There are countless places in the Bible that will comfort Christians in their trials or encourage them in their obedience through reflection on the things that are to come. Perhaps it is too common (and unhelpful) to reduce these things, the study of which is called eschatology, to “that hard-to-understand stuff at the end of the Bible.” Rather, I would like to suggest that eschatology is not simply that with which the Bible ends; it is also that with which the Bible begins, and that knowing our eschatology is extremely comforting.
Let us begin with Eve. Among the women we honor in the Bible, Eve is not considered often enough, either for the weight of her afflictions or for the means by which God comforts her. Eve’s story is one of the most broken stories in the Bible. She comes into the world in innocence. Lovely and loveable, she is formed to bless and please the man from whose side she was taken. Yet she is left physically and spiritually unprotected in the garden by her husband, who then blames her for his faults. She experiences the most violent rupture of human history—the fall. Having once basked in the light of innocence, she now withdraws into the darkness of sin, shame, and loneliness. Eve is the beginning of a long line of broken-hearted women.