Welcome to week 5 my friends! I had kind of a rough few days, so focusing in on this devotion was a bit of a struggle for me. However, even through the struggle, we learned and shared a lot throughout this devotion.
Last week we focused in on Adam and Eve and their lack of accountability for the sin the committed. Now, we are zoning in on the consequences of their actions.
One thing we always need to keep in mind as we dig deeper into these scriptures is how our sin and our negative choices don't just effect us as individuals, but very often, effects innocent bystanders that never asked to be invited into our sin. In Adam's and Eve's case.... every generation to come were the bystanders, that now have to suffer the consequences of their actions.
So let us ponder...... our questions for this week!!
Do you find it odd that even though God knew that the serpent was Satan in disguise and had already been thrown out of heaven, God still chose to punish him for his trickery?
Well, as we studied and pondered this question, we came to the conclusion that God punishing Satan was full of symbolism and for sight. Satan disguised himself as a serpent and then slithered into Adam and Eve's life tempting them to sin, with actually, the same sin that God him thrown out of heaven, wanting to be like God.
As for the Serpent God needed to punish him as sin cannot go unpunished, therefore, he told the serpent that he was cursed above everything else and live his life slithering on his belly and eating dirt. Not such a fun life huh?
Well, what God was accomplishing here foreshadowing what was to come with Satan. Satan, though dangerous and able to inflict pain and even death, would never have complete dominion over man. He would slither on the ground, so he would always be beneath man, with the ability to be crushed. Look up Romans 16:20. God also states that Satan will bruise the heal of man, which signifies that Satan will still have the ability to do harm, but in the end, it will only be a bruise that will heal and fade. Unlike our ability to crush Satan!
With Christ, you have dominion over Satan!!!! And when you are married and you and your spouse are both believers... your power of Satan only multiplies if God is truly your foundation! BUT... you have to unite to win the fight!
God then tells Satan he will put enmity between he and the woman and her offspring. Enmity is state of hostility. What God was revealing here is how there would always be discord and and great hostility between Satan and every child that was to be born from Eve... which in essence... is all of us, but specifically, Christ. This certainly has panned out... has it not?
Next, we learn of God's punishment for Eve. God tells Eve that she will have much pain in childbearing. Well, this is a no brainer for any woman who has had a baby. Even women that have not had children, know the pain and discomfort women can experience simply through having their monthly cycle. The entire process of bringing forth children was to be painful and THAT, has surely been true!!!
God then tells Eve that her "desire" will be for her husband and he will rule over her. When I first read this verse many moons ago, I thought, well of course her desire should be for her husband, its her HUSBAND! As it turns out... that is NOT the type of desire God is referring to in this verse. What God was truly stating was He would make it so Eve would desire to rule over her husband and be the head of him. She would be perhaps, bossy, naggy or overbearing, insisting on her way and usurping his authority. This was a precursor to the feminist movement for sure!! Women, wanted to be over men. This started in the Garden of Eden and his continued to only get uglier as the world has progressed. The next part states that even though Eve will desire to rule over her husband.... God will make it so, HE rules over her.
Well... there ya have it! Conflict in marriage 101. God's intention for was for husband and wife to life peaceably in their given roles, however, because of the fall, the very thing God desires would not take effort and be somewhat of a struggle. Our marriages were made a challenge since the Garden of Eden. Before you even met your spouse..... your marriage was doomed for adversity at times.
God is our greatest weapon in combating these negative consequences brought on by Adam and Eve's sin.
Next, Adam was given out his punishment! He would have to work like a hound dog for the rest of his life to provide food for himself and his family. This was not going to be easy for the man.
Garrick shared a lot with this question. He shared that this punishment can get very difficult for men in the world we are currently living in. The cost of living is crazy and men and women are having to work harder than ever. Because of the man's excessive need to work and earn and income, his family is often thrown to the wayside as he struggles balancing work, earning and income and loving and caring for his family. Keeping priorities straight and managing time wisely can become quite difficult.
Garrick also shared that he has learned through his years of struggling with addiction that when he has dropped the ball in his accountability to God, trying to hide things from his wife and run from God's conviction, it devastated the entire family unit. There is no way a man can walk away from his God given role without it effecting the entire family in a devastating way.
I can attest to this first hand. Watching my husband self destruct and avoid God's conviction and guidance was absolutely devastating. It not only caused great anxiety and hurt, it caused me to have to fulfill two roles, as the head of the house at times as well as my normal role of helper and manager of the home. I was absolutely spent at times and it caused much resentment that I am still in the process of healing from.
Garrick shared that he is no different than Adam. As God told him his punishment would be having to work his tail off... Garrick stated that he is now having to work his tail off in regaining the trust of others. He gave away his integrity when he gave into sin and he is now waging war to get it back. Satan comes... promises to give you everything you think you ever wanted..... and all he really does... is take everything you ever loved.
I think we can easily see how all of these consequences are still playing out in our marriages and lives today. Now, as grim as this sounds, there is great and wonderful hope for all marriages.
But that hope... is anchored in the stability and consistency in God, who never changes, who is the same today, yesterday and will be the same tomorrow.
I am telling you, as much and as deeply as Garrick and I love one another, if it were not for God's grace and constant conviction and STRENGTH.... there is a very good chance.... Garrick and Missy.... would be no more.
Today... I pray.... you stay one step ahead of the enemy. Just like the game of football.... you have to know your opponents strategy! This is no different! Be on guard... .ALWAYS... of what Satan is trying to cook up to separate you and your spouse. It's like a saying I read once said..
"God has a plan for your marriage... so does Satan. But you must be wise to know.... which one to battle and which one to embrace."
Peace and Blessings
Garrick and Missy