Through His Eyes; God’s Perspective on Women in the Bible by Jerram Barrs
Chapter 2: The Second Face of Eve: Eve at and after the Fall
It has been a couple of weeks since I actually read this chapter, but I did highlight quite a few areas of it (mostly because it’s on sin and, well, I can relate to sin).
Right off the bat on page 25, Jerram says:
“We sometimes work very hard at seeing faults, and we appear to think it is very biblical to search out the sinfulness of people around us, both the sins of our fellow believers and, in particular, the sins of unbelievers. But that is not what Scripture calls us to do. We are indeed to recognize people’s moral failures, especially our own, but we are called first to recognize their glory as persons made in the image of God.”
I love this reminder because I’ve experienced so often in live or blog conversations a consistently low view of people in other believers. I want to see people as people made in God’s image first. I want to place a high value on their lives because they are human. I need to do better here.
Talking about Satan on page 27, Jerram writes:
“His purpose on this occasion [in the garden of Eden] is to turn Eve and Adam from their worship of God alone; to turn them from their trust in the Lord as their Creator, Provider, Helper, and Friend; to turn them from their contented knowledge of who they are and to make them dissatisfied; to turn them from their glad acceptance of their status as creatures in God’s world and to cause them to become distrustful of God’s good intentions toward them.”
I’d say mission accomplished, no? How often am I so easily turned from a contented knowledge of who I am in God and simply dissatisfied with my life and surroundings? Often. How often am I distrustful of God’s good intentions toward me? I think I’m growing in this area, but I have to be honest and again say often. Way too often.
Okay, here was the big kicker for me, from page 30:
“There is nothing more unreasonable than the choice she [Eve] makes. But all sin is like this. We all need to admit that this unreasonableness is the nature of any sin, any disobedience against God. There is no excuse for sin. Sin cannot be justified, excused, or explained away. No matter how we hold sin up to the light of rational inquiry, no matter which way we look at sin, sin makes no sense. Sin is absurd. We may ask, “Why did Eve disobey?” or “Why did I turn from God’s commandments?” “Why did this woman or this man forsake her or his marriage vows, commit adultery, and wreck her or his beloved children’s lives?” We are desperate to be able to give a rational account of sin; we want to give sufficient reasons to show why Eve, or why you or I, make such a choice, but there are none.“
There’s more. There’s so much more. But I’ll stop for now and see if any of you want to chime in thoughts from chapter 2.
The main thought I walked away with from this chapter (and the thought that has been resonating through my head and heart for the past two weeks) is this: How would my life and the lives of my husband and children be different if every day I woke up and asked, “what would dying to myself mean today?” If I asked that question everyday (and then acted on its answer) for a whole year, what would happen? I think amazing things. It’s not an easy question and I haven’t asked it every single day for the past two weeks, but I have been asking it of myself quite a bit lately, and it is changing my thinking very little by very little.
Okay, anyone else have thoughts here?
6 thoughts on “Through His Eyes, Chapter 2”
Some passages from Ch. 2 that stand out for me:
1) from p.25- “We need to train ourselves to see the human dignity in the people around us. If we do not do this, we are being diobedient to the command of God’s Word and to the example of our Lord and Savior as he met and engaged women and men with such grace. One effect of failing to see and honor the dignity of those around us is that there will be no way we will be able to communicate the good news of the Christian message to them in a way that is obedient to the example of Christ and to the commands of Scripture. If we do not respect people as God’s image bearers, we simply cannot communicate with them effectively and faithfully.”
That important truth has practical daily application for me.
I am involved in “mercy ministry”- that is, helping folks, especially women, who have basic physical, and spiritual, needs. Women who are coming out of jail, women that are in addicition recovery programs, women with a history of being abused, women from the homeless shelter. Women who it would be easy to forget to treat as image bearers of God. I interact with a lot of Hispanics primarily in the context of our ESL ministry. Issues like education and socioeconomics and immigration status are easy to put ahead of the simple fact that they too are image-bearers, in need of the Gospel. But truthfully, I also have a problem remembering that the wealthy, those who don’t struggle with looking “good,” who have a good education, who don’t have the physical needs, who often have values so different than my own, are image-bearers also, and have the same basic spiritual poverty and need of the saving truth of the gospel of the rest of us.
