Satan’s Attack on Women
Something happened in the Garden of Eden that defined the battlefront of the continuing war between good and evil. What is the battlefront? The woman and her children. They became Satan’s primary targets, which prompted God to set up a safety net.
After Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, the Father and the Son appeared to halt Satan in his diabolical scheme to lead the man and the woman to the Tree of Life. Had this first couple partaken of that fruit, they would have lived forever in their sins and become subject to the devil forever, and because God had decreed that they would die, He would have become a liar and ceased to be God.[i] Satan is forever trying to destroy us and wrest the kingdom from God.
The Father foresaw this crisis and made immediate provision to thwart Satan’s designs and corral him into a limited space. Notice the Father’s language as He rebukes Satan: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed.”[ii]
We note with interest that Adam is not mentioned here. The woman and her children are the Father’s concern, suggesting that He has anticipated the object of Satan’s attack.
Satan had previously leveled an assault on the woman. When she was separated from her husband (never a good idea for any couple), the devil beguiled her to partake of the forbidden fruit. Of course, we are told in the record that Satan “knew not the mind of the Lord” or how this event would work to divine purposes. Nevertheless, Satan’s plan was to “destroy the world”[iii] by first destroying the woman; his intention was to make her life miserable by waging an all-out war on her and her children. Gratefully, the Father stepped in and placed enmity between the woman, her seed and the devil.
Then the Father set up boundaries for the enmity. Although Satan would be permitted to bruise Eve’s children, a Child would emerge from her seed that would bruise and conquer the devil.[iv] That Child, of course, was Jesus Christ.
Satan knew something that we should understand: If he could defeat the woman and remove her out of her place, he could win the war; but if he left her alone, he was doomed. Why? Because she had the power to bring forth the promised Child along with other righteous children to crush his head.[v] Therefore, Satan took direct aim at the woman to make her as miserable as possible. He strategy was twofold: attack her head-on and attack her through her children.
John the Revelator understood the battlefront of the war, and, borrowing the woman-child metaphor, he described a horrific war that would be wrought with “bruising” and would culminate with the complete overthrow of Satan. Personalizing the scripture from the Church to the woman, we read how John portrays the battle waged on sisters and their children and how God protects them.
Her safety net of the Priesthood--her husband, her family, and the community of Priesthood in her ward—are charged to shoulder the responsibility of watching over the woman and her children. Indeed, we are told that the gospel in its purity makes specific requirement to care for the woman and her children who are under attack from Satan: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”[x]