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Summary: The effects of the Fall on Adam and the promise of redemption!

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Genesis 3:17-24

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.”

Or how about Psalm 73: “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. 2But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. 15If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 16When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. 19How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 20As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. 21Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. 23Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 28But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.”

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