Wait...Was it a Punishment or a Prophecy?

This past week, a friend sent me a sermon to listen to. I appreciate sermons that cause me to think from a new angle and this one did exactly this. I'm going to link the sermon at the end of the post so you can enjoy it for yourself.

One of the main points the pastor made is that God always uses male, female, and their relationship to represent Christ and the church. I've talked about that on the blog many times, and despite clearly recognizing that symbolism in Adam (Jesus) choosing to leave paradise (Heaven) to be with Eve (the Church), I never made the connections this pastor made about intimacy. After listening his sermon, I thought back and realized another thing I missed...

Eve's Punishment

In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit, God gives Eve the peculiar curse of pain in labor. From this, people have come up with some pretty wild beliefs. Those theories don't matter though. What matters is that Eve represents the church.

End Times

There are numerous scriptures that liken the end of times to a woman in labor. Labor isn't a surprise. By the time a woman is in labor, there's been months of preparation and the woman knows her baby is coming. When the time is near, she begins to feel the labor pains. At first they are far apart, but soon the contractions are close together. It is when the contractions are occurring rapidly after one another that she knows it is time to deliver the baby.

The end of the world is similar. We know that the church shouldn't be surprised by the second coming of Jesus because we have the discernment and wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the prophecies. We often assume the labor pains are the warning signs Jesus laid out, such as earthquakes, famines, wars, etc. I agree that these signs will increase in frequency, but after thinking back on the church metaphor, I realized it's also about persecution.

Persecution

Ever since the fall, doing the right thing—the Godly thing—has been persecuted by humankind. How did the first murder occur? Cain was upset that Abel was worshiping God the right way. The curse that God put on Eve to have pain in labor isn't just about women feeling physical pain bringing forth children; it's about the church experiencing pain bring forth the fruits of the spirit and "creating" new life in Christ.

From Biblical times, all the way through today, we can see examples of God's church being targeted because of their faith and unwillingness to yield to the enemy. Whether it be during the days of the prophets or during the dark ages when the Catholic church was killing anyone who spoke out against them, people who have stood for God's true Word have always experienced persecution. As we draw nearer to Christ's second coming, persecution will become more and more frequent against those truly following God's Word.

Nurturing New Believers

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Churches are supposed to be going out into the world, bringing people to Christ. When these people accept Christ and choose to be reborn, a new life in Christ is created. Just as a woman nurtures a child in her womb, the church is supposed to nurture new believers. Some women take extreme caution when they're pregnant—getting regular checkups, eating healthy, avoiding high stress situations, etc.—to ensure their baby is growing in a healthy environment that is conducive for optimal growth and development. Other women may not be in the position to take the same precautions; they may suffer from addictions or illnesses that in turn affect the development of the baby. Churches are exactly the same way. Not every church is a healthy environment and not every church nurtures new believers.

What I Really Missed

The punishment God gave Eve isn't just a punishment, it's a symbolic prophecy. Just as the Feast Days pointed to Jesus' coming, the labor women experience to bring forth life points to the history and purpose of the church. When you look at a something that was meant to punish, and realize it's still part of the testimony/prophecy, you just know that God is awesome.

References

  1. Michael Polite. "I Don't Have Bad Sex". YouTube. January 1, 2016

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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