To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children.” (Genesis 3:16a)
In the previous verses, God cursed the serpent for his role in the fall of man. But when it came to the woman, the Creator did not curse her but determined the consequence of her choices would be pain in childbirth. One translation renders the verse to say, “Much, much will I make your pain and travail.”
Therefore, in order for the Promised Seed to be brought forth, it meant suffering for the woman. The travail Eve was to experience would be soon realized with the birth of Cain and Abel. But her pain did not stop with the birth of these two boys; her pain would be compounded with the eventual murder of her righteous son at the hands of his brother. Centuries later, Mary, the woman who was chosen to bring forth the Messiah was told that a sword would pierce her soul on account of her son (Luke 2:35). Woman’s pain was, indeed, multiplied in bringing forth children to demonstrate to all of us that travail and suffering is required in order to bring about God’s purposes in the earth.
Revelation 12 states that the sun-clothed woman “cried out in labor and in pain to give birth” to the child who was to rule the nations with a rod of iron. On the road to Emmaus, the resurrected Messiah told two men that the Scriptures clearly revealed the Messiah had to suffer before entering into His glory. Messiah also stated that if we are to be his disciples, we must take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). There seems to be no way around it: suffering and travail is necessary if we are going to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
We should not lament this, however, because we know that, according to Paul, the suffering we endure in this life is “not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Let us then be resolved to endure what lays before us, knowing that, if we are faithful, He will give us “the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Blessings and Shalom,