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Audacity

Creation and Fall  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:31
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Our Scripture this morning comes from verses that we considered a bit on Easter morning, but we’ll look at them more closely this morning. We’re going to be looking at Genesis 3:20-21.
Genesis 3:20–21 ESV
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
I love to be inspired. I keep inspirational quotes, I remember inspiring stories, and enjoy inspiring movies, and am inspired by many people too. There are times when I watch sports in particular that I am taken aback by the confidence that is on display. The most recent Winter Olympic Games captivated me with the questions of drama: Would the years of dedication pay off? Would they be able to step out in confidence at the right time? Would their belief that they could do it = their ability to do it?
These athletes had honed their bodies, their skills, and their confidence to the point that they were more than willing to hurl their bodies down an ice shoot head first at 90+ miles per hour, or stand on a couple of sticks and throw themselves 90 meters (over three football fields) through the air to a landing on snow, or jump in the air and spin 3 or 4 full revolutions and land on a blade only a little wider than two stacked quarters.
It’s inspiring. And it’s in watching sports events where we see that confidence ooze out in ways that come across as cocky. We don’t like cockiness…usually. But you know, a little swagger…well, maybe that’s different.
In the past couple of weeks we’ve observed in the book of Genesis a change that has taken place. From the tranquility that was the garden, where Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with God, with each other, and with nature - now there has become a divisiveness.
In verse 20 we see perhaps the greatest separation of all...
Genesis 3:20 ESV
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
This sentence is so easy to read over, yet it is key to seeing both the promise and the defiance that has come to embody Adam in his relationship with the Creator God.
First let’s look at the promise:
Renowned Bible Teacher R.C. Sproul wrote:

Adam’s choice of the name Eve demonstrates his faith in God’s promise that the woman would bear children, including the Seed who would defeat Satan.

The Name Eve in Hebrew looks very similar to the word for “Life” or “Living”.
The Baker Commentary on the Bible states:

Adam names his wife “Eve,” which is connected with the word for “life, living.” It is a name of dignity and reflects the eventual joy of motherhood she will experience. Here is hope in the midst of judgment.

We know that this passage is happening right after we’ve read of Eve being tricked by the deceiver to become a judge of God’s Word. “Did God really say...”
Yes we understand just by her position as the first woman in Creation. So the question we need to ask of the text is this really supposed to be praising Eve? After God pronounced Genesis 3:16 over her which reads:
Genesis 3:16 ESV
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
Professor Bob Utley in his Commentary “How It All Began” writes of the irony of the choice of names:

It is ironical that she is called “Eve” which means “living” when instead of life, she brought death.

The man had given the names to all the animals. And, in fact he had already named what Eve would be, we read back in Genesis 2 that when woman wa created he responded with:
Genesis 2:23 ESV
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Now though Adam is identifying her as an individual. Just as he is identified as Adam, his wife also needs a name, and so he says in vs. 20:
Genesis 3:20 ESV
The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
We’ve already spoken in previous weeks on the source of Adam’s name - that it simply meant “Man”, and we noted the play in words between the word for man, ADAM, and the word for earth from which man came, ADAMMAH.
Bonhoeffer points out:
Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3 The Mother of All that Lives (Gen. 3:20)

THERE IS WILD EXULTATION, defiance, audacity, and triumph when Adam now gives to his woman, the very woman on whom this curse has fallen, the name the mother of all that lives. It is as though, like Prometheus, he boastfully insists on his claim to have pulled off a robbery against his Creator;[4] and now, with his booty, this woman of his to whom he is bound in a new way, in defiance of the heavy fate that the curse has laid upon them both, he renounces all ties with the Creator.

Is this confidence? Is it swagger? Or is it as Bonhoeffer calls it audacity? Is it really outright rebellion against God?
There is truth in that Eve, even in her fallen state, is the mother of all all that will follow. If we go back to vs. 23 of chapter 2, we saw a change in the word that is used for Man there which is a foretelling to the change and to Adam’s proclamation that we have in verse three.
However in naming her the “mother of all living” Adam has taken out of the equation God as Creator. The word used in Ge 2:23 for woman is Ishshah, and the word used there for Man is Ish. So what seems contrary to Bonhoeffer’s statement is the fact that the Scriptures use a new word for Man - not Adam, but Ish, and one can derive Ish from Ishshah.
Despite their rebellion, God’s reaction is noteworthy. We read in vs. 21
Genesis 3:21 ESV
And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
The Creator of the universe now assumes another role, the preserver. God makes them garments of skins and God covers the Man and his wife - God does not expose them to one another in their nakedness. As I shared on Easter I find it interesting that the term used here is that he clothed them with skins.
Where would God find such skins? The creation process has ended, so one can only imagine that He would have gotten them from animals that he had already created and had “seen that they were good.” In a sense this is a foretelling of the sacrifices and the ultimate sacrifice that God would make in covering us in the blood of Christ for our sins.
These skins in a very visible way would forever remind Adam and Eve of their fallenness - the fact that they needed to be covered, but it would also remind them of God’s grace and protection in that God is the one that has covered them.
You and I still live in this world of sin and fallenness. We look forward to one day when we will again see face to face what we now only see dimly, when we will know fully what we now only know in part. (I Cor 13:12)
How often are we saying to God - I can handle it. I can do it on my own. I or perhaps “we” are the source of our own life. I make my life out to be what it is.
Take aways:
Never forget despite our fallenness we are created in God’s image.
God gave us the ability to choose
Sin always brings guilt, fear, and pain.
Finally, remember that through Christ we can all be made alive again:
1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
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