“And unto Adam (God) said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’”
Genesis 3: 17 - 19, King James Version
“The Power of a Woman”
“The doctrine of blind obedience and unqualified submission to any human power…is the doctrine of despotism.”
How have I used “power” to get my way in my life?
“Temptation almost always assails us at the point where we thought no defense necessary.”
Elizabeth Elton Smith
“Hey, Adam, come on over here, let me show you something. It is so beautiful, it tastes so good, and the best thing is that it awakens and enlivens your brain cells, taking you to a place of elevated wisdom that is on the same level as God. Come on Adam, Do it for me. You won’t be sorry. Please, pretty please with sugar on it!”
And Adam, with little or no thought given to the words of warning by His creator, God, took the fruit and ate – no questions asked!
What a story. To all of us, as daughters of God, there’s a megaphone of a lesson in the story of Adam falling flat on his face to please his wife.
This week, as we have looked at the way sin has “marginalized” women and allowed men to misuse their power to imperiously dominate them, we must also look at the power women inherently have and how this power is sometimes used, not only for good, but for evil as well.
Just imagine Eve holding a luscious piece of fruit out for Adam. How could Adam imagine or even have a thought enter his head that his beautiful wife – the Life-Giver that filled his loneliness with wholeness – could ever do anything to harm him?
For all we know Adam, when presented with the fruit from the hand of Eve, his wife, worried that if she had eaten, what might happen to her. Perhaps he was swept away with the memory of being alone again without his precious Eve. As fear gripped him, he stepped into forbidden territory. As the author Amy Tan so eloquently writes: “Power is – holding someone else’s fear in your hand and showing it to them.” This is exactly what Eve did when she presented Adam with the temptation of fruit. Fruit, driven by the unknown, toppled the house of cards. And Adam along with it.
Eve requested that her desire be fulfilled and I ask you: How many times has this same scenario played out for evil or good? In the life of the Biblical queen Esther, it was for good. But in the life of Delilah who charmed Samson, and Jezebel, the queen with a no-spine husband Ahab, the opposite was true. Evil prevailed because weak men, without the backbone to remember and follow God’s Word, crumbled in the face of beauty and well-chosen words.
With honey on her lips and an appeal to the physical, Delilah brought down Samson – doing what armies of men couldn’t. And we as women need to have a clear understanding of the power in our hands and hearts to lift up or bring down those around us.
As one female business leader wrote “Women for centuries have been recognized as talented listeners, nurturers, motivators, and excellent communicators.” In themselves, these traits aren’t evil. In fact, they are a blessing. But when used by a woman to beguile others – even once lofty ideals can be twisted to look and behave like the wily serpent.
This is why we, as daughters of God, must be ever vigilant to never use the unique and beneficial gifts, given to us by our gracious Heavenly Father, in a devious way or for ill-gotten gain.
May our daily prayer be: “God, stay with me; let no word cross my lips that is not Your word, no thoughts enter my mind that are not Your thoughts, no deed ever be done or entertained by me that is not Your deed.” (Malcom Muggeridge).
“Let me never know myself apart from the living God!”
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
“God, Let me put right before interest,
Let me put others before self,
Let me put the things of the spirit
Before the things of the body.
Let me put the attainment of noble ends
Above the enjoyment of present pleasures
Let me put principle above reputation.
Let me put Thee before all else.”
John Baillie (1885-1960)
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.