Sunday, 3 December 2017
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 1 Timothy 2:14
Paul continues with the Genesis account in order establish the “why” of instructing that women are not to teach or have authority over men. He says, “And Adam was not deceived.” This is recorded right in Genesis 3 –
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
The account is recorded for a multitude of reasons, but one of them is to show exactly what Paul is referring to. The devil went to the woman, not the man, in order to bring about his deceptive plan. It is this act which brought all of humanity to ruin. Paul’s logic is that the serpent went to the one he knew was susceptible to being deceived. If this were not so, then the Bible wouldn’t have bothered with telling us this.
What the Bible implicitly declares, and what is obvious from human nature, is the truth that women are beings which are formed differently from men, and who follow different internal guidelines in order to make decisions. And so in order to avoid the error of what first occurred at the fall, meaning falling into deception, being repeated in the church, Paul gives specific directives to which there are no exceptions. The problem with exceptions is that they eventually become the rule. This is not how affairs are to be handled, and so rules of conduct are set and fixed. The woman was deceived and fell into transgression. Lesson learned; guidelines are established based on this. Doctrine set.
This is then fully confirmed in the words, “but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” It is a fast and notable distinction which the Bible calls out to us. Adam was not deceived, Eve was. The implication is that it was based on her nature as a woman that this came about. It is implied in Genesis, and it is made explicit in this epistle. There is an immense amount of theology tied up in what occurred in the garden, but Paul is here solely focused on this particular issue at this time. Both sinned, but Eve alone was deluded. To keep the church from repeating this cataclysmic mistake, Paul reasonably, without chauvinistic bias, and based on a proper understanding of both human nature and Scripture, lays down his guidelines.
And as has been unfortunately seen, Paul’s requirements (and thus the Lord’s requirements) here have been violated time and again, and the church has very quickly turned from sound theology. It is the churches which have accepted a rejection of Paul which have devolved into perversion, contempt of the word, and hatred of all things biblically moral and sound. The problem is that because these things have crept in over time, there is the feeling that it is not because of the ordination of women. However, the pattern has remained unchanged in one major denomination after another. Once the precepts of Paul are violated in this particular aspect, all other areas slowly but surely devolve as well.
Life application: Ignore Paul’s prescriptive writings, and your church will quickly start building diving boards for a leap into hell.
Lord God, You are so very marvelous. We praise You for Your wonderful works. Everything is right that comes from Your hand and from Your wisdom. Thank You for the beauty of each new season. Thank You for the many tastes, smells, and wonders to the eyes which surround us every moment. Help us, Lord, to take time and to appreciate the countless delights You have placed in our paths. You are so very marvelous. Amen.