Intersection Column | Walking with God in Story
by Jill Eileen Smith
When I was in my teens, I read the biblical novel Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. That story remains my favorite Christmas read. The book had a profound impact on the way I viewed the Bible. When I turned that final page, I realized that those people were real. Joseph, Mary, and of course, Jesus really existed, and the story had brought them to life for me in a way I’d never experienced. I fell in love with the Bible after that, and I write biblical fiction today in the hopes that my books will give readers that same experience. I hope they come away from one of my novels and realize that the people were real. And the Bible is a book worth reading.
This novel—Daughter of Eden—is unlike most stories because it spans a period in history before history began. It also includes the unseen world that was created before the earth, the animals and humans were made. The idea for the story was based on my desire to imagine what it might have been like to know God as Eve did. To live in a perfect place, be completely without fault, defect or sin, and still choose to disobey God gave me much to ponder. What led to her choice? How did she feel after she ate the fruit? How did they survive out of Eden?
When I read about people in Scripture, I often imagine what their life might have been like. Eve’s story fascinated me, perhaps because she had the privilege of experiencing a taste of heaven and then threw it away. (As did Adam.) I think their story shows us how very much we’ve lost, and yet how deeply God loves each one of us still.
How did writing the novel change me? As I studied Eve’s life, I referred back to a timeline I had made of Adam’s long life in comparison to his descendants. I discovered that Adam would have still been alive when Noah’s father was born!
Adam would have been about 622 years old when Enoch was born. And since it is possible that Eve was also still alive then, I included Enoch’s story into Eve’s greater tale. To imagine how Eve felt when she was cast from the Garden until the time when Enoch was taken to heaven was challenging to write but a joy to imagine. I imagine Eve had a connection and kinship with Enoch because of her own longing for Adonai Elohim. She had the privilege of walking with God face to face, so the memories of Him would not have left her.
I hope people who read Daughter of Eden will have a better understanding of the God of the Bible as our Creator. Though there is no definitive evidence to support the idea that life “just happened,” as it has never been replicated by anyone on earth, the ideology of no Creator is entrenched throughout society. If there is a Creator who made us, then we might have to answer to Him for our choices that are often against Him. So to believe in Him and obey Him can be quite inconvenient if we want to live life our own way.
I purposely included the whole of Creation, from created angels and other unseen powers, to the universe and the earth, to remind us that we are not here by accident. God stepped down, to walk upon the earth He had created, and fashioned the first humans from dust and rib. He walked with them every day until they broke His trust.
Even then, He made a way for a future day when He could walk with us again. God didn’t create the world because He was bored and needed something to do. He also didn’t make humanity in His image for no purpose. He created us because He wanted to. He wants us. And He’s gone to great lengths to keep us from forever being lost to our own deceptive ways, and the deception of the evil unseen realm that would love to see our destruction.
I hope readers see Jesus in Eve’s story, for He is the Redeemer God promised to Adam and Eve from the very first sin. All of Scripture points to Jesus and a redeemed humanity to live in a restored Eden one day.
About the Author
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as The Heart of a King, Star of Persia: Esther’s Story, Miriam’s Song and The Prince and the Prodigal. She is also the author of the nonfiction books When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams and She Walked Before Us. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.
About the Book
The first time she opens her eyes, Eve gazes on One whose beauty nearly blinds her, whose breath is in her lungs. Her Creator takes her hand and gives her to one like her and yet different. Together, she and Adam experience pure joy as they explore Eden. But her favorite moments are when the Creator comes to walk with them, day after day. Until everything changes. With one act of disobedience, she must face the unknown future. How will they ever survive out of Eden?
Did You Know?
Every nine seconds, a woman in America is physically abused. It is estimated that one in four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime, even Christian women. Here are some helpful insights to identify and address domestic violence.
Abusers often appear to be charming to those outside the family, but are jealous, manipulative, controlling and can be verbally and/or physically violent in private. Women can also be abusive. This is not exclusively a male problem. Abusers are dangerous.
Getting out of the reach of the abuser is an important first step toward safety. This may mean a permanent physical separation from the abuser. That is often necessary if a woman wants freedom from abuse. Financial dependence often keeps women from leaving.
Getting the words and actions of an abuser out of one’s head may take years. But with proper counseling and support, victims can find freedom and victory to break the cycle of abuse and keep it from touching or harming others.
God does not approve of abuse, either physical or mental, but it won’t stop without intervention. The National Domestic Hotline provides safety tips. Their number is 800-799-SAFE (7233).
-Sheri Schofield, Before You Find Me
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I enjoy browsing in my local Christian bookstore, because 9 times out of 10, I meet up with someone I haven't seen in a while. It's a delightful surprise, and then we talk about what we are looking for, which often leads to another purchase that was recommended by a trusted friend!”
-Doreen Hanna, Raising a Modern Day Princess