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The Curse(s)
06/01/2014
Scripture: Genesis 3:14-24; Romans 8:20-21; 2 Corin...
Track 7 of in the series
Running time: 57 minutes, 13 seconds.
The passage in Genesis 3:14-19 contains what is commonly been called the curse. Actually there are several curses, or phases of the curse, involved. There is the curse on the animal kingdom, he curse on the serpent, the special curse on the woman, the curse on Adams and his decedents and the curse on the very elements of the ground itself. Since Adam had been appointed to exercise dominion over the earth, and since Adam was to begin to die, his dominion also started to die. Since that time we know that all of creation was affected.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


The Curse

Last week we talked about the fact that everything that exists all falls under the same dynamic; the 2nd law of thermodynamics Ė Left to itself, all matter move to entropy - or moves to decay. We see this all around us. From the minute something is made, it doesnít get newer but it goes through a cycle of decay. We see the same thing in us humans. We grow older and eventually we will die.

The passage in Genesis 3:14-19 contains what is commonly been called the curse. Actually there are several curses, or phases of the curse, involved. There is the curse on the animal kingdom, he curse on the serpent, the special curse on the woman, the curse on Adams and his decedents and the curse on the very elements of the ground itself.

Since Adam had been appointed to exercise dominion over the earth, and since Adam was to begin to die, his dominion also started to die. Since that time we know that all of creation was affected.

Romans 8:20-21 (NIV) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

When God starts to pronounce the curses, he pronounces them in the same chronological order in which the acts of sin had been committed. First on Satan, then on Eve and then on Adam. But there is a difference between Adam and Eveís and Satanís. Their subjection under the curse had contained within it the hope of eventual redemption. But for Satan, there is no hope. His curse is final and irrevocable. He not only had rebelled against God but he also infected mankind with his rebellion.

Genesis 3:14 (NIV) 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.

Wait a minute, are you telling me that just because Satan took on the form of a serpent, all serpents now have to be under this curse? What did the serpents do wrong to earn this?

Many of the commentaries suggest that God did this as a reminder to Adam and all mankind that anyone who moves to think he is higher and greater than God need remember how low God brought Satan down. Just like the rainbow is a reminder of a promise of God never again to destroy the world by water, so is the symbol of the snake slithering on its belly, always taking its prey from the ground in front of him. Whatever beauty the snake had before the fall, it was gone and the serpent now is the symbol of the fall of man.

Genesis 3:15-16 (NIV) 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."

Do you think that Satan was only looking to get man to sin once against God or what might his real scheme be? Think about how he works today and do you think he had the same things in mind for the first couple and their children? Whose words did Satan want the first couple to follow, Godís or his? Why?

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

What god is Paul talking about? Where is his reign and who are his subjects? Do you think it was Satanís plan to subject all of man to follow him on the earth and not God? Who do you think had the power of the other; Adam over Eve or Eve over Adam? Why? Who convinced whom to sin? Did Adam over power Eveís desire and hold her true to God?

No, Satan most likely looked to Eve to bare children and eventually raise them up to follow him. He saw her as the weaker link when it came to be deceived but she was the one who had the control. Satan needed her to be that person to raise up other decedents and to teach them to follow after him. But Satan was the one who was the most deceived, he deceived himself into believing his plan. For the woman would not be a willing ally nor will her offspring:

ē I will put enmity between you and the woman
ē between your offspring and hers

Nor would she rule over her husband and have control. In fact, the opposite will be true.

Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

Why the pain of childbirth? What is the purpose? Some say that is a reminder that the woman sinned first and caused her husband to sin. But when you read how Jesus uses the experience of childbirth to describe something bigger, the reason for the pain is for something else.

John 16:21 (NKJV) A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

The experience of childbirth plays out over and over again the beautiful picture and reminder of Godís promise of deliverance from the awful curse on mankind and all his dominion. The pangs of childbirth are painful as the curse upon man brings pain, but the birth of the baby is a child who will someday rescue man from the curse. Even though the pain really hurt, it is quickly forgotten due to the joy of the arrival of the baby and the future it brings.

In this passage there is something that is really strange. To be honest, I never thought of it before. It has to do with the seed. The serpent God was talking to is Satan and he is spirit. In essence, he doesnít have physical seed. The womanís seed is also strange in that women also donít have seed, she is the receiver of it, not the producer. In the very case concerning seed, it is always the seed of man, not woman. But here both strange thoughts are used. It is obvious that the language is not about a physical enmity, but a spiritual one.

If true; what does the seed of the serpent represent? Those who knowingly and willfully set themselves at enmity with the seed of woman.

John 8:44-47 (NIV) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

What does the seed of the woman represent? There are actually two meanings. The first refer to those in the human family who are brought into the right relationship with God. But there is more to this meaning. There is a primary seed of the serpent and one primary seed of the woman. The former is the soon-coming anti-Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 The seed of the woman is the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is not the seed of the serpent but Satan himself who will battle Jesus and will be destroyed.

Of course this prophecy is totally fulfilled by Jesus himself when He went to the cross, suffered, died and was buried. Yet he rose from the dead and will soon again return to cast the devil into the Lake of Fire forever. And in his very dying was bruised as described in Genesis 3. Isaiah also foretells His death using the same imagery.

Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

And then there is the curse on Adam. The full force of the curse falls on Adam, but in reality it falls on all men and women ďin AdamĒ.

Genesis 3:17-19 (NKJV) 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."

The earth that was so readily cooperative to Adam and Eve will now become reluctant to yield its food. Instead, it began to yield thorns and weeds requiring toil, sweat and tears. Before, man could eat of it. Now he has to struggle all along knowing death would eventually triumph and manís body would go back to the earth from where it once came. Death is a hard reminder of the consequences of sin.

Did you notice what the scriptures said: "Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. How can cursing the ground be a good thing for our sake?

God knew that it was better that suffering and death accompany sin than to allow the rebellion to thrive unchecked in the deathless state man was created in. With no death men would grow and multiply in number and wickedness would fill the earth without limit. So God placed the curse on mankind and his whole environment thus forcing man to recognize the seriousness of sin as well as his helplessness to save himself and his dominion from eventual destruction.

Genesis 3:20-24 (NIV) Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

What is the significance of God clothing Adam and Eve with garments of skin?
When cherubim angels are present, what does that signify? What is the meaning of their presence at the entrance of Eden?