Summary: Women have always been a major force in history, if for no other reason, because of their influence on men. Never was this more true than when there was only one woman and one man.

Only one president of the United States was a bachelor as president, and

that was Grover Cleveland. All others had wives, and these First Ladies of

our land have had an enormous influence on history. Martha Washington was

the first First Lady of the United States. She, like other wives in those early

days of the Revolutionary War, spent 8 winters with her husband General

Washington in the field. This included the terrible winter of Valley Forge.

She helped keep the Revolutionary Army together. She sewed their tattered

clothes, and she ministered to their needs, and help keep up moral.

When she was not involved in the war, she was at Mount Vernon managing

their 8 thousand acre plantation. She set the pattern as a true help mate.

Many other first ladies have played a major role in the lives of the men who

governed our nation. Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of President Rutherford Hayes,

gained quite a reputation for her influence. When she was informed of an

injustice there could be quick action to rectify the situation. President Hayes

once said, "Mr. Hayes may have no influence with congress, but she has great

influence with me."

Women have always been a major force in history, if for no other reason,

because of their influence on men. Never was this more true than when there

was only one woman and one man. When we go back to the first of all first

ladies, we see a woman centered world. God's attention was focused on the

female, for she was the one that prevented creation from being complete.

Adam was alone, and he had learned all he could about the animal kingdom,

but there was nothing alive that satisfied his need. God said that it was not

good for man to be alone, and so He put the final finishing touch on His

handiwork, and He made Eve.

She immediately became the center of Adam's attention and affection. The

very first poem ever composed on earth was composed by Adam when he saw

what God could make out of a rib. He took one look at Eve and forgot all

about his surgery. He said, "Now this is more like it. This at last is bone of

my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was

taken out of man." Had Adam been an Englishman he may have put it more

like this:

She, she is bone of my bone,

And flesh of my flesh is she;

Woman her name, which is grown

Out of man, out of me.

It is fitting that history's first poetry should be in celebration of a woman.

Most poetry since has been inspired by the male female relationship. Woman

came from man's rib, but she has never been a mere side issue with him. She

has always been a central issue because of her influence on men. Not only was

she the focus of God and man, but as we read on in the story we discover she

was also the center of the satanic plot to destroy paradise, and bring about the

fall of man. The fact that Satan chose to make Eve his first target reveals just

how subtle and clever he really is. She was the only living creature that had a

powerful enough influence on Adam to bring him to disobey God. The serpent

would not have gotten to first base with Adam, nor would any other creature

Satan might use to entice him. There was only one choice, and that was Eve.

The Genesis account makes it clear that there is one theme on which God,

man, and Satan all agree, and that is that you can't win without a woman.

God could not stop creating until He created a woman. Adam could not be

content with a perfect paradise without a woman. Satan could not have

penetrated Adam's defenses without a woman. W. B. Riley, the well known

preacher back in the 1930's said,

They talk about a woman's sphere,

As though it had a limit;

There's not a place on earth or heaven,

There's not a task to mankind given,

There's not a blessing or a woe,

There's not a life, a death, or birth,

That has a feather's weight of worth,

Without a woman in it.

That poetry is based squarely on the rock of revelation. Look at the big

events of Bible history, and you will see women as key characters for good or

evil: The fall, of course, and the wives of the patriarchs-Sarah, Rebekah, and

Rachel; the mother and sister of Moses; the wives of David and Solomon;

Esther and Ruth; Mary and Elizabeth; the many women in the ministry of

Jesus, and the women at the cross and the resurrection. These are just some of

the major women who play key roles in the history of God's plan. If we go on

into the book of Acts, and beyond into the history of the church, we see that

women have been, are, and will always be a key and central influence in

everything that happens in God's plan.

We live in a world where some see women as inferior, and where others put

them on a pedestal, and see them as superior. Still others fight to prove that

above all else they are equal to men. The biblical view condemns all three of

these positions if they are held as exclusive truth. No view of women can be

called biblical that refuses to recognize the full revelation that they are all

three-superior, equal, and inferior. All three of these categories fit the first

woman. Some Bible students say if you go to the first use of a term or an ideal

in the Bible, that will be your clue as to its meaning throughout the Bible. I

doubt that this is a fool proof rule, but it does fit the study of women. If you

study Eve, you have the foundation laid for all else that you will find in God's

Word on women.

She was the first woman.

She was the first wife.

She was the first mother.

She was the first grandmother.

She was the first lover.

She was the first to entice.

She was the first person to be tempted.

She was the first sinner.

She was the first to name the name of God.

She was the first woman to loose paradise.

She was the first woman who had to move.

She was the first woman to see a baby, and watch it grow.

She was the first woman to suffer grief.

She was the first woman to see a child die.

She was the first woman to make clothes.

She was the first woman to receive hope of a redeemer.

