Adam to Ahab to Homer Simpson

I believe that most major doctrines in the Bible can be traced back to Genesis. I say “most” because I am not prepared to say “all” but if I were a gambler, I would say that the over/under on this matter would be that all major themes in the Bible can be traced to Genesis, at least to identify the root of the teaching. It may not be completely explained, but the concepts are all there. Largely because God’s word is both true and timeless. It is not limited to a particular epoch. It reveals objective truth about the human condition that has been true from the beginning and will remain true until the consummation of all things.

I have been pondering a trend in the way men and women find themselves drawn in one direction or another, and the trend began with an Ahab/Jezebel distinction. As I fleshed out the ideas, Adam and Eve quickly became an obvious example. And with those in mind, modern day characters sprang from the television screens. Men must work to overcome their predisposition toward lethargy and women must work to overcome their predisposition toward dominance. The attitudes of either are not, in themselves, sinful, but they lead us into sin at a staggering rate.

I only say they are not sinful because they were present in the Garden before Adam and Eve ate from the fruit. These are in the category of temptations, but not sins until carried out. If this category is unavailable, then Jesus couldn’t have truly been tempted.

Genesis 3 is the first stop on this overview. You will recall that God gave Adam instructions prior to Eve’s arrival. When approached by the serpent, Eve quoted the instructions as she understood them. I take this to be the instructions as Adam conveyed them, adding to the Law of God. Regardless, Adam was the head, yet Satan approached Eve first, because of course he would. Rather than defer to Adam, Eve spoke directly to Satan. Yes, Eve became the matriarch of all feminists for all times.

 Genesis 3:4-5 
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Once Eve had revealed that the Law of God had been added to, Satan knew he was in. And his first temptation was to tell Eve to distrust what God had said, even ignoring the “not touching the fruit” angle that she had included. Satan told her that God wanted to keep her out of the loop, but if she ate of that fruit she would be like God.

Do not underestimate that temptation. Eve was told that she would be like God, meaning that she would be able to live in autonomy apart from God. She would be her own woman and would do it her way, to bring up Frank Sinatra, as well as every feminist influencer out there.

Eve is not the only human ever to be tempted with the appealing thought of being like God. We all want to take the role of God. That is instilled in us from our first parents. It is God who opens and closes the womb, yet we want to fund IVF treatments that are little more than eugenic concepts that kill far more children than are born, and weeds out those children who are seemingly more likely to be less desirable. It is God who has made us male and female, but we seek to redefine ourselves after the demons who hate the very imago dei within us. All of humanity is called upon to mirror Christ and His church through marriage between one man and one woman, but we crave our no-fault divorce “freedom” to define our own relations, even the ones that are capable of procreation. The temptation to take the place of God has been there from the start.

And what does it mean to take the place of God? It is to become Anti-God. Doesn’t ring a bell? How about Antichrist? Antichrist is anyone who denies that Jesus came in the flesh. It is also the spirit within us all to assume the rightful place of Christ. It is to be LIKE GOD and become the master of your own domain. Yes, that is a Seinfeld reference. Becoming like God is a recurring theme throughout human history.

Genesis 3:6-7
 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

The woman had been brought in to be a helper for her husband in his role to keep the garden and to expand the glory of God throughout the planet. She would help him manually and also help him by bringing forth more men and women who would also be worshipers of YHWH and who would assist in the project of expanding God’s glory. Instead, she looked for herself at that forbidden fruit and decided for herself that it would be fine for her to eat of it. At that moment, Eve assumed the leadership role in the first family.

Here is where we see the proto-Ahab

Adam had been standing there the whole time! Adam had been standing there, observing the interaction between the serpent and his wife. At any point, he had the duty to step between them and to expel the serpent from the garden. But instead he allowed his wife to be confused. Adam allowed it like a spineless squish, allowing his wife to lead the family into ruin!

It sounds like I am blaming Eve here, but I’m really not. God placed Adam in the leadership role. The buck must stop with him. If Eve was led astray, that was only because Adam allowed it by abandoning his role as leader, and likely by adding to the word of God before that.

Fast forward to Ahab and Jezebel, Ahab was king of the Northern tribes and Jezebel was his wicked wife. Jezebel killed the prophets of God and encouraged debauchery and idolatry among the people. Ahab didn’t really do much, being content to let his wife run the show. Ahab was just the window dressing, the man on the throne who went along with the ideas that his wife came up with.

Ahab died a coward’s death (2 Chronicles 18) and Jezebel died a gruesome death after seeking to entice the next man on the throne with her harlot beauty (2 Kings 9). Ahab had been the king and was responsible for all that transpired under his watch, but Jezebel had used her husband’s position to further her own aims and would have used the next king as her puppet if she could have.

Back to Genesis 3

Genesis 3:16 
To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
    but he shall rule over you.”

The desire of a woman to act according to her own desires and not according to the instruction of her husband is a part of the curse. The husband will have the final say in matters, but the woman will be predisposed to take his role and bend it to her will. A pattern of weak men and strong women is found here and there in the Bible and it never results in a good outcome. That pattern, though, is where this plane lands. For that has been the pattern of our storytelling for most of my life.

Once upon a time, we were a people that valued strong men. The kind of men who could travel across unexplored places and return with news of what it is like and how to get there. The kind of men who were willing to sacrifice everything so that their progeny might have a chance at freedom. The kind of men who get things done. Under the radar was the women, demanding their “rightful” role in decision making, changing the electoral dynamic from one vote per household to one vote per legal adult. Logically, no-fault divorce followed as did abortion on demand.

And now we are a culture that celebrates weak men, when they choose to acknowledge the differences between men and women. You see it everywhere you look in the media, and it is nothing new. Al Bundy of “Married With Children” is one such example of a man who is failing to experience a life of meaning. Homer Simpson is another example of a man whose god is his own belly and whose mind is set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19) More often than not, the media portrays strong men as tyrants who only seek out women for their own lusts while celebrating the weak men as the ideal, men who must only be patted on the head while the woman rules the family.

The spirit of Jezebel and Ahab are in abundance, and every Christian must resist the urges to follow their lead. Men, lead your families and do not be afraid to lovingly remind your wives of their roles. Do not exclude them from decision making, but do lead those conversations. Women, submit to your husbands as they submit to Christ. My instructions here are not intended to be comprehensive. Read your bibles and pray that God would reveal to you places where you can improve.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Pastors, do not preach about the faithfulness of mothers one week, then a month or so later preach about the weakness of fathers. That undermines the family and places dereliction in your ministry. Are there sins more common to women? Do the women in your church deserve to be discipled? And if you choose to go with the flow, might that be because you are, deep down, afraid of the women in your church? Why might that be?

And when Father’s Day comes around, do not just speak about how the men don’t measure up and for the love of God do not suggest the men put up their feet and take a nap on “their day.” Far better to prepare a week before projects where that dad can engage with their families. Maybe a simple project that he can do with his children. Maybe an outing of his choosing with his family to show them a favorite spot. Just make it anything other than a caressing of his predisposed comfort and non-confrontational demeanor that Adam succumbed to and that Ahab preferred. In a world filled with Ahabs and Jezebels, let us be a church that looks to Christ and Him Crucified as we swim upstream against culture.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
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Published by CoffeeSwirls

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