2) I highlighted the same passage on sin, Megan. “There is no excuse for sin… Sin is absurd.” OH if only we would live that, if I would live that! Isn’t it easy to make excuses, just as Eve and then Adam did?
3) p.32- “We find ourselves longing to honor ourselves rather than honor Him, for the very heart or essence of sin is pride.” ugh. That stands out to me as the most basic of truths. Pride. It takes us back to that same question you ask, Megan- what would dying to self mean today?
Good stuff. Good to be challenged. Good to see truth in the light of Truth. Thanks for keeping the conversation going, Megan.
Have the book now but haven’t read it yet. Enjoyed your thoughts here. Another book I’ve been reading has driven home the point of dealing swiftly and decisively with sin, so I’m on the same page there! Interesting that as I went through the other book, I remembered a prayer I had prayed every morning for a while (like you mentioned above). It transformed my heart: “Create in me the heart of a servant.” Reminds me of yours: “what would dying to myself mean today?” Basically, it’s the same thing. I’ve felt the need to get back to that prayer and to pray it for my children, too.
When I prayed that prayer before, these images of Jesus would go through my mind:
* Matthew 11:29 – Fitting myself into the yoke with him for the day, listening, and waiting quietly for direction from my experienced Teacher. Turning with him when he guides the yoke and not resisting even if it frightens me and I don’t know where we’re going. Learning from him to be humble, gentle, meek, restful.
* John 13:1-17 – Jesus making himself vulnerable and humbly stooping down, gently, lovingly washing the dirt off of his loved one’s feet and exhorting them to live the same way.
* John 8:1-11 – Jesus being presented with someone’s sin and stooping down quietly as if to listen for wisdom before he spoke. Then giving wise exhortation and mercy.
And so much more.
I always enjoy hearing where you are in your journey, Megan! Love to connect in that way.
Good stuff. I’m planning to start reading the book this weekend. So maybe I’ll be able to catch up to the discussion.
I wanted to say to you and everyone that I goofed on the Covenant Seminary Bookstore website. I thought I had extended the sale price until this Saturday, but I just checked and the special price had expired. So some people may not have been able to access the special price for the last week.
I’ve now extended the special Half-Pint House 35% off sale on Through His Eyes until Saturday, March 7. It’s only available for online orders, and it’s only accessible through the blog here. Here is the link: Through His Eyes, 35% off
…oops, it didn’t let me post a hyper-link. Here is the URL for the offer:
I also spent time thinking about that quoted bit on page 25, “One effect of failing to see and honor the dignity of those around us is that there will be no way we will be able to communicate the good news of the Christian message to them in a way that is obedient to the example of Christ and to the commands of Scripture. If we do not respect people as God’s image bearers, we simply cannot communicate with them effectively and faithfully.”
Viewing people as humans created in God’s image rather than on a grid of saved—–unsaved has helped a lot in seeing value in them simply as people God created. It is part of the reason why I can walk into a tattoo parlor with my 10 year old and not be completely freaked out by the guy with quarter-size-holes-in-his-ears. Not exactly my fashion choice, but certainly not an indication of belief or disbelief. And if I can’t interact with him as a person instead of based on his appearance, then sure, there’s little chance of later being able to share the gospel. Not that I go into the tattoo parlor that much, but I’m just saying I get the point here. People are people.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts from the Word, Christy. I’ve always loved that bit where Jesus cares for the heart of the woman condemned and does it in a way that exposes the heart of sin in those doing the condemning.
I’m a bit late on contributing…I found the part about finding faults with others quite convicting. How often do I remember that the rude cashier at Wal-mart or my teenage daughter’s very “different” art teacher are God’s image bearers? Not as often as I should, I’m afraid.
I kept thinking about Barrs’ point that Eve (and we) are now self-alienated after the Fall. Some of my thoughts on that are here:
PS…Megan, I personally really LIKE the pink… :o)