Desire, To the woman [the LORD God] said, “…Your desireshall be for your husband, and he shall ruleover you.” (v. 16b)
From the new wisdom after the Fall in knowing “good and evil” comes a fundamental clash expressed as the “woman’s desire” and the “man’s rule”. Feminist prayers ascend for breaking of “glass ceilings”; yet unobserved is Christ’s fracture of heaven’s crystalline flooring for the ascent of all mankind.
Does it occur to you that of the Fall into sin there something is a bit “off”? After the man and woman are united, Adam is not mentioned in Satan’s presence with the woman. It is only after the woman eats the forbidden fruit that Adam emerges from the shadows to participate with his wife in Satan’s “new wisdom”. One can’t help suspect an outsider’s sub-rosa flirtation making Adam’s passivity a bit unsettling or “creepy”.
Last Sunday we identified Adam and the woman as the first “religious enthusiasts” in the progression of temptation to a “wisdom” untethered from God’s word. Adam and the woman began to turn away from the word as sole source of knowledge to exert inward spiritual judgment over God’s word.
Rent asunder was the relation of the seduced woman, and the shamed man by an interloper; and loss of unity before God. Sin’s lust first entered the woman and man through their eyes, seeing the forbidden fruit as desirable concluding in awareness of nakedness.
The man and woman were adrift in creation, over which they were to rule; but now existence resided in a hostile environment. God did not curse the man and the woman; rather the rest of earth. The magnitude of sin’s horror was beyond Shakespeare or Greek tragedy.
By original sin mankind inherited a patrimony of death. But those receiving in faith Christ crucified are imparted a saving knowledge of God’s “goodness”, a grace that overwhelms Adamic death.
In time Jesus out of heaven was baptized with the Spirit and led into the desert to recapitulate man’s temptations from Satan. He is God’s second Adam, faithful Son sent to propagate a new humanity with a new Woman taken from his side for a new creation.
Jesus desires the Woman of God’s promise, spotless through his sacrificial blood in the Father’s house. Unlike the first Adam, Jesus does not stand in the shadow of the church’s seducer; rather he invades the cursed precincts of Satan’s desert domain.
Satan lurks in the shadows delaying the confrontation until optimal weakness was observed from Jesus’ forty-day fast. Finally, Satan emerges to test the Woman’s champion and the Father’s baptismal boast, “this is my Beloved Son” (Mt. 3:17). Once again sonship is under attack.
During Israel’s forty-year wilderness journey, Satan found the Woman easy prey; still attracted to the fleshly delights in the Egyptian captivity (Ex. 16:3). But now Satan, the interloper for the woman’s affection, must contend with Jesus, anointed new Adam come for his Woman.
Before the Fall, creation was impregnated with the Breath of God’s word. By Spirit and Word with mankind, all things were comprehended in godly order. In matters of church and family, Adam was head of the woman taken from his side, boon companion in his vocation in liturgically “tending and keeping the Garden” (Gen. 2:15), the place of Presence. From the cursed desert Jesus asserts his headship for restoring dominion in the new creation
Unlike the multitude of laws from Moses; Adam and the woman were constrained by only one ordinance against enthusiast consumption of the forbidden by which evil is experienced and loss of the HS.
The content of Adam’s Office was his conveyance of God’s word in Spirit and Truth to the woman, their offspring, and the creation. Adam’s dominion was as servant to the woman for her protection and provision by every word from the mouth of God and sword of the Spirit (Deut. 8:3; Mt. 4:4).
The woman was imbued into her own office, childbirth and catechetical rearing. It is in this baptismal sense of new creation that, Paul says, “Yet woman will be saved through child bearing—if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (1 Tim. 2:15), and so sharing in her husband’s Office as procreation’s essential help-mate.
On Sunday we identified the original sin of “religious enthusiasm” as extra-biblical private interpretation (2 Peter 1:21) serving-up a “different gospel” (2 Cor. 11:4, Gal. 1:6) that usurps Christ’s prerogative with the Woman.
Rather than suffer Satan’s attack on God’s word, Adam stood in the shadows, permitting his woman to experience the verbal attack. She could do no other than fail for the deception; Adam’s sin was the greater in standing aside, and then blame the woman, the object of his protective Office (Gen. 3:12).
With sin came consequences, not only death; but disruption and distortion of God’s word imbued relations. To the woman God elucidated, ‘Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’
In context, the woman’s “desire” toward her husband was not a sexual inclination as always from the beginning; rather from her “new wisdom” her “desire” was dictated by Adam’s failure in to his Office of Word; and so she would do better, proclaiming Cain, firstborn son, “I have got me a man with the LORD” (4:1).
But Adam’s “rule” over the woman says nothing other than God confirmed the man in his Office and the woman’s relation as before the Fall, only now in a world that knows and participates in evil.
Bereft of the Garden’s perspective, mankind in the epoch from Adam to Moses was without law but for that written on fallen hearts. The woman’s enthusiastic chaffing would continue to “desire” the man’s Office, inept or otherwise.
But Christ, the Woman’s second Adam, reveals a different rule to which she is invited in submission. From the cross Jesus inclined his head toward the “woman” and “his beloved disciple” conferring a new mother-child relation in handing-over his life to the Father’s will (Jn. 19:26, 27, 30); for a new reign and rule of God through Christ’s church, “the mother of all that lives” (Gen. 3:20). Amen.