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Summary: The effects of the curse on Eve

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Genesis 3:16

December 12, 2012

The serpent came into the garden and tricked the woman into eating fruit from the forbidden tree. As a result they both realize they were naked, and when they heard God calling out to them they hid because they were ashamed. When God questions them they confess to eating, and they blame the snake. God turns to him and curses him: “thou art cursed 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 angel who only wanted to be higher than God is now humiliated and lower than everything on earth.

Now we’re going to see what happens to the woman and her husband.

Before we start in verse 16 I’d like to remind you of the approach we’re taking in our interpretation. We believe that the entire Bible is a revelation of Jesus Christ and that He is the revelation of God. It should go without saying, then, that the Bible is primarily a theological book. What I mean is some people read this and find a lot of philosophical or sociological application. And, I suppose those things can have a place, but they certainly are not the main focus. Genesis 3 isn’t a commentary on the plight of women in the world today or on the reason men hate their jobs. Sure, both those things can be tied back to this one instance, but they aren’t the spiritual truth being communicated through this story.

You have to remember that all these stories serve a purpose in pointing us to Christ. This is why they call them types and shadows, and types and shadows are similar to the New Testament parables. We have these little stories that point us to some much bigger truth. Adam and Eve’s story is literally and historically true, but it serves a greater purpose. If you’re wondering whether I might be reaching too far, look at Galatians 4:24-26 where Paul talks about Sarah and Hagar: Sarah was a free woman and Abraham’s wife, but Hagar was a slave and Abraham’s concubine. Paul says, these “things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar, […] but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” The story of those two women serve a spiritual purpose in revealing God and His covenant to us, and Adam and Eve do the same.

So God comes into the garden and curses the serpent, and then:

16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Now the first thing I want you to notice is that Adam and his wife are not cursed though they feel its effects. The serpent is cursed, and the ground is cursed (:17), but they are not. Why is this important? Look at Galatians 3:10-14: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”


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