So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
In the last post we learned about three of the consequences of sin: self centeredness, separation from God, and the blaming of others. Adam and Eve attempted to hide from God after their sin. Of course that didn’t change anything. You can’t hide from God. (Jeremiah 23:24, Psalm 139:7-12, Isaiah 29:15-16, Amos 9:2) Unfortunately, those three consequences were just the beginning of the repercussions that resulted from the sin in the garden. In fact the very next verse after where we left off ends with God saying, “Because you have done this…” (v. 14) Additional consequences include…
“Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” (v. 14) In the beginning, the serpent wasn’t limited to slithering. In the beginning, the serpent didn’t have to eat dust every day. In the beginning, the serpent didn’t look like a snake. In Matthew 18:6 Jesus said that, “…if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” The serpent caused God’s original children to sin, and he paid dearly. Even in the millennium described in Isaiah chapter 65, after the world is restored to a Garden of Eden like condition, the serpent will continue to eat dust. (Isaiah 65) Sin is debilitating. Sin changes the way we walk. When we sin, rather than walking uprightly, we crawl around. Afflicted by sin we slither, snake, sneak, and squirm. We worm, wriggle, and writhe our way. Sin changes the way you move through life.
“Because you have done this,” (v. 14) “…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (v. 15) Sin causes enmity. The most common casualty of sin is a relationship, between a husband and wife, between friends, between family. This verse also speaks of the struggle that would ensue from this point forward between good and evil. Most importantly this verse refers to Eve’s seed. This is a rather curious reference because women of course don’t have any seed, women receive seed from men. Normally when God refers to seed in the Bible He’s talking about the seed of a man. Of course every woman needs the seed of a man to conceive a child. Every woman except one, Mary, the one, the only one, who miraculously conceived without the seed of a man. This verse is a prophetic verse that speaks of Jesus’ glory and victory. Mary’s seed would ultimately have victory over that evil one. Mary’s seed did ultimately crush the head of Satan when Jesus defeated Satan on the cross.
“Because you have done this,” (v. 14) “…I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (v. 16) As a result of Eve’s sin, birth, the very act that brings joy into our lives, and the very act that continues the human family can now only come with pain. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Sin causes pain — the pain of regret, the pain of guilt, the pain of shame. Things God never intended to cause pain, things God intended to be nothing but a blessing are broken by sin.
“Because you have done this,” (v. 14) “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. (v. 17) First of all this is a great reminder that as men, it can be so easy sometimes to listen to our wives, other family, or friends, to go along to get along, even when we should really be listening to God. Before we listen to our wives, before we listen to anyone, we need to listen to God and put His word first. Also notice that Adam’s work changed at this point. In the Garden of Eden he was blessed with the work of tending a garden that responded to his touch in ways that we can only imagine. But as a result of his sin Adam had to, and you and I have to, earn our way through painful toil. Because of the fallen state of the world, everyone now must deal with thorns and thistles in their work life. (v. 18)
“Because you have done this,” (v. 14) “…dust you are and to dust you will return.” (v. 19) And there it is, Satan was wrong after all, Adam and Eve and the rest of the human race would from that point forward return to dust. As God said in Genesis 2:17, “…you will surely die.” (see previous post You will surely die) But even before their physical death, Adam and Eve experienced spiritual death the moment they sinned against God. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, when the son repents and returns to the Father, the Father says in Luke 15:24, For this son of mine was dead and is alive again. When we sin, from God’s perspective, we experience a spiritual death. And no one’s perspective is more important than God’s. Of course sin also causes the death of relationships — the death of a marriage, the death of a family relationship, or the death of a friendship.
For the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23)
The mess sin makes in the end. Self-centeredness, separation from God Himself, blaming behavior, affliction, enmity, pain, toil, and ultimately, death result every time — spiritual death and the death of relationships. Sin isn’t bad because it’s forbidden. Sin is forbidden because it’s bad. It’s bad for you and it’s bad for me. Because God loves us He has identified for us what sin is and He forbids us to engage in it. God forbids it because He is for you. And he wants to save you from its destructive power against you.
And He doesn’t stop there. Even beyond His efforts to keep us from sin, God loves you so much that He’s provided a way for you to reconcile yourself to Him in spite of your sin. Did you know that the only place in the entire Bible where God is seen running is in the parable of the Prodigal Son? In Luke 15:20 Jesus said, “…while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Perhaps you’ve recently decided to change your life but you’re still “a long way off.” God earnestly desires reconciliation with you. He’s given His only Son as a sacrifice for every sin you and I have ever committed, are committing, or will ever commit.
Accept Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for your sins. Go to this link: So Your Life Is Falling Apart.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Newly released book by Kurt Bennett, now available on Amazon!
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.