Thursday, July 7, 2011

From Blessing to Curse: Genesis Chapter 3

Genesis 3:9-19 (NKJV)
3:9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." 11 And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" 12 Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." 13 And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." 16 To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." 17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
This is an interesting passage of scripture.  In the Garden of Eden God gave mankind everything he needed for life.  There was great care taken to provide for our every need.  Think about this.  He met our physical needs:  He gave man a place to live.  He gave food. 
Genesis 2:16-17 (NKJV) 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
He met our spiritual needs:  He walked with Adam in the cool of the Garden. 
Genesis 3:8a (NKJV) 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
He met psychological needs:  He gave Adam a job, giving his life meaning and purpose. 
Genesis 2:15 (NKJV) 2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
He set limits, providing security. 
Genesis 2: 17 (NKJV)
2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
He met our Emotional needs:  He gave us each other.
Genesis 2:22 (NKJV) 2:22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
 But we violated that and we sinned.  God was forced to deal with us.  This is as much of a provision of God as anything else.  God is providing discipline, chastening to those He loves, in the same way a father provides that to his children. So there is punishment given out to them.  But what is interesting is the curses God uses on each of them.
To Adam he is cursed in the area of work.

Genesis 3:17-18
17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."
The task given to him by God is that he would tend and keep the garden.  He would work at the soil, causing things to grow, maintaining those things.  But after sin that work would become a burden, a labor, a curse.

To Eve, he caused pain in childbirth.

Genesis 3:16
16 To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you
Eve’s purpose was to be the mother of all.  That’s what her name means literally.  That purpose was now a curse. 
So the things that were given to Adam and Eve that gave their lives meaning and purpose were now a curse to them.  What was meant to be blessing became the curse.  Because of sin those things that gave their lives meaning were made a curse.  How often is this true in the world today?  How often do people curse the things that give real meaning to their lives?
Look at the world: 
Men and women fornicating and living together rather than marrying 
Young women getting pregnant and aborting the child in the name of convenience
Women murdering their children
Teachers seducing their students 
The list goes on
Marriage and raising children, these are the most important things in life.  These are the relationships that give life meaning.  But they are treated as a curse in this sinned-drenched world.  The only way to escape this curse is to return to the innocence of the Garden:  To return to the time before the sin.
But how can we do that?  It’s called being born again.  We can once more enter into the grace and provision of a loving God, through repentance.  Turning away from the sin and back to him.  Changing our mind about the life we’ve been living and deciding to live for God’s will.  In that moment we are once more accepted back into the Garden of Eden. 

Stream of Thought:

  1. God met all of our needs in the Garden of Eden.
  2. God gave our lives meaning and purpose.
  3. We destroyed the will of God for our lives through sin.
  4. God chastened us as a loving father would chasten his children.
  5. The things meant to give our lives purpose became a curse.
  6. We continue in that curse to this day.
  7. We can return to the Garden, through repentance.

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