Following the creation of woman after man, a weakness in the make up of each gender then became apparent following the event of the first sin.
Paul refers to the existence of the woman's by saying:
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
1 Timothy 2:14
At that point in time only Adam and Eve were around of the human race. Adam was not deceived. This is not to say he could not be, as men have been since, but that when they are, deception tends to work differently in men than with women. There is a difference.
What I am calling a weakness here is not as something that is wrong in itself, but an area of life that can be used as an access point by the enemy. Just as man's physical attributes mean that only a layer of skin protects from a thorn, hence the need for gloves, so also these weaknesses are only an issue when outside forces can be a danger.
The difference in woman is what enabled the enemy - Satan, the Serpent (Revelation 12:9) - to deceive her to eat the forbidden fruit. And, because it was out of deception she did this, she was blind to the truth that what she was doing was wrong.
The truth was hidden from Eve by means of her capacity to be overwhelmed, in an area of handling things connected to her perception of experience. The tendency to be more experience based than task based - more task based is what men are - meant that the allure of experiencing things pleasant to the eyes, good to eat and about to provide new things to her mind (Genesis 3:6) was too much to resist. This strength of desire for these experiences: I repeat women are more experience based than task based and, all these together: being pleasant to the eyes, seen as good to eat and, new knowledge to be gained, all thus overwhelmed her momentarily: So that, her logic and reasoning faculties by-passed, she forgot the truth. The truth was hidden from her for a moment by this deception mechanism. Young's Literal translation from the Hebrew reads:
And Jehovah God saith to the woman, "What [is] this thou hast done?" and the woman saith, "The serpent hath caused me to forget--and I do eat."
Genesis 3:13 YLT
This "caused to forget" tends to be more often rendered as "to be deceived" as in "The serpent deceived me, and I ate" (NKJV). What Young's literal version (YLT) does is help us picture more specifically how this deception worked. It happened by causing Eve to forget the truth about the fruit being forbidden. This meant that in her moment of eating of the fruit, she was oblivious to her act being wrongful. This is where Eve now had an ongoing challenge to face. How not to do wrong things, which she cannot see are wrong things, "in the moment"?
And this I have discussed in my book on the topic of women in leadership entitled Leadership is male?
What I wish to highlight in this article is man's weakness, not woman's since that is already dealt with.
Since Adam was not deceived, then his eating of the fruit was a wilful act of transgression, unlike Eve's act. Hers was an act of transgression too, but not a conscious one (cf. Moses law in regards to transgression later realised: deeds done, but unconscious they were wrong when carried out - Numbers 15:28-29).
Since Adam was in a conscious knowledge this was wrong, what is it that can be seen to make Adam vulnerable to allow that act: to acquiesce to doing it?
I believe it was a form of passivity. A form of passivity that can thus be seen inherent in man's make up. It is man's weakness. We can learn and recognise this presence of passivity from what the Lord then put in place to counteract its effect.
Just as God brought in a new rule to counteract the danger inherent in what caused Eve to be deceived, to prevent further falls, so He also brought in a new rule in regards to man's own default weakness.
To the woman (not to the man about her) the Lord said, in literal Hebrew translation "unto your man your desire and he to rule over you" (Genesis 3:16 - See Chapter 18 from Serious*): in other words, submit to your man your desire so he decides in regards to its safety (right or wrong) "in the moment". As I said these things I touch on and discuss in Leadership is male?
And since deception is the main issue and Paul's reason he wrote about the matters relating to women in church meetings, Paul's words, without this appreciation of deception, have been mistakenly used instead to cause leadership to be excluded as a role for women. This is as a result of missing out on the cause and reasoning Paul held. I uncover these in the book. I did not however then expand on the matter of passivity in man. This is my aim here.
God put in place new rules for life following the first sin
After the first sin, the Lord decided and put in place a number of new things. Of these, I wish to highlight two:
1. A command to the woman to submit things to her husband: any new (overflowing) desire thus submitted to be decided upon, thus provided protection from new deception of this kind.
2. A curse on the ground specifically mentioned as "for man's sake".
It is this last action that reveals the passivity in man.
This last action's relevance is confirmed in that 17 centuries after this curse on the ground was first pronounced, immediately following the Flood, the Lord then removes this very curse:
I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth . . .
The removal of the curse on the ground here, including the repeated purpose "for man's sake" (Genesis 8:21), just as first mentioned when introduced (See Genesis 3:17 below), is linked to an explanation to which it relates: "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth".
This informs us that for man's sake, the curse on the ground somehow helped in the arena of evil.
When the Lord first cursed the ground, he said what this would mean for man:
Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat...
Because this is read in terms of hardship: as what is mainly pictured when read, rather than anything else, sight is lost of what this is really for. A punishment is felt as the deal here in such reading rather than something to be recognised as of benefit. But, since this very curse on the ground is then removed, connected with evil activity in man and, with the new permission now to eat meat also given after the Flood (Genesis 9:3), no punishment was intended. Instead, the curse on the ground was to assist in the area of man's idle thinking processes. To occupy your mind with the work involved to sustain life, was a help to prevent new evil decisions based on "why not?" out of this form of passivity (and he ate).
