My husband Peter and I have grieved several losses in our twenty years of marriage - his father, both of my parents, and three babies by miscarriage. Experiencing such pain together can either deepen a couple’s bond or push two people apart.
In Genesis 4, the effects of the Fall become more evident—on humanity, and also on the family. The first thing we learn about Adam and Eve—post-Fall—is that they have a son. Eve announced the birth herself in verse 1: “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Significantly, Eve expressed gratitude that the Lord’s grace carried her through. Even though anguish accompanied the childbearing process, God was still faithful.
Then, as we move through Genesis chapter 4, we see the tragic descent of Adam and Eve’s offspring—delving deeper and deeper into sin. As Eve’s sin began with a desire to be more like God, Cain’s sin begins with a desire to have what his brother has—the good pleasure of God (v. 5). With Cain’s jealousy and murder, sin infiltrates new territory as it destroys the family unit. Just as Adam and Eve were distanced from God’s presence when they were removed from the Garden, now Cain is expelled from both God’s presence and His protection (vv. 11–12).
Interestingly, while Eve’s celebratory and grateful words open this chapter, she is not mentioned again in this passage. But can you imagine her grief? It is difficult to conceive of her sorrow when she learned about the death of one son—at the hand of another. Then she was faced with Cain’s banishment. Eve seems somehow even more human when we consider her immense loss and ponder her pain.
>> How have you experienced God’s faithfulness and grace, even as you navigate the consequences of sin? How do you connect with Eve’s grief? Can God use our study of it to bring healing to our own hurts?
We can’t escape the painful, all-pervading consequences of sin. Even in the depths of misery, give us eyes to perceive your mercies, Lord. May we know our greatest joys in times of suffering.