I am sure that with some thought we could expand the list even further, for

she was the first woman to experience all of the joys and sorrows of human

life. We want to look at this fascinating woman from the point of view of each

of the other three characters that shared the stage of history with her at the

beginning. The universe was vast, and the earth was larger than it has ever

been, for it was so empty of human life. The only persons in existence with

Eve that she was aware of were Adam, God, and Satan. It was a small cast,

and as we have said, Eve seemed to be the star, for the attention of the others

was focused on her. As we look at her from the perspective of each of them,

we see the three fold picture of woman. The total woman is a combination of

these three views. We want to look at Eve in the order in which she is first

confronted by each of these three personalities.


From God's perspective we see the superiority of woman. God saved the

best for last. She was the crown of creation, and as Lockyer says, she was

likely the most beautiful woman to have ever lived. She was God's best gift to

the ideal man. She was made like him in the image of God to reflect God's

glory. The male is usually the most beautiful in the animal kingdom, but God

chose to reverse that pattern when he created humans. He chose to make the

female more beautiful than the male.

The Jewish Talmud said, "All women in comparison with Sarah are like

monkeys in respect to men. But Sarah can no more be compared to Eve than

can monkeys be compared with men." Milton wrote of Eve,

O fairest of creation, last and best

Of all God's works, creatures in whom excelled

Whatever can to sight or thought be formed,

Holy, divine, good, amiable or sweet.

God in His mercy kept her weight and vital statistics in the dark lest women

all through history live in despair for not being able to match the ideal woman.

Eve was not superior to Adam in every way, of course, but only in those ways

that made him glad. She supplied what he needed to make life complete. She

was God's first wonder drug, for she cured Adam of his loneliness, and she

gave him a love for life. She was man's first savior, for she came that he might

have life, and have it abundantly. God was the author of this plan, as He is of

all plans of salvation.

Someone has come up with the top ten reasons that God created Eve, and

though they are designed for humor, there is still much truth in them.

10. God was worried that Adam would frequently become lost in the Garden.

9. God knew that one day Adam would require someone to locate and hand

him the remote.

8. God knew Adam would never go out and buy himself a new fig leaf when his

wore out and would therefore need Eve to buy one for him.

7. God knew Adam would never be able to make a doctor's, dentist, or haircut

appointment for himself.

6. God knew Adam would never remember which night to put the garbage on

the curb. 5. God knew if the world was to be populated, men would never be able to

handle the pain and discomfort of childbearing.

4. As the Keeper of the Garden, Adam would never remember where he left

his tools.

3. Apparently, Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God

caught him hiding in the garden.

2. As the Bible says, It is not good for man to be alone!

And finally, the Number 1 reason why God created Eve...

1. When God finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched his

head, and said, "I can do better than that."

Woman is also the unique means that God used for His ultimate plan of

salvation for fallen man. Jesus came into this world by means of a woman.

"In the fullness of time God sent forth His Son born of a woman." The virgin

birth was a team effort, not of God and man, but of God and woman. The

woman is superior to man in that she alone has the capacity to bring forth life.

Man is still essential, but he cannot bring forth a new life. Woman was a

necessity in God's plan of salvation that called for His Son to be born of a

virgin. We do not know if God could have saved man another way. All we

know is that the way He did do it made it impossible to be accomplished

without a woman. To blame her for the fall of man without blessing her for

her role in the restoration of man is to ignore God's perspective on woman.

In Gen. 3:15 God in His judgment of Satan says, "I will put enmity between

you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your

head, and you shall bruise his heel." From the start God said, in this first hint

of the Gospel, that the seed of woman was the key to victory over Satan. God

had made the female primary in His plan of redemption. As we study biblical

and Christian history we will discover that this is not only theory, but fact that

the mothers, sisters, and wives of great men have been the key to their

victories. It is folly not to see this perspective on women. Next we look at-


Even Adam saw Eve as one superior. She was superior to all that had been

created. He eventually saw her as superior even to himself, for he was willing

to risk all, including his relationship to God, to follow her in disobedience.

The primary perspective of Adam, however, was that at last there was

someone who was his equal. Bone of his bond and flesh of his flesh. She was

not a creature above him like God, nor below him like the animals, but she

was just like him. She was on his level. This what Adam most needed. He

needed an equal, and this is what God gave him. She was not taken from his

head to rule over him, nor from his feet that he should trample on her. She

was taken from his side that she might be his equal.

God's ideal is male and female equality. They stand side by side in life.

Anything less than this is the result of the fall of man, and is not a part of

God's original plan. Ruskin said, "We are foolish and without excuse in

speaking of the superiority of one sex to the other, as if they could be

compared in similar things. Each has what the other has not; each completes

the other, and is completed by the other." God made woman for man, and so

the ways in which she differs is not bad for man, but good for him. To refer to

the differences in sexes as superior or inferior is, in itself, a part of the fall

where all that is good is perverted, damaged, and made a cause for conflict.

Bible commentators all through history have pointed to Gen. 1:27 as the

basis for sexual equality. It reads, "So God created man in His own image, in

the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Male

and female are equality part of the image of God. This opens up doors we

can't begin to enter now, but keep in mind, the Bible clearly reveals that God's

nature is both masculine and feminine. For now we just want to briefly

describe what this means for the equality of the sexes. It means that Eve had

these characteristics that made her equal to Adam.

1. Rationality. She was not a creature of instinct, but, like him, one of

intelligence. She too was given the capacity to think and reason.

