In my office I have a bulletin board where I put up pictures and notes given to me by the youth. One item is a coloring book picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. One of my teens had some downtime years back at VBS and she colored in the picture to represent her culture. She renamed Adam and Eve, Jose and Juanita and posted the picture on my bulletin board. Last week this student came into my office, saw the picture and said "You still have that???!!" Of course! It reminds me that we all have different views of people and helps me get out of my own limited (white girl) view of life.
My Friday Bible Study group started a new study book this week that focuses on women in the Bible and the first person up for discussion was Eve. I've always struggled with the story of Adam and Eve. I don't like it when the young men in my youth group read the story and then look at the young women and say "see, it's your fault." To me that just seems like a huge cop-out and a pretty simplistic view of what the story is all about. I was prepared to really struggle with this study...and then while in Bible Study reading the passage again something new caught my eye.
"The Lord God placed the man in the garden of Eden to tend and care for it. But the Lord God gave him this warning: 'You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from teh tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of it's fruit, you will surely die.' " Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT).
Alright, standard stuff, heard it a millions times, no biggie. That's not what stopped me. It was this part.
"And the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companinon who will help him.' " Genesis 2:18 (NLT).
Okay, hold up, God hasn't made Eve yet? How many times have I read, heard or told this story and I'm just now noticing that God gave Adam the explicit instructions on the Garden of Eden before Eve was even in the picture?? She hadn't been created yet she's given all the responsiblity for disobeying a rule that, according to this Scripture, she never heard from God's mouth herself? I'm thinking there is cause for a mistrial here.
That one bit of information has floored me a bit...and will come in handy next week when we get to the little pink box in our study that compares what God said with what Eve said to the serpent because, seriously, if the woman didn't hear it straight from God's lips then she can't be held completely responsible for her interpretation of what was said. She got 2nd hand info! Folks, we have our first Telephone Game right in the Garden of Eden with Jose and Juanita as our first players!