Sermon delivered May 13, 2000

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted

Mother Eve

Mother's Day brings cards and flowers and love. And we all have a mother. Love messages are sent by snail mail, E-Mail, telephone; every way that you can imagine. Be careful if you get on the computer. But not all love messages are good. A new computer virus sends communications saying "I Love You" and then infects the host computer. One nasty worm is simply known as "Mothers Day." When it poisons your computer, Windows must be reinstalled all over again. So far damage estimates exceed two million dollars. Shame on hackers for misusing "Mother" and "Love. Today I will try to bring to you the true meanings of those wonderful terms. It's sort of like Eve standing under that tree, you know. She thought that was a good apple to eat, but it was the wrong tree. It was kind of bad. Shame on these hackers for using the name "Love" and "Mother's Day" to propagate their evil worm that worms it's way. I think today we need to bring out the true message of what love really means, and mothers. Shame on these people who are hacking away at our mothers.

We all appreciate our indispensable mothers. And I am told in a book called Adventist Home by Mrs. Ellen G. White that "the influence of faithful mothers will last for eternity." Isn't that a great thought? When Jesus hears the earnest prayers of a faithful mother, that He gives it special regard.

Come over here to EZEKIEL 16:44 (KJV), Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter. Like father, like son. Like mother, like daughter. That's the way it is, isn't it. We tend to raise children that are just like us. That might be good, if we're good.

There was a little girl, age eight, Diane from Cincinnati, Ohio. She wrote a little note and handed it to her mother, "I hope you like the flowers I got you for Mother's Day. I picked them myself when Mr. Smith wasn't looking". Good intentions, but villainous methodology.

A mother is someone who can love and reward the good intentions of a child's best efforts. Ministry of Healing, p 378 (EG White) says: "No other work can equal (the work of the mother) in importance." Do you think father's are more important? Or mothers? I'm afraid it's the mother. That's good. When the kids' hurt, who do they go to? They usually go to their mother, don't they.

We are going to study the life of a great Bible mother today whose name is spelled the same backwards as forwards. Several are spelled like that (HANNAH) for example.

We're going to study the life a great Bible mother today, whose name is spelled the same forward as it is backwards (a palindrome: also applies to phrases that read either way). I know that instantly you're thinking that it is "Hannah," and it's not Hannah. There are several mothers like that in the Bible. We're going to study "Eve." EVE is the mother of all living. The name EVE means LIFE! She was the beginning, the first woman, the originator of life apart from creation.

Genesis 4:1,2 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man." Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

We are all Eve's great, great, great, great...grand children! We're all sons and daughters of Eve. Eve was the first woman, the first wife, the first mother, the first grandmother. She was not the first baby. Eve was not the first child to grow up. When she was created, she was an adult already. She was the first mother. Eve was mother to two boys.

Has any mother here had children, some of which turned out good, and some of which turned out bad? That has happened, hasn't it. The same mother, and some of them turn out okay and some of them don't. Now, what could Eve blame that on? Surely it could not be the fault of imperfect heredity or genes! Where did she get her genes from? She got them from God. She couldn't blame it on heredity. Maybe she could blame it on a bad environment, I don't know. Blame it on something, whatever. Maybe it was bad environment. Nonetheless, one of her children was good and the other was real bad. And the two hated each other. It was sort of the beginning of the great controversy between good and evil. It is the case that evil hates the good. Eve was a mother of sorrow and Eve was the mother of joy. How can one mother produce a really nasty, evil, bad son and then just a year or two later produce a gentle, kind, tender Christlike child? The same mother! That's what happened to Eve.

Someone said that one of Eve's problems was that she raised CAIN around the house! I've seen people do that. I've heard them do that. Fortunately my wife has never raise cain around the house. I appreciate that. Others say that one of Eve's problems was that she did not RAISE Cain (did not raise him properly). Maybe she learned on Cain and did a little better on Abel. Motherhood does not come with training. Nobody really has the experience of being a mother the first time around. I don't know as we do any better the second time around. We give our best

I'm not so sure about that. I feel that Eve did the very best job at being a mother that she possibly could for both boys. She raised Cain every bit as good as she could. Eve, fresh from the creation factory, had 10 times more intelligence than modern mothers do. We are not evolving you know. Actually as we increase technology, at the same time we're letting our morals and mores slide downward until today we have very little left. Eve did her best for both boys. She had better information than Dr. Spock. She could consult with Christ Himself. Angels of God were there to help teach her children according to Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 83 - EG White. They taught those boys. They were taught by angels.

