Lent Day 34: Curse: “Then to Adam”

IMG_1694Curse: “Then to Adam”
Like Eve, the curse on Adam also primarily covers two ideas: “cursed is the ground because of you,” and “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:17, 19).
The first curse has to do with man’s dominion over the earth.  In Genesis 1:29 God said to the man and woman, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.” Surely this included work, but not toil.  Toil has been defined as “exhausting physical work.” Instead of creation being subject to man as God had designed, man became subject to the creation and would need to work extremely hard for his sustenance.
The apostle Paul helps to further explain the relationship in Romans 8:20-21. Here Paul notes that all of creation was subjected to sinful man, saying “in hopes that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay…” With this understanding, the thorns and thistles mentioned in Genesis 3 can be understood as representative including the storms, the droughts, and all of the natural disasters in a perfect and unfallen nature in response to being subject to fallen man.
The second part of the curse given to the man is introduced in Genesis 3:19: “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.” This verse affirms the physical death that man will experience.  Not only death, but man will work hard all of his days, until death brings an end to life’s toil.
Again, as was the case with the curse on the woman, there is grace and mercy in the outcome.  In view of the certainty of death, man is more aware of the need to be in relationship with the God of eternity.  In the absence of death, if we weren’t aware of our own mortality, would we lose the sense of urgency in seeking a right relationship with God?
Now that we have considered the curse on the man and woman, I think it is good to take a look back at the curse on the serpent.


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