January 2, 2013
The serpent caused Adam and his wife to sin, so God cursed him “above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (3:15). The man and the woman were also to suffer sin’s consequences: the woman is promised sorrow in childbirth…
17And 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; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In 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.
Two things happen here: first, Adam loses his rest. We’ve already talked about rest as it’s used in the Scripture, how God created everything and then He rested, the Israelites had a Sabbath every week, they weren’t supposed to till the ground once every seven years, slaves were to be set free in the seventh year, and so on. The idea is that there was rest, and that somehow it was lost, and now we’ve got all these types and shadows pointing towards its restoration. Well, what we read here in chapter three is the “somehow.” Adam goes from tending the garden to tilling the ground and from eating of the fruit of the trees to striving in sweat just to get his food.
The second thing we see here is that God makes good on His promise. Apparently, “you shall surely die.” Even though men strive all day under the hot sun just to survive, they still die. And what a statement this is regarding our spiritual nature. It doesn’t matter how hard we work, we have no life.
Now think about some other verses that go along with these points: “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you” (Jn. 6:27). The food earned by our sweat can’t give us life (the food itself doesn’t even last), but there is a bread which lasts forever and gives real life. Don’t we see that Manna came down from heaven (Ex. 16) and Jesus is the Bread of Life (Jn. 6:35)? Is it coincidence that there’s a supper at the wedding of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9)?
How about Lazarus and the rich man (Lk. 16:19-25)? “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.”