I think Eve was an excellent mother. She certainly was the best mother the world had ever known.

Eve had made a serious mistake back there in the garden. Now, It was not wrong to eat an apple. She just ate the wrong apple. Some things are reserved by God, and we should not touch them, even though normally they would be good. One day she saw a pretty animal up in an apple tree. The beautiful golden serpent spoke to her in a musical voice and said: "Let's see if you are as smart as you are beautiful! I am a lowly snake and I just ate one of these apples here and now look at me. Do you see what happened to me? I can talk just like you! Just imagine what would happen if you ate one! You might become like God Himself!"

Then about that time the brilliant flying creature plucked and apple and placed it in her hands. Remember, God had said that she was not supposed to even touch it. "The day that you touch it you will die." And there she had it in her hands. It was touching her! She thought, "Am I dying? Oh, I'm not dying. I'm still here. What is death? I don't know." She was told not to touch it. Remember, she didn't reach out and grasp the apple: it was given to her. It seemed to be just the opposite of what God said would happen. It seemed like she could feel new life coming into her. It seemed like she was achieving a higher plane. She had that feeling. Do we go by feelings? And she turned to Adam and gave an apple to him "This is the best apple I've ever tasted, and she explained it to him and soon Adam joined her in eating some of her apples. And then things started going downhill fast.

They lost their clothing, the atmosphere started changing. Eve said: "Adam, it's chilly in here." Adam didn't know what to do so they went to a fig tree and started to sew some leave together. They discovered what cold was because the air lost its mild uniform temperature. Soon their robe of light started to go out like when someone dims the lights. Peace of heart left them and their hands got clammy with a cold sweat. Somewhere back in a forbidden acre of that orchard they could hear in the distance a snake, laughing with great satisfaction. He had done it. "I got her! I got them both! Just where I wanted them to be." That snake was so excited his forked tongue shook like a dog coming out of the water.

With the garment of light turned off, for a long time, Eve's pregnancy became even more obvious. A few weeks later the leaves on the trees started to turn an ugly brown and fall off. Genesis 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. "The world's first mother and father grieved more deeply over the changes in nature that they saw than anyone today mourns over the death of a loved one!" - Patriarchs and Prophets, p.62 - EG White. Can you imagine that? Mothers day was not very good. Flowers drooped and died. Things were happening. They began to realize what their actions had done.

Not only had their act set into motion the decay process that would end their own life. But the life of every tree, plant, bird, and animal that Adam had so carefully named would die because of their sin. Even their children die because of their sin. The whole world was dying. They had killed the whole planet! The whole planet was in the process of dying.

Now let's talk about the world's first murderer. And who is that? Adam! Adam was the first human being to kill, to take life. He had to sacrifice an animal, did he not? And as he sacrificed that animal, the true consequences of death came upon him. "To Adam, the offering of the first sacrifice was a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. (of a pure lamb) It was the first time he had ever witnessed death." - Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 68 - EG White. You must realize that Adam had a great mind, and he clearly understood that as he took the life of that innocent victim, that someday his personal sin would be responsible for the blood of the Savior Himself, the spotless Lamb of God. Adam understood that. With no modern Kleenex Adam and Eve must have had red eyes for months from so many tears of sorrow.

However there was one little bright spot...Eve was pregnant! I wonder if they even knew what that bulge was. I wonder if she thought, "Boy, I'm gaining weight. Adam isn't gaining weight. What's the matter?" But eventually one day, with the first pain of child-birth, out came Cain. The world's first mother named her fifty pound baby, "Cain." What a good name! How many of you are named, "Cain?" Nobody. It was an ideal name she chose. We're told that Adam and Eve were much taller than we are today. Cain was probably about forty one inches long. Imagine a baby like that. A full head of red hair. Eve named him Cain because she thought he would be the Messiah that had been foretold. The name Cain means: "A Man: The Lord!" She thought he was the Lord, the Messiah, the Savior that was to come!

The first mother's day must have been a special one. Here she was admiring, holding this little baby, and thinking, "Here he is who will reverse everything that I have done. He's going to make it all right again, all this death that's happening, he's going to restore, and bring back life. He's going to reverse all this damage that I have started." How fitting that she who had messed up, would be given the privilege of bringing the one into the world who would right everything again. What a special mother's day that was! He would restore to humankind the life that she had taken away. But alas how wrong she was. Actually she had given birth to the world's first taker of human life.

