Name the GoodOn January 30, 2020 by Amy BurginReading Time: 3 minutes
When Adam and Eve sinned, God pursued.
When they hid, God called, “Where are you?”
God’s Response in the Heart Wrenching
When they answered, God spoke in Genesis 3:14-19.
He cursed the serpent with an exclamation mark and warned him of his coming doom, his head would be struck by a Victor birthed from the woman’s womb.
He told the woman, “You will give birth to children with pain exceedingly sharp.”
To the man he explained the curse on the soil, a life of painful toil working ground and fighting thorns until the day he died and returned to earth.
I imagine God’s heart wrenched and broke as he finished with the words, “for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
It is heart-wrenching. I remember the first time my daughter heard the story through a picture Bible with me at our kitchen table in a red-brick one-story house fifteen years ago. Five years old, she blurted out, “Oh, don’t do it!” when she saw the snake deceive as if Eve could hear her voice and stop this terrible choice. When we turned the page and saw that Eve disobeyed a good father in a good place, a single tear rolled down her sweet face. I’ll never forget that moment.
I imagine more than one tear rolled down the cheeks of God that day, the cheeks of a good father.
I imagine Adam and Eve wept too.
Adam’s Response to the Hope Living
If Adam did cry, he did more than that. For when God finished speaking, Adam named the good.
In verse 20, Adam named his wife Eve, mother of all the living.
No doubt, he heard all that God had spoken of – the war, the strike, the pain, the desire, the curse, the thorns, the sweat, the death, the dust but Adam honed in on the good stuff.
Although God spoke of death, it wasn’t the end, for God had said Eve would birth children. Eve would bear the living, the Victor who would strike the head of this snake.
Adam believed and went back to what he knew best – naming the good stuff God blessed. He went back to memories with his father, when his father brought him living creatures, wild animals and birds to see what he would name them. I imagine in those good days God threw his head back and laughed at some of Adam’s names, wrapped his arms around him, looked him in the eye, filled with pride and said, “Good choices son. I like your names.”
I wonder if Adam longed to make his father proud again.
Perhaps Adam held Eve tight as he whispered comfort to her ears, “I name you Eve, for you shall become the mother of all the living” in the midst of all this heart-wrenching.
If Eve was anything like me, she needed to hear that because she would have been blinded by the enmity, the pain and the need.
Hope-Living in the Heart-Wrenching
The snake strikes our heel and Adam’s response strikes my heart.
Because Adam’s response highlights God’s response – even when we fail, through God we birth a Victor, who strikes the head of hell.
Adam reminds me of my husband. He’s good at seeing good loom large over my my fears. He’s good at seeing God loom large in me when all I see is my desperate need.
Name the good God brings in the midst of the bad.
Isn’t this the very act of becoming Christian? Hearing His Good News in the midst of the bad, believing it, clinging to it, naming it?
And isn’t this the practice of Thanksgiving? Be thankful in all things. Name the good. If we name the good, we can count the good and I wonder if that’s the real reason man can count forever, to infinity.
I asked my grandmother with over eight decades of life with Christ, if she could pass on one lesson to me, what would it be? She spoke, “know the good outweighs the bad.” How can we know unless we name?
Adam named the good in Eve and called her by it. He could have called her Temptress, Bringer of Curses, Bringer of Death. But instead he called her Life Inside Her.
And in the midst of my mistakes, my failures and my breaks, God calls me by name and says “You are mine.” I will not show contempt for His Words. Rather, I embrace His Truth and trust who I am, Vessel of Life through Christ.
And in the midst of your mistakes, your failures and your breaks, God calls you by name and says, “You are mine. I make my home in you.” And I will not show contempt for His Words. I long to be about my Father’s business and call you by your name, “Treasured, Valuable, Child of God, Vessel of Life through Christ.”
God, help us know and name the good hope living in this life of hard heart-wrenching.