Death shadows her face, her mouth caverns anguish. Its silent howl echoes down, down through millennia: the agony of the ages. Palpable in the painting. Ever throbbing on earth.
One “mistake.” Our own wisdom, instead of His. Our own godhood*…
Deceived and broken, ruined forever.
Or…(could it be?)…
Maybe not forever? Because…
Because there was that promise—
about her “seed”—
that he would crush the deceiver’s head.*
In her seed, her offspring, lies the promise. He said that. And now, later, here in her arms lies this baby, warm fruit of her own body, born in pain and sorrow, just as He said.*
She names him Cain (Acquired). And hopes. Hopes she’s achieved it. And says, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.”
Child of hope?
Child of disappointment!
She conceives and bears a second son. Abel. A a more hopeful son?
Cut off by death!*
Pain cutting off aspiration like a knife! Pain worse on her heart than that hard wounding that laid Abel dead, the second son.
One son, cut off in exile, promise cut off. Second son, possibility of promise, buried lifeless under cursed ground. Anguish upon anguish!
Yet out of the anguish, out of the slaughtered dreams, after a hundred years pass by (Gen 5:3)… yet another son. And praise to God: this time, full credit’s given where it’s due.
The first time: “I have acquired…”
Now: “God has appointed another son for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.”*
“God has given…”
Yes, unto her a child is born, a son is given, and for all she knows, he could be it, after all the disappointment…
More time… Years. Hundreds of them.
But no. Seth was not that son of promise, either. He, like her, lives and dies, and that is all.
There came more years, hundreds more. And the howl for hope wailed through them all, and beyond—into dim and dark millennia so long that people lost Eve’s hope and spoke their searing cynicism: “Where is the promise of His coming?”
Then suddenly, amid times unpromising, it happened! The Child of Promise did arrive!
Eve sought hope in a baby’s birth. Wrong baby—once, twice, thrice. But not wrong hope. Hope rang down through the ages, in remnant believing hearts, right up till His appearing, that true Child of hope—His first appearing, as an infant.
Hope waits again, for His second coming, as the white-horse-riding deliverer…*
Two thousand years have passed since His first advent, since He said He would return,* and there are those who say, “Where is the promise of His coming…?”*
Hold hard to Eve’s hope.
*[To read, hover your cursor:
Gen 2:16-17; 3:1-7,13-19,22-24; 4:1-2,8-12,16,25;
2 Pet 3:2-4;
*****I have decided, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, to search for prophecies and foreshadowings of the Christ child, book by book. I plan to post (nearly) each weekday (leaving myself some margin) a short peek at some hint or promise of the coming baby who would make all the difference. Like the wise men, I’ll be Seeking the Christ Child, but in the Old Testament, and sharing what I find. I hope you’ll join me, because if it turns out as rewarding as the past spring’s pre-Easter explorations, this focus could help make this one of the richest, most blessed Christmas seasons yet!
Naming gifts with Ann VosKamp (having lost count long ago!)…
~The gift of the Christ child, Who came to die on that cross for the sins of such as Eve and I.
~That blessed hope of His return, when He will make all well and right and joyous.
~The Bible’s prophecies of His coming, making the word of its reality more sure.
~The stack of different Bibles I can pick up any time, freely, and consult.
~The shelf of reference tools to help.
~Quiet early morning hours, like today’s, to sit and read these things, and contemplate…