The curse on the ground at its introduction was a new requirement of the need to work persistently to survive. This has thereby been misunderstood as a punishment. Instead, by saying this was "for man's sake" - "on thine account" (G3:17YLT) - something else was intended. It was for man's good, not a punishment, that this was introduced.
Having to toil for sustenance - because of the curse on the ground - meant that no longer could food be easily found and thus, so much spare time as there was before, was severely diminished. A new focus and concentration with purpose (to survive) was now involved in the providing of nourishment for oneself and one's family. Notice also - I repeat - meat as food was not permitted until 17 centuries later.
All this activity thus provided a safer setting for man in the event of new occasions when a temptation to do evil arose. In the lack of activity and thus little forward going purpose evident, there is much ground for choosing to do evil. This is where the saying "idle hands are the devil's workshop" occurs. Paul wrote:
If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-13
It is not merely idleness that passivity encompasses, but not having a purpose and goal. That is what the curse on the ground addressed. It is not so much the physical inactivity that is at issue, but addressing a mental aloofness and lack of goal and daily purpose. Passivity tends towards detachment and apathy. A man lives more in his mind than in his experiences. He has both, but his prominent activity is in his thought life. So, with an open door to a wandering mind, room is found for evil imaginations out of pride: fertile ground for suggestions by the enemy (the Serpent and his minions).
This is why Paul advocates a taking possession of imaginations that are evil and casting them down and that, from our own minds (first):
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
The thought life is the ground where man gets deceived. An idea is placed there which, if allowed to remain unchecked for suitability (passivity), then becomes a seed or open door for attachments and a walk down a path of anything: from doing good that prevents the person to do what is best, right on to just pure evil by a progressive belief that this is the only thing to do. I touch on these things elsewhere:
See my article The Characteristics of deception
It is because of this living in his head that a man can often be seen to be very happy on his own with his little project, hobby or idea. Whilst a woman with her life based more in experience is more often seen sharing these things...
We know the work required to feed yourself was significant. It can be seen by the stress put upon it when Noah's father - having learned and realised Noah was to usher in a new era (without this toil) - this is what he expressed:
Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and begot a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed."
Lamech prophetically named his son Noah. The word means rest/comfort/relief and this is connected to the new age Noah would lead mankind into: a new world with no longer the same toil on the ground to produce sustenance.
Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, "May he bring us relief from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed."
Genesis 5:29 NLT
Lamech undoubtedly helped (it is highly likely) in the building of Noah's ark: When we add up the ages of the succeeding sons from the fathers and how long each patriarch lived (Genesis 5 and 6), we know that this saint was taken home 5 years preceding the Flood at the age of 777. The Flood date from Creation is 1656AC (After Creation); Lamech's death was 1651AC.
The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.
The prophetic utterance that rest from labour - respite from the toil - would occur, in Noah's life, happened: by both the Lord ceasing the curse on the ground and now permitting meat to be eaten for food: all part of the new plan for life on earth following the Flood where no longer was vegetation alone going to be sufficient for food. New means to limit evil by man were also put in place. One rule for life removed, having been put in place for a purpose, now new rules were being put in: to take the place needed to cover the issue of limiting the growth of wickedness. Some new rules occurred during the Flood, some soon after and then, ongoing intervention was the norm to be observed through mankind's ongoing history. And, as further prophesied, this era will end with the King of kings on the throne: the final intervention.
The new limits (rules) put in during the Flood include the splitting up of the world into separate continents, new mountain ranges, new rivers and other such barriers to the influence and growth of wickedness by dividing an affected group of people from another. This was further aided by the giving of languages at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11 - another rule added following the Flood). Then, onwards, the Lord has used a nation by raising it to power, to limit new persistent evil from another nation - this has been done upon the people of Israel a number of times - and, other intervention types.
Okay, so, this removal of the curse on the ground meant man could now achieve great schemes whether good (magnificent edifices and other like Solomon's) or evil ones (the tower of Babel). But, no longer was man's passivity limited - disallowing evil imagination to bear fruit - by the toil, the necessary work on the ground for sustenance. The curse had been removed.
But, perhaps, a more fundamental question arises:
Why did God wait 17 centuries?
I cover this aspect of things in my chapter Evil and God's knowledge
This chapter from the book So you think you're chosen? also contains answers to objections to the curse on the ground being removed (See the end of the chapter).
However, rather than only highlight passivity as man's inherent weakness, let me leave you with a personal question:
Do you have purpose in your life?
Something that gives you reason to work towards a fulfilled dream?
Do you have a certain knowledge that your daily faithfulness is for a goal?
Jesus' end purpose, the first time he came, was the cross.
What is your cross?
This last question is also the initial title to an article I put together a few years ago:
What is your Cross? And How do you discern God's will?
God has a plan. He has we are told, good works for all to do.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
He wants to reach the lost more than we do.
Have you entered into His plans for that?
Are you a Church leader: Do you meet with other local ones round the table for that?
Check out the "word" the Lord gave Tony Black
This "word" comprises much of what is the 2nd to last chapter of my booklet Revival - The Battleplan
The booklet is out of print, but the eBook edition is now in the public domain - Free to access here
*Serious... refers to the book Serious Mistranslations of the Bible
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