Genesis 3:20 - Adam named His Wife Eve
Adam named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all the living.Genesis 3:20
Given the context, Adam’s naming of his wife is a surprising profession of faith. Earlier, when the Lord had asked him if he had eaten from the forbidden fruit, then Adam’s response had shown the sin and selfishness that had entered his heart. He blamed his wife: “The woman ... she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate.”
God had responded with words of curse and judgment. In pain the woman would bring forth children. Her desire would be for her husband. There would be struggles and difficulties in childbirth, in family life, in marriage. The ground was cursed. Man’s daily labour would become a difficult struggle for survival, which would end in death: “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Misery, suffering and death would become a daily reality in this fallen world.
Given his corrupted heart, it would have been no surprise if Adam had responded to God’s words of curse in a sinful way. Maybe with accusations: Why did God not create us differently so that we could not sin? How can God be good if He let sin happen? Many descendants of Adam have responded to God in exactly this way – by challenging God, by scoffing at Him, by blurting forth the rebellion of their hearts against Him. Or Adam might have responded as his son Cain would one day respond to the curse of God – my punishment is greater than I can bear.
However, the name Adam gave his wife did not demonstrate unbelief, but faith. In the midst of judgment, God had also spoken those words of the gospel – the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). God had promised salvation and life. That is the promise of God to which Adam clung in faith. There was hope for the future. Not in himself, the first Adam, who had failed, but in the second Adam, who would come from the woman. God’s promise pointed Adam to his wife – salvation and life would come from her seed, from Jesus Christ. Adam embraced this promise in faith by giving his wife a beautiful name, Eve, for she would become the mother of all the living. Indeed, this was the first profession of faith, of a sinner who publicly acknowledged God’s promises and sought his life outside of himself in Jesus Christ (see the second question of the Form for the Public Profession of Faith).
This faith is so surprising, so amazing. Adam was not able to work this faith in himself. The fallen, corrupted heart hates God and will reject his promises in unbelief. That Adam spoke in faith shows that God was already fulfilling his promise to put enmity, separation, between the devil and his seed and the woman and her seed. Adam and Eve had sided with the devil in rebellion and unbelief. But in mercy, God had pulled them back. He had set them apart from the devil; He had worked new life in them. In Genesis 3:20, we see God at work, raising up a church of believers who put their hope and trust in his promises.
God continues his work today, with the result that many of those who sinned in Adam also join Adam in making profession of faith. They do not work that in themselves.
Of themselves, they can only speak like Adam did when he blamed Eve for his sin. But through God’s mighty work, they are separated from the devil, they are given new life, they are made to believe.
And the essence of what believers today profess has not changed. We continue to live in a fallen world, characterized by brokenness and struggles. Difficulties in family life, struggles against thorns and thistles in our daily work, the sadness of death. But professing our faith is to confess that there is life and hope in the seed of the woman, in Jesus Christ. In Him there is hope when we struggle with difficulties in marriage. In Him there is strength for the task of bearing and raising children in the fear of God’s name. In Him our work in this creation with its thorns and thistles is not hopeless and meaningless. In and through Him death is not the final end but the entrance unto eternal life.
Adam named his wife Eve because she would be the mother of all living. Eve is your mother, for she is the mother of Jesus Christ, through whom we are able to truly live. Believe it and profess it!