First of all, this is my very first post from my new laptop. Yay! I now have a portable time-waster!
Secondly, you'll all be so proud of me. I've actually started reading my Bible daily instead of weekly! Granted, this is only day two, but I feel good about this start. I'm reading The Daily Message: Through the Bible in One Year. While I feel The Message is a little silly with it's interpretation sometime, it's a quick and easy read, so I'm hoping it'll be a little easier to stick with. Yay, me! And yay, God! And yay, not being lazy!
Now onto what I read. Today's portion was about Adam and Eve. Yes, it's starting at the very, very beginning. Since I'm on day two, this was Adam and Eve eating the fruit.
Something I didn't notice the first, oh, twenty years of reading about Adam and Eve is that, when Eve said, "Hey, let's eat this fruit. It looks yummy!" there's no record of Adam saying, "No! God said not to!" According to Scripture, he said, "Uh, OK! Whatever you say, Eve!" And they both ate it. Adam didn't say anything. He just kind of went along with it.
I'd be lying if I said it was the first time a guy went along with whatever his lady said. I'm not saying it was hard-wired from the beginning for men to cave to women, but c'mon—they do it. How do you think I got this laptop?
The interesting part is the punishment. They both got cast out of the Garden of Eden, which is really lousy. Eve got pain in childbirth. Adam got having to work the earth for his food every day of his life.
Read that again. I'll wait.
So what do you think?
As someone who's been through childbirth, it's probably not the most fun experience I've ever had. I spent 42 hours in labor. The pain was mostly tolerable, but then I got an epidural, so I'm sure I didn't get the worst of it. I still felt some of it, but I know the edge was taken off. I've had worse pain than childbirth. My previous back surgery inflicted some major pain. That was definitely the worst I've ever felt.
Granted, there were no forms of birth control back then. There was no medication, no comfy hospitals. It was way, way worse than it is now. But still--how many times in a woman's life does she give birth? Even Mrs. Duggar has only done it 20 times. How many hours of intense labor pain do you think that is? Even at five hours a child, that's about 100 hours.
Scripture doesn't tell us exactly how many kids Adam and Eve had. Probably a lot. But it does tell us that Adam lived 930 years. That's a long time. That's 339,450 days. Days he was required to work very hard to till the ground and battle weeds and do manual labor.
Even if Eve had 100 kids, she would not have spent as much time in pain as Adam would have. Even with help, manual labor is no day at the beach. I'd rather face a med-free childbirth any day than do manual labor. Totally worthwhile trade.
Maybe it's just my interpretation, but Adam's punishment seems exponentially worse than Eve's. More difficult, at least, and lasting for a lot longer.
The only thing I can think of is that Adam had time to evaluate. He could have at least said, "Now, let's think about this for a moment." Scripture doesn't indicate any pause from him. He stood right next to Eve and let her eat, then he followed her lead. He didn't step up to intervene in the least.
How many times do we stand by and allow other Christians to sin? Sometimes we say, "Well, they've got to make their own choices," or, "It's not my business." Really?
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)
It is our responsibility to hold other believers to the standards God has set. And, by the way, when Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the same measure you use, it will be measured to you," it's really talking about the harshness with which you judge others. Holding someone up to the Bible in love is different than judging someone. Judgement indicates an opinion. Even the Greek form of judge in that verse, κρίνω, indicates a preference, not necessarily being matched against a standard. People like to use that verse to get out of holding other believers accountable (or, more likely, to get out of being held accountable). No such luck.
God gives his followers rules. We're supposed to follow them. Hence the name followers. We're also supposed to help each other when we stray. From the looks of Adam's punishment, God thinks it's pretty important.
So do you stand by, or do you say something? Clearly there are a lot of people who stand by, otherwise this blog would be called The Christian Who Has Been Held Accountable instead of indicating a substantial lack of accountability. Who holds you accountable?
And, just out of curiosity, would you take childbirth over a life of hard labor? I just want to know I'm not alone in that assessment.