Later, Abel was born. Imagine the grief that Eve had over the years. Yet as far as we know when we all get to heaven, Eve will be there. Because she was converted. Because even though Christ had was not born yet and did not grow in her womb, yet she had allowed Christ to dwell and grow in her heart. And that's how we can all be saved. We may not give birth to the Savior, but if the Savior is born in us, that's the important thing.

After Cain and Able grew up Eve witnessed human murder. I can tell you that it is hard to lose a loved one. I never knew what it was like until two weeks ago. It's very difficult, and you go through stages. If Eve went through anything like I'm going through, Eve undoubtedly thought "What If..." What if, maybe if I had just been there, I could have stopped it." Or, "What if I had been more observant. I would have seen how depressed Cain was and how angry he was. I could have talked with him. Or maybe somehow I could have stopped it, I've messed up here. What if I had prayed harder for Cain. What if... what if..." And you go through stages like that, I can tell you. But, alas, nothing could bring poor Able back. Nothing.

Many times Eve must have cried and wished she had acted differently in the Garden of Eden. Look at II Corinthians 11:3 where it talks about Eve. I imagine she regretted deeply what happened in the Garden of Eden and this brings out very clearly what did happen. Paul says, But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. So, today, we like Eve, must also be on our guard. The apostle, Paul, tells you this. "Be on your guard because Eve was deceived. That's what happened there in the Garden of Eden." Eve could not bring Able back.

With Able gone, what did Cain do? You cane read it in Genesis 4:16 and 17, here's what happened: Cain went out and started to build a city and he named this city after the descendants of Enoch, not the Enoch that you and I know. Here he was, building up the city, Enochville, establishing wickedness. Eve was overjoyed when her third born son came along and she named him, "Seth." And we are told that taller than Cain and Able (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 80 - EG White). Seth resembled Adam more closely than the other two than the other two ever had. He looked just like Adam. Seth, just like his parents inherited the fallen sinful nature of his parents. Seth received the same instruction and training that Cain had. But Seth turned out to be good. He carried on where Able was not been able to carry on.

But sin was spreading like AIDS, spreading fast like a computer virus. For almost a thousand years Adam tried to hold sin off. Adam was the first teacher and he taught all his children and most of his grandchildren. Maybe he was the first pastor, the first preacher. But it was a losing battle. Sin was taking over. And you understand, Adam and Eve were hated by most people. Every time they passed, they would think, "It's your fault. We could be in that Garden right now if it wasn't for you!" They hated Adam and Eve. Often times they were met with bitter words and cursed for the sin that they had brought upon everybody. And so their life was one of Sorrow. They were bowed down with anguish.

It seemed that most of their children became sinful. The power of sin is so great. Men used their great intellect to attain deeper and deeper levels of wickedness. Little children were about as intelligent as adults are in today. Imagine the wicked levels they reached. We use so little of our brains today. With minds so great, just imagine what depth of true knowledge of God they could have achieved! Visualize the Spiritual giants they could have become. Do we have spiritual giants today? Yes, we do. Imagine what they could have become.

Our first mother took her little children to church every Sabbath. Church was located just outside the gate of the Garden of Eden. As they sat for Adam's Sabbath sermon they could look inside the garden and see the eternal plants with their unfading leaves. They could see the lions and the lambs playing together. In the winter time it was cold where they sat, perhaps some of the warmth poured out of the garden gates. As they sat there in their outdoor church, all around them was dying. Leaves fell, snow blew, cold brought shivers. Mosquitoes bit them but they could look inside the perfect garden that was full of life where everything was wonderful and perfect and peaceful. The contrast was like a sermon itself. You would think with so much evidence it would have been easy to convince the world that God was real. Did they believe in God? Yes, they did. They all believed God existed, but almost all of them hated God. Why did they hate Him? Because He would not let them into the Garden of Eden.

Instead all the wicked could think about was their trouble and sweat and pain. Whenever the followers of Cain looked over at Eden they hated God because He would not allow them access any more to the good land. They thought God must be totally unfair to deny them entrance to the Garden of Eden. They despised God.

We only know of three of Eve's children although she must have had more. Whenever Eve attended a graduation or a wedding...in fact any crowd she found herself in, everybody there, they were all her children. How many she had we do not know. If Eve had a baby every 5 years during the first 500 years of her life they could have produced 8,000 grandchildren by the time she was six hundred years old. By the age of eight hundred she could have had 500,000 offspring. Half a million! It would have impossible for her to attend all the weddings, or, impossible for Adam, as the first minister to perform them all. Imagine all the baby showers. Imagine remembering the names of the grandchildren. Of course, she had a pretty good mind.

