To the woman He said: "I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
I. THE DOOM OF DEGRADATION (ver. 14).
II. THE DOOM OF HOSTILITY (ver. 15). Three stages: -
1. The enmity.
2. The conflict.
3. The victory. Lessons: -
1. See the wondrous mercy of God in proclaiming from the first day of sin, and putting into the forefront, a purpose of salvation.
2. Have we recognized it to the overcoming of the devil? - W.
Genesis 2:24), but the wife cleaving to the husband, and the husband ruling over the wife. Such are the sad results of sin!
I. ALL THE AFFLICTIONS OF CHRIST'S MEMBERS ARE DISPENSED UNTO THEM UNDER THE COVENANT OF GRACE.
In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.I. IN MATERNITY A WOMAN COMPLETES HER NATURE. Every sorrow of body or soul is made into a new thread in the web of affection which she weaves round the life of the child for whom she suffers.
II. SHE HAS ANOTHER BLESSING IN A CERTAIN EASE IN LOSING SELF. Men find it less natural to be unselfish. The mother almost spontaneously drops off the robe of self.
III. HER SORROW OF MATERNITY BRINGS A BLESSING TO THE WORLD. What silent, forceful lessons of the blessed life has motherhood given to the world!
IV. THIS SORROW HAS BEEN AN EDUCATION TO THE WORLD. The great thought of Christianity is that only through sacrifice of self can life be given to others, or life be realized by the giver. Motherhood permits woman to live her life in another life. It is the likest thing to God's life.
V. THE SORROW OF MATERNITY IS A PROPHECY. Her joy in self-surrender for another life, and her better life so won is the joy in which the whole world shall he when, leaping from the womb of the past, it will break into the perfect life — born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.
(Stopford A. Brooke, M. A.)
II. THOUGH GOD HAVE THROUGH CHRIST REMITTED TO HIS CHILDREN THE SENTENCE OF DEATH, YET HE HATH NOT FREED THEM FROM THE AFFLICTIONS OF THIS LIFE.
III. ALL THE AFFLICTIONS THAT GOD LAYS UPON HIS CHILDREN IN THIS LIFE HAVE MIXED WITH THEIR BITTERNESS SOME SWEETNESS OF MERCY. As there is some mixture of mercy with the bitterness of the afflictions of this life, so is there a mixture of bitterness with the blessings of this life. It is the wife's duty to be subject to the will and direction of her husband. The subjection of the wife to the husband must be, not only in outward obedience to his commands, but besides in the inward affection of the heart.
1. It is a duty to be performed to God, who will be served, not only with the outward man, but with the heart (Colossians 3:22, 23).
2. Else the subjection must needs be burdensome, and the services done therein like that of Zipporah in circumcising her child (Exodus 4:25).
(J. White, M. A.)
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
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