ephesians 6:13ff passage urging us to put on the whole armor of God:

Take up the full armor of God... the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit.

The context of this passage is that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against worldly darkness and the spiritual forces of evil. Our job is to resist the dark evil, to stand firm, clothed in full spiritual armor, praying at all times in the Spirit.

But since we're not very well versed in the Jewish Scriptures, we fail to realize that Paul probably had in the back of his mind, and intended to remind his readers of, a passage in Isaiah 59:17, in which context God looks around and sees the evil in the world, and taking it upon himself to put on the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation and the robe of vengeance, then goes out to repay fury to his adversaries and recompense to his enemies according to their deeds.

In Isaiah, God is wearing the armor, and takes physical vengeance on evil-doers. In Ephesians, we, on God's side, wear our own set of armor, but not the robe of vengeance, and our battle is not physical but spiritual.

I think Paul's readers would have connected these two passages; I think maybe we should also.