Where did it all go wrong?
The first humans were given a purpose – to be fruitful, filling the earth and ruling over it. Initially this was to be a delight, but it feels so hard.
16 To the woman he said,
‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’
17 To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,”
‘Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
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.’
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.Genesis 3
The consequences of our disobedience continue…
Woman’s wonderful gift – to be the bearer of new life – is not finished; this privilege remains. But this ongoing fruitfulness will now involve pain. There will be new life, but it will be hard won.
Man had to work before – work is a good gift from God. But now this too will be a task of struggle and sweat. The cursed land will produce good food, yes, but all sorts of thorns too. There is hope in this – there will be food, but only at a cost of painful toil.
Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, this Fall leads to death. No longer is there hope of everlasting life, as humanity spreads God’s loving rule over the earth. God formed us from the dust and so our origin will be our destination too.
But even in this death sentence there is hope, for the woman is first called ‘Eve’ for she will become the mother of all the living. God’s mercy in judgment is seen in this promise of a future, for one day one of Eve’s descendants will finally defeat Satan and end the curse forever.
Putting it into Practice
- When things are hard today, acknowledge the struggle and repent of all the ways in which you follow the example of our first parents and face the consequences of their actions.
- When things are hard today, thank God for the many good things we enjoy in the midst of struggle. Thank God that in Jesus Christ, the Creator took on the struggle of humanity to break the curse and reverse the Fall.