The serpent enticed Chavah by predicting beneficial outcomes. “Your eyes will be opened… The fruit will awaken a new desire and appreciation for the pleasures around you. It will be a source of intellectual benefit.”
Chavah longed for this new knowledge and exciting awakening, and she ate the forbidden fruit. She then used her persuasive powers to convince her husband to eat it as well.
Chavah’s downfall began when she expanded upon and distorted G-d’s command, which she did not personally hear.
“Woman and the Forbidden Fruit”
Beginning the Returning to the Tent of David series
This depiction of Chavah (Eve) and her interaction with the serpent casts her in a more favorable light than we typically see her by in Christianity. Rather than being disobedient and rebellious, she is either a bold explorer of new knowledge, or an innocent dupe of the serpent who physically pushed her in to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and after all, it’s not her fault because God did not tell Chavah directly not to touch the tree or to eat from it.
Chavah added the prohibition of touching the Tree of Knowledge. The serpent then forcibly pushed Chavah against the tree, and victoriously claimed, “See, just as death did not ensue from touching, so it will not follow from eating.”
In this way, the serpent introduced doubt into Chavah’s mind. It now became easier to dare Chavah to taste the forbidden fruit. He convinced her that G-d did not actually intend to kill her and Adam, but merely threatened them to intimidate them.
I know, I know. The Torah reading for Beresheet (Genesis) is behind us. Why do I continue to write about it now? Shouldn’t I be preparing my commentary on Noah? Be patient. There’s a reason.
That’s my ministry in a nutshell; it’s a not-so-interesting and rather Baptist-intensive story. I am eternally grateful for my family and for my Baptist heritage. God has used both to lead me to commit my life to Christ, to follow him with my life and to serve him through the church. However, the past eighteen months have opened up for me a more complete picture of who I am and where I came from. Through a series of circumstances, curiosity, and new friendships, I am being exposed to my Jewish roots. I have no doubt that all of these circumstances and friendships, and even my own curiosity that opened me up to the Jewish roots movement, are all God-ordained.
Senior Pastor at Marshfield First Baptist
From the Foreword (pg 10) of Boaz Michael’s book
Tent of David: Healing the Vision of the Messianic Gentile
You may think it’s terrifically unfair of me to compare Chavah’s situation to Pastor Kicker’s. I’m not really, but it occurs to me that, at least in midrash, we all have something in common with the wife of the first man. When exposed to be brand-new world with seemingly endless possibilities, we want to explore. However, like Chavah, we may also have reservations, since some of the things that we are tempted to explore may not be what God wants us to investigate, even when we get a “helpful” shove.
God has used Boaz Michael and the ministry of First Fruits of Zion to impact my life in a profound way in a very short amount of time. It is my great honor and privilege to call Boaz my friend. His passion and love for Messiah and his gentle spirit have struck a chord in our church family which has served to open many of our people to our Jewish roots, God’s everlasting covenants with his people, and our place as Gentiles in God’s family through our Jewish Messiah.
Boaz’s desire is that this kind of loving impact will be repeated over and over again in church after church. I join with Boaz in saying, the church needs you! The church is good, yet the church needs to change. Each individual who comes to know our Jewish Messiah in his Jewish context can play a part in lovingly and patiently helping brothers and sisters in Messiah come to know him in this way as well.
-Kicker, pg 12
I reviewed Boaz’s book about nine months ago in several blog posts, the two most notable being Return of the Christian and Returning to Faith. I had read an advanced copy of the book months previously, and it was instrumental in overcoming my inertia and inspiring my own return to a local church.
And now it’s been nearly a year later. The progression through the Jewish holiday season and the beginning of a new Torah cycle seem a very good time to review my own “Tent of David” experience and to see how things actually have ended up (not that anything has really ended yet).
Pastor Kicker seems enthusiastic about pursuing the vision of the “Messianic Gentile” in the church by way of his friendship with Boaz but of course, he’s been in the church for quite some time and as Pastor, he is a fully integrated unit within that cultural, social, and theological construct. In other words, he “fits.” Boaz’s book speaks of “Healing the Vision of the Messianic Gentile.” For me as a recent “returnee,” what has been healed, if anything?
My perception of Boaz’s book (I can’t speak directly to his intent, nor would I ever try…this is my own opinion) is that there are two kinds of healing going on, at least in theory.
There’s the healing of the “Messianic Gentile,” the Christian (non-Jewish disciple of Jesus Christ) who often has left the church because of some emotional or spiritual injury or hurt (real or perceived) caused somehow by the Christian church or some of its members. Many people in Hebrew or Jewish roots congregations believe they have sought refuge in a “safe place” outside of “the Church” and continue to view church and people who identify as Christians as adversaries. Finding a mechanism to have the Hebrew/Jewish roots Gentile return to church in a safe manner and to share who they are with their fellow Christians certainly opens the avenue for healing between the parties involved.
Then there’s the more historic healing between the traditional church of Jesus Christ and the historic and Biblical Jewish Jesus and the Jewish and Gentile body of Messiah. A great deal of damage has been done to Jewish and Christian hearts, and that has sustained the separate trajectories believing Gentiles and the Jewish community (including Messianic Jews) have been traveling for twenty centuries.
A non-Jewish believer possessing a Hebraic view and even a passion for the “Jewishness” of Jesus, and one willing to communicate that with his or her Christian counterparts in a church community could facilitate a great deal of healing, ultimately between Christianity and Judaism. Certainly, great strides have already been made in this area between some churches and various expressions of Messianic Judaism, although a lot of work still needs to be done.
But what about me and what I’m doing in the small church I attend? I’d like to completely re-read Boaz’s book before venturing to answer that question in full, but I did want to keep my promise and at least introduce the journey I’m taking in returning to the Tent of David and Boaz’s vision of the healing of Christian and Jewish communities. His book speaks on a larger scope by necessity, but nearly a year down the road, how has Boaz’s vision worked “on the ground,” so to speak. I can only lend my own single, small voice and my individual experience. As this series progresses, I’ll share my insights with you. Perhaps you will return the favor.