I am back at the beginning. Reading about the beginning of all beginnings.
The beginning of history and Creation:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:1
The beginning of man:
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” ~ Genesis 1:26-27
The beginning of marriage:
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” ~ Genesis 2:21-25
The beginning of temptation and lies:
“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ~ Genesis 3:4
The beginning of sin:
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” ~ Genesis 3:6-7 (Note, per Bible teacher Gayle Erwin: fig leaves were a terrible choice – they are miserably itchy and scratchy!)
The beginning of broken fellowship with God:
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” ~ Genesis 3:8
The beginning of blaming everyone else for our own actions:
“Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ ” ~ Genesis 3:12
The beginning of death and of animal sacrifices to pay for our sins:
“Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” ~ Genesis 3:21
And the beginning of the curse:
“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. 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.’ 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.’ 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. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 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.’ ” ~ Genesis 3:14-19
No matter how many times I read through the book of Genesis, God always teaches me something as I study. I noted several things about the curse.
First of all, the serpent, Satan, and the ground are directly cursed. Creation is cursed because of sin, and death entered the picture that day, but God did not specifically say to Adam and Eve that He was cursing them. I take comfort in that.
Yes, we suffer because of sin in this world. We are dying because of sin, physically and spiritually (without Jesus). The consequences declared by God are severe and painful. The earth and our toil are cursed. And there are lots of passages in Scripture that outline ways we can bring a curse upon ourselves by our own sinful actions. But you and I are made in God’s image, wholly loved and richly blessed. It is our sin that is cursed, not our own selves. And when we accept Jesus as Saviour, we escape sin’s curse!
Next, don’t overlook that God immediately promised a Redeemer, a way to pay the death penalty that sin instantly brought upon us all. “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Jesus was promised! Satan will have temporary victories, but Jesus will bruise his head, delivering a fatal blow. When Jesus died for all sin, and then rose again from the dead, His power over sin and death freed us. Through faith in Jesus, by God’s grace ~ His unearned, undeserved mercy and love and kindness and forgiveness ~ we can have eternal life and be freed of sin’s curse of spiritual death.
This last thing deals with the sentence passed upon Eve. Notice that there isn’t just pain in childbirth, but there is sorrow. This sorrow clings to all aspects of life, but especially motherhood. I like how Matthew Henry put it:
“She is here put into a state of sorrow, one particular of which only is specified, that in bringing forth children; but it includes all those impressions of grief and fear which the mind of that tender sex is most apt to receive, and all the common calamities which they are liable to. Note, Sin brought sorrow into the world; it was this that made the world a vale of tears, brought showers of trouble upon our heads, and opened springs of sorrows in our hearts, and so deluged the world: had we known no guilt, we should have known no grief. The pains of child-bearing, which are great to a proverb, a scripture proverb, are the effect of sin; every pang and every groan of the travailing woman speak aloud the fatal consequences of sin: this comes of eating forbidden fruit. Observe, 1. The sorrows are here said to be multiplied, greatly multiplied. All the sorrows of this present time are so; many are the calamities which human life is liable to, of various kinds, and often repeated, the clouds returning after the rain, and no marvel that our sorrows are multiplied when our sins are: both are innumerable evils. The sorrows of child-bearing are multiplied; for they include, not only the travailing throes, but the indispositions before (it is sorrow from the conception), and the nursing toils and vexations after; and after all, if the children prove wicked and foolish, they are, more than ever, the heaviness of her that bore them. Thus are the sorrows multiplied; as one grief is over, another succeeds in this world. 2. It is God that multiplies our sorrows: I will do it. God, as a righteous Judge, does it, which ought to silence us under all our sorrows; as many as they are, we have deserved them all, and more: nay, God, as a tender Father, does it for our necessary correction, that we may be humbled for sin, and weaned from the world by all our sorrows; and the good we get by them, with the comfort we have under them, will abundantly balance our sorrows, how greatly soever they are multiplied.”
One day, Creation shall once again be perfect, free from the curse!
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” ~ Revelation 22:1-5