2. Volitionality. She had the freedom and power to choose. She was given a

free will by which she could make decisions for good or evil.

3. Emotionality. She had the same capacity as Adam for feelings of love and

affection, and the ability to develop personal relationships. She had the

capacity for anger and hate to break relationships.

4. Morality. She had the same capacity as Adam to feel shame and guilt, and

to fell peace and pride when she chose the good rather than the evil.

These 4 do not exhaust the image of God, but they give us enough of the

picture to see that Eve was made in that image, and was Adam's equal. The

nearer we get back to paradise and God's ideal, the nearer we get to the

equality of the sexes. Much of the evil of history has been due to the lack of

equality of women. We will see this more clearly as we continue our studies.

Examples of women who are superior to most men in their field area

abundant. We will look at just a couple to illustrate.

1. Grace Hopper. She was born in 1906, and was convinced that girls were

equal to boys in math. But girls were not encouraged. They were told when

they faced a tough problem that girls just can't understand. Her father was

different, and he encouraged his girls to believe they were equal. She became

a professor of math at Vassar, and when she joined the Navy she was assigned

to work on the first computer in the United States. It was called the Mark I.

Nobody knew anything about computers then. It was 51 feet long. Today a

computer with the same capacity can be held in your hand.

She developed the computer language called COBOL. This stood for Common

Business Oriented Languages, which is the language used in data processing.

No one would believe it could be done by anyone, let alone a woman, but in

two years she had the Navy convinced because she built a computer, and made

it work with her language. She became the head of the Navy Programming

Languages Section in the Pentagon. She was superior in her influence, and

equal to anyone in her knowledge of computers.

2. Cecelia Goposhkin. She was born in 1900, and was a pioneer

astronomer. Her studies enabled astronomers to understand the history of the

stars, and the structure of our galaxy. In 1956 she became the first woman to

be made a professor at Harvard.

After reading widely in the field of female accomplishments, I am

convinced that there is no field of knowledge where women have not proven

their equality with men. Whenever women are given equal opportunity, they

become equal, and often superior to men. Adam saw this equality in Eve from

the very beginning. Next we consider-


Satan also saw the superiority of woman, but he saw it as a means to bring

about the degrading of mankind, and because of his success we have a whole

history of the negative influence of the female. Because of her superior

influence Eve became the doorway of evil into the history of man. She was not

more evil than Adam, but she was more influential than Adam. He did not

influence her to obey God, but she influenced him to disobey God. He failed to

protect Eve from the intruder into paradise, and then failed to rescue her

when she was ensnared.

A bad woman has always seemed to be more fallen than a bad man. No

nation is considered to be hopeless until it is established that the women have

become totally corrupted. Satan knows that his bitterest enemies are

righteous women, but he also knows that his best allies are fallen women.

Numerous are the victories he has won by the aid of women. The fall of many

great men and nations can be shown to revolve around women. We need to

make it clear, however, that as in the case of Adam, all men who fall because

of women do so by choice, and are fully accountable for those choices.

Bathsheba is never blamed for the fall of David. He is held fully responsible

for his actions.

One of the great mistakes of history has been the folly of blaming women

for their powerful influence on men. The ideal of God is equality of the sexes,

but sin lead to inequality, and the subjection of the female. Men have used this

all through history to suppress women, and by so doing they have fallen into

Satan's trap, for as long as women are kept inferior it is impossible for men to

rise, and climb back toward the ideal. When you study the history of women,

you will discover where women are treated like animals you have a low

civilization where sin and darkness dominates the culture. The greater

equality women gain, the higher the civilization, and the more light and

freedom everybody enjoys.

The equality and freedom of women, however, leaves them wide open to the

same temptation that Eve encountered. To use that freedom to chose evil, and

so use their highest value to influence men to follow them in departing from

the will of God. Many fight for women to be equal in order that they might

have the freedom to be as corrupt as men. So what we have is another of life's

great paradoxes. Women's equality is both beautiful and terrible. To deny

one or the other is to be blind to reality and biblical facts. Was Eve beautiful

or terrible? She was both. She was both the best resource for good, and the

best for evil. Both are always possibilities, and it is the challenge of every

Christian woman to dedicate her life to being the best she can be for the cause

of Christ and the glory of God.

God has used fallen women to win this fallen world back to Himself. He

used Eve to go on and give the fallen world its first children. She was clearly

forgiven and restored to fellowship with God, for she thanked God for her

children, and taught them to offer sacrifice to God. She became the mother of

all living, and began that line that led to the Savior, who was the seed of the

woman who made it possible for all people to rise above the fall and be

restored to God. Eve was the first lady of our world, and as far as we know,

the first lady of our universe. She was in some ways superior to Adam; in

many ways equal to Adam, and in some ways inferior to Adam. She

represents the women of all time in these 3 categories. This is the full biblical

view of women in terms of their relationship to men. If women want to be all

they can be, they need to focus on God's view of their superiority, and Adam's

view of their equality, and avoid Satan's view of their potential for degrading

all mankind. Eve fell, but she was also a great example of the two higher

views, as the first lady.