Most of our pictures of Eve show her as a young beautiful young woman. I wonder what she looked like at age one thousand? Well, you may say, "Maybe she didn't reach the age of one thousand." Well, we don't know. Most women outlive men by seven or eight percent and Adam lived to be 930, so Eve could have been the oldest human being to ever live. Imagine her birthday cake with a thousand candles on it. Antediluvian Smoke detectors going off! What a cake. What a party! What a mother! Eve, the world's very first mother. A poor snake handler but probably a very good mother. No wonder most mothers still hate snakes!

The evil that began in Paradise has extended clear down through the ages to the year 2000 AD. It exists today. Although Adam and Eve recapitulated with sorrow to their children the sad story of how Eden was lost and how it might be regained, their family became a divided family. They had the followers of Cain, and the representatives of Abel. Cain chose to serve Satan, Abel chose to serve God. Now, I think as modern mothers today, we need to realize that we're not perfect. Nobody here is perfect. If you're a perfect mother I'd like to meet you. It just doesn't happen. But we need to do our best. I want to challenge you mothers today to commune with God. Your children deserve the best mother they can have. Shame on you if you're not developing your spiritual powers to the utmost. We need mothers who are mothers of prayer. We need mothers who put God first in their life. The greatest want of the world today is for mothers, since they have the upper hand, since they have the most influence on us, we need mothers who know Jesus Christ. Who know their Bible. "My mother's old Bible is true..." Do you have an old bible? Is it all marked up? Have you read it over and over? I urge you to do that.

So, modern mother, even if you came fresh from the hand of the Creator, you are not perfect. Do your best. Commune with God as did Eve, on a daily basis. Be a Godly woman. Live what you want your children to become. Avoid the trash sex novels and afternoon TV soap affairs. Spend time with Jesus and with your family. Get on your knees.

Mothers are so special, so special. They work so hard. We love them so much. It is fitting that we honor them today on Mother's day weekend. Six year old Mary Jane was looking at the photograph album and found the pictures of her parent's wedding. Her father described the ceremony and tried to explain its meaning. Suddenly the light seemed to dawn on her. "OH!," Mary Jane exclaimed, "Is that when you got mother to come and work for us?!"

Look at Genesis 33. We're going to read a couple of verses. There's a little nugget found in here that I missed. (In Genesis 33:13-14) Jacob is making a statement here about children and animals. Remember, Jacob was fleeing from Esau. There's always problems between brother. It didn't stop with Cain and Abel. Genesis 33:13, 14 (KJV). And he said unto him, "My lord knoweth that the children are tender and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die. Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant and I will lead on softly according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir." Do you get the little bit about children here? It says the "children are tender" and because of that, how will I lead? "I will lead on softly." That's a little gem that I had missed. Children are tender, aren't they.

"Every daughter of Eve should be so educated that if called to fill the position of wife and mother, she may preside as a queen in her own domain." - Adventist Home, p. 88 (EG White) You can gently lead your tender little flock. Jesus will bless your efforts.

I believe that Eve will see Able again, and perhaps many her children in heaven. She'll see Seth if she gets to heaven. Will Eve be saved?

Come over here to I Timothy in your bible. This gives a strange thought of how Eve might be saved. I hadn't really thought about that until last night. I Timothy 2:13-15, For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. You know, I've seen that. I have seen a woman have a baby and suddenly they get to thinking, "You know, I haven't been going to church. Here's this little baby here. I'd better start taking this baby to church." And so the woman starts attending church. The man starts attending church. Have you seen that? That's how that works. It says, "Women will be saved through childbearing." That's an amazing statement

If Eve will be saved in Heaven she will be one of many who have sinned, but they are saved sinners, saved by the blood of the true Lamb of God Jesus! That is how we all gain entrance to heaven. Mothers: I appeal to you today to give your life unreservedly, totally, with nothing held back, to Jesus Christ every day. Give your hearts to Jesus, totally, daily, sincerely. Give your children to Jesus every day. Get on your knees and name them one by one to Jesus and your life will be different. We don't want to raise cain in our homes. We want to raise Christ-like children. If we have made some mistakes, let's pray to God for then conversion of our children. That can happen. Let's all join together and help our children on the way to heaven.

Happy Mothers Day!

Hymn of praise: #337, Redeemed
Scripture: Proverbs 31:27
Hymn of Response: #551, Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.

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