Summary: This message describes how we are still reaping the consequences of the first sin.
We are currently studying the early chapters of Genesis which tells us how it all began. These chapters describe the first week, the first home, the first people, the first lie, and the first sin.
Bible students refer to the first sin as "The Fall of Man." And the Fall of Man has six scenes: a period of innocence; the prohibition (2:16-17) the plummet into sin (3:1-13); the punishment of sin (3:14-24); the promise of a Savior (3:15) and a picture of salvation (3:21).
Let’s take a look at the Punishment of Sin mentioned in verses 14-24 and notice how the fall of man affects us today. These verses remind us that God is holy and just, and He hates sin. He loves the sinner (as verses 15 and 21 point out), but He hates sin and is compelled to judge it.
Don’t ever forget that sin a terrible, terrible, crime against God. It violates His rights. God is the most reliable person in the universe, therefore he has the right to our faith. He is also the creator of the universe, he has the right to our obedience. Sin occurs anytime we violate those rights. Anytime we doubt or disobey God, we have sinned against Him. And sin is a horrible crime! It is so horrible that it compels the most gracious, patient, and loving person in the universe to respond in judgment.
What are the punishments God passed down as a result of the fall? Verses 14-24 mentions 4 punishments and these punishments still affect us today. We are still reaping the consequences of the first sin!
If you’ve ever wondered - "Why is there so much evil in the world?" Why is child birth so painful?" "Why is marriage sometimes tough?" "Why won’t the weather cooperate?" "Why does it feel like God is a million miles away?" - here’s your answer. Let’s look at these punishments, one at a time.
I. Satan’s Punishment.
Verse 14 describes his UTTER HUMILIATION. This is a play on words. God isn’t talking about snakes, He’s talking about the Devil, and He is describing the Devil’s utter humiliation. In Old Testament days, those who crawled on their bellies and ate dust were those who had been subjected to utter humiliation.
Satan’s humiliation lies in the fact that he, a powerful arch-angel of Heaven, has been kicked out of heaven and forced to reside on this earth. And God portrays him as a snake crawling on his belly eating dust. And this is bad news for us! There’s a lot of evil in the world today. Part of it can be blamed on the depravity of the human heart, and the rest of it can be blamed on the presence of the devil.
Verse 14 gives some bad news from our limited point of view, while verse 15 gives the good news.
Verse 15 describes His ULTIMATE DEFEAT. This verse tells us that he will battle one of the woman’s descendants - the Messiah. Satan will strike at the Messiah’s heel and the Messiah will crush Satan’s head. Jesus is the Messiah. Satan struck Jesus’s heel when Jesus died on the cross. But Jesus crushed Satan’s head when He rose from the grave. This is the first mention of our Lord Jesus in the Bible.
II. The Woman’s Punishment.
(v. 16) mentions two punishments.
First, SHE WILL SUFFER WHEN SHE GIVES BIRTH. Why is there so much suffering involved in bringing a child into the world? Why do some couples have problems conceiving? ... carrying a child full term? ... problems with delivery? ... labor pains? Suffering when giving birth is a consequence of the fall.
Keep in mind, ladies, God wasn’t being cruel when He gave this edict. God is incapable of cruelty. He is a wise and just judge. He issued this edict as a reminder of the terrible consequences of sin. Ladies, he wants to remind you that sin will ultimately hurt you and make you miserable. So the woman will suffer when giving birth and ....
SHE WILL HAVE A HARD TIME SUBMITTING TO HER HUSBAND(v. 16). The Bible teaches that men and women are equal, but they have different roles and responsibilities (Gal. 3:28, Eph. 5:21-33). The Husband’s responsibility is to minister to his wife and lead their family to follow the Lord. The wife’s responsibility is to submit to her husband and follow him as he follows the Lord. And a lot of women have a hard time with this. They struggle with the idea of submitting to their husband.
Do you remember the fall out a few years ago over a revision made to the "Baptist Faith and Message"? We added a part which encouraged wives to submit to their husbands, and the world (even some fellow-Southern Baptists) threw a fit! They accused us of male chauvinism and a few other things! Why does the world have a hard time accepting and following Ephesians 5:22? Part of the reason is they don’t understand the context of Ephesians 5:22 (ie. mutual submission - the wife should submit to her husband’s authority, the husband should submit to his wife’s needs, and both should submit to the Lord Jesus). And part of the reason is that women want to be in control and they want to rule the home (of course, the exact same thing can be said about men, but that’s a different subject). The woman’s desire to rule over her husband is a result of the fall and it has caused a lot of hurt in a lot of marriages.