"Eve's Lament" | The Story Behind the Song

One thing I love to do when I write a song from scripture is to take an old, familiar story and try to see and feel it from a specific character’s perspective. "Eve's Lament" is the story of the fall in Genesis 3, written from Eve’s point of view. 

 Illustration by  Chris Koelle . Used with permission. Purchase  here .

Illustration by Chris Koelle. Used with permission. Purchase here.

Eve and Adam were surrounded by the beauty of God's creation, untainted by death and decay. Their relationship with God and with each other was perfect, unaffected by the poison of sin. And then a snake slithers into the picture, twisting the truth and playing on their pride.

 

I'm not sure about you, but whenever I see a snake on TV, I physically feel a creeping, eery sense of danger. So, as I wrote, I tried to include as much "serpentine" language as possible in the lyrics. The melody and instrumentation are also purposefully "creepy" and aching. My hope in this song is that the listener would not only intellectually understand the storyline of the fall, but would feel that prowling menace and the consequent ache.

 

Before we know it, Eve and Adam bite into the fruit. Ironically, that's when the serpent finally takes his figurative "first bite." The curse sinks irreversibly into human nature, like venom sinking into our veins. God banishes our first parents from the garden.

 

Can you imagine how Eve felt after being exiled from the garden? Can you imagine the finality of it all? Because this passage is so familiar and we know the end of the story, I think we are too quick to skip over the utter tragedy of this moment. My hope for this song is to sit in the ache and tragedy of the fall, in order to magnify the hope and beauty of Jesus's work on our behalf.

 

The chorus of this song focuses on the the lies that Eve and Adam fell for: “Why is God holding out on you? Don’t you want to live your own way? Is He enough? Can you trust Him?” 

 

When I look at the sin in my own life, I know that it is rooted in these same questions. A few years ago, I found myself literally shaking my fist at Him in anger saying, "This is not working for me! You are holding out on me. I deserve more." Satan had been prowling, whispering lies, hoping to devour and it all came out in a moment of pride and anger. In His mercy, God slowly opened my eyes to the lies I was believing, to my pride, and then gently brought me to a place of humility over the next several months. Although I think we struggle and fight against these lies on an everyday basis, I always look back at this moment and I'm struck with horror at my own pride. I feel a sadness that might scratch the surface of what Eve must have felt after she sinned against her Creator and was sent away from His presence. Although I wrote this song right before that episode, I think of it almost every time I sing this song. And yet, unlike Eve, I have a clear-sighted hope that does not leave me long in the throes of my own failure and shame.

 

Look closely at this passage and you'll see the hope of Jesus right in the middle of this tragic scene. In Genesis 3:15, God promises that One will come and crush the serpent’s head.

 

The song finishes up with a yearning cry: "O come and crush his head!" As the album progresses, the answer to that yearning comes more and more into focus. Jesus is the crucified Snake-crusher! Jesus’s very blood is our anti-venom. His resurrection cures us and raises our snakebitten souls from death to eternal life with Him! Jesus turns Eve’s lament into a joyful song: "He is here! He is here! Emmanuel, God draws near. At long last He has come!" (see "Emmanuel (Every Promise Yes in Him)".