The consequences of Adam’s disobedience

After Adam and Eve sinned, God told Adam, ”All the days of your life, you shall eat of the ground (herb of the field) which he cursed,  in sorrow, and by the sweat of you face shall you eat bread and return to the ground as dust that you are and were fashioned out of.” (Genesis 3:17-19), because he heeded more to the voice of the devil through his wife, than of God.

First and foremost, while many regard this to be the curse of Adam, it is important for us to recognize that, upon the disobedience of man and the woman, God did NOT curse the man, Adam, but instead he cursed the ground as he continued to reveal the elements of his masterplan of redemption through Jesus Christ. The consequences of one man’s sin was sorrow from toil, (just as it was of the woman), thorns and thistles, sweat and death.

Adam did not have to toil laboriously before his sinned to eat of the produce of the ground, but now he would have to, for before he sinned, all that was good for food and pleasing to the eyes is what the ground produced (Genesis 2:9). Now thorns and thistles, would it also produce, adding to the sorrow of his travail and he would have to sweat for his sustenance (bread). Apostle Paul remin the church of Thessalonica, Apostle Paul reminds the Church of Thessalonica of this consequence of sin, for he wrote that if one does not work, then that person should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Then God said that he (Adam) who was made a living soul (Genesis 2:7), would return to the dust, meaning that he would die. Death came into the world by one man, Adam and it continues to this day (Romans 5:12).

Points to ponder:
Sorrow, thorns and thistles, sweat, and death are the consequences of sin. Adam sin’s warranted a Savior who could annul the curse on the ground, brought about by Adam. Jesus became the curse for he was crucified on a tree/cross, for it is written that anyone who hangs on the tree is accursed (Galatians 3:13). Jesus was described as a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3). Thorns were used to mock and crown Jesus (John 19:2). His agony for bearing the wrath of God was so intense that he started to sweat blood (Luke 22:44) and Jesus became obedient unto death, even death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). 

All of the consequences of man’s sin was poured out on Jesus, God’s only begotten son. He who knew no sin was made sin for us and he was made a man of sorrows to bear our sorrow. He was pierced with a crown of thorns and had to languish so much so that he sweat blood in his agony. And then Jesus died in our place so that we need not die. 

As physical child of the first Adam, we are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) and sinful.
As the spiritual children of God, we are imputed the righteousness of God (because Jesus became sin for us) and are saved.
Through the first Adam’s sin – death entered the world. (Romans 5:12)
Through the last Adam’s (Jesus’) sacrifice – life (resurrection from the dead) entered the world.

(1 Corinthians 15:21)

Which Adam are you the child of?

Genesis 3:17-19 (KJV)
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Romans 5:12 (KJV)
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (KJV)
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Dress and Keep

The Bible records that the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden and he put the man whom he had formed in it (Genesis 2:8). Seven verses later, the Bible gives the reason as to why the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden. It was for the man to dress it and keep it (Genesis 2:15). In other words, the man, who was given dominion over all things (animals and plants), was given the responsibility to be the caretaker of the garden God created.

The word “dress” is used in the context of “to prepare (as an offering)” as is evident from other passages in the scripture (Genesis 18:7; Exodus 30:7). To “keep” is to “tend to” or “to take care of”. Man was therefore given the responsibility to prepare and take care of God’s creation. This verse also gives us insight that though the “work for food” was a result of man’s disobedience and the curse (Genesis 3:17), “work” itself is not.

Points to ponder:
We are created to be workers for (not mere hearers of) God (James 1:22) and God has placed us in his created world to prepare the world (as an offering) for his coming and to be caretakers of his flock. The resurrected Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Do you love me?” three times and upon Peter’s response gave him the responsibility to feed and tend his people (lambs and sheep) (John 21:15-17). This highlights that “work” for the Lord is an expression of our love for him.  Jesus, the last Adam, said that even the Son of man (referring to himself) came to minister (work), and not to be ministered (Mark 10:45).

The question that remains then is like the first Adam, will we fail in our work to dress and keep God’s creation or like Jesus, the last Adam, will we finish the work that he has ordained unto each one of us, so that when we see him face to face, we can give the testimony, that we fed and tended his people, we finished the work that was given to us and we kept the faith in being faithful as workers for God. We are called to dress and keep – let us not find ourselves, naked and poor (Revelation 3:17 ), when we meet God, face to face.

Genesis 2:8,15 (KJV)
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

John 21:15-17 (NKJV)
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” 
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

To till (toil) or not to till (toil)

Genesis 2:5, states that “there was not a man to till the ground” yet all the flora grew. This implies that God’s creation was designed to grow, irrespective of man’s work/action, for every herb of the field, that was given to man to eat (Genesis 3:18) grew, until man disobeyed and brought a curse on the ground and the need to till the ground and toil (sweat) for it to bear fruit/yield (Genesis 3:19).

In order to reverse this mishap, Jesus had to come and toil (work) for our Salvation (as creation itself groaned in sin and in error pinned (Romans 8:22)). He finished the work (John 19:30). The ground yielded thorns and thistles as a result of man’s disobedience (Genesis 3:18). A crown of thorns was placed on Jesus’ head as a result of his obedience (Philippians 2:8) and by being pierced, Jesus annulled the curse on mankind. Now, anyone who abides [is planted/rooted] in Jesus Christ, shall bring forth much fruit (John 15:5), by God’s doing, for he gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7), and without him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Points to ponder:
Without Jesus, we need to till and toil. In Jesus, we need not till and toil.
He said, “Come unto me, all of you, who till (labor) and are heavy laden (toil) and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Do you need to till (toil) or not to till (toil)? In other words, Are you without Christ or are you in Christ Jesus?

Genesis 2:5 (KJV)
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.