IN THE BEGINNING GOD (10) GOD’S CURSE UPON THE MAN
During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached from the Book of Genesis chapter 3. She said that Genesis chapter 3 is absolutely essential in understanding the Bible and the history of man. Here we see how sin entered humanity. For the first time, we are presented with the Gospel of Christ. If you study the history of man, there is no better explanation of why things happen the way they do, except you believe the doctrine of the fall of man and the doctrine of the original sin.
THE FALL OF MAN also called the fall of Adam, or simply the Fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. The doctrine of the Fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis, chapters 1-3. God created Adam and Eve perfect. They were innocent concerning sin. But God allowed their free will to manifest. Obedience meant life. Disobedience to God’s command meant death. God gave Adam a covenant of works. He broke the covenant. God then sent His Son Jesus Christ with a covenant of Grace. We believe Jesus Christ, that He died for us. Grace means unmerited favor. If Adam, as perfect as he was could not keep the covenant of works, God knew that we cannot keep it. That is why Grace is introduced thru Christ. That is why salvation in Christ cannot fail. We are saved by Grace, thru faith in Jesus Christ, in His death on the Cross. Salvation in Christ is eternal!
THE ORIGINAL SIN: The fall of man affected all humanity and even the creation. Adam broke God’s law. He sinned! He was our representative on earth. This sin has affected all humanity. All Adam’s descendants are born sinners. The nature of the first sin: man refused to submit himself to the will of God, to have God decide the course of his life. He wanted to be independent from God. Devil’s pride entered man. Pride means to remove God from the center of man’s heart and replace Him with self. This first sin affected the whole man, body, mind, emotions and will. It corrupted man. Thru sin, sickness and death entered humanity. Sin reveals itself in the mind mostly as unbelief; in the emotions as fear and in his will as pride! “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10, 23).
GOD’S CURSE UPON THE MAN
“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:17-19)
The first thing we mention is that God’s curse upon the serpent (physical and spiritual) is eternal. There is no redemption for the devil. The curse on both the woman and the man is temporary. In Christ, these curses are broken. Amen!
We see that the curse is not directly on Adam. This is because God has already blessed him. The curse is on the ground and on the work of his hands. The ground does not feel pain. But Adam feels the pain because his work is harder now. In the Garden, his work was a pleasure. But now, work is ‘a toil’. The pain is in the man’s relationship with the ground, with his work. His life will not be easy. When man fell, death entered not only into mankind but in the whole creation. Animals, plants, and microbes, all die now. Even the earth itself, and all the planets are dying. Death is the consequence of sin. The curses on the serpent, on the woman and on the man affected the universe. The curse on the woman affected her home. The curse on the man affected the work of his hands. For a man, his business is his world. The earth now brings forth food but with great effort!
The first time to concept of ‘evil’ appears is in chapter 2. God commanded Adam: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:15-17). The word ‘evil’ means something bad, wicked, and ugly; something that hurts and produces pain and sorrow. This command was a warning that in the beautiful Garden, there is some evil. It was Adam’s duty to ask God the meaning of ‘evil’, especially as it relates to death. This is a lesson for all of us: Study the Word of God in detail, with prayer, for the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Study not only the promises that you like. Study the whole Bible, including the painful scriptures, like the curses and warnings! That is wisdom for life!
The cause of the curse: Because Adam ‘listened’ to the voice of his wife and disobeyed God’s command! This curse is his punishment! Adam was not deceived or confused by satan or by his wife (1 Tim 2:14). Adam listened and chose to obey the voice of Eve instead of the voice of God. They both knew what God has said. Adam chooses to please his wife. He allowed her to take leadership in the family. He gave up his responsibility as the leader and the pastor of the home. That was his sin! The act of eating the fruit is a simple act. They both ate fruits in the garden. Adam’s sin was that he allowed Eve to take the place of God in his life! Adam lived 930 years (Gen 5:5). The curse on the work of Adam’s hands lasted all his life! It was a long and hard life!
Now, man has to ‘toil’ for his daily bread. ‘Toil’ means misery, frustration. The word ‘frustration’ means being angry, impatient, or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want; you cannot control or change your circumstances. Frustration is often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled dreams or unresolved problems. This toil does not only apply to the work of farmers. All men suffer in their businesses. Man is a slave to his work. Man hates his work, but he must still do it. The more children he has, the harder he must work to provide for them. His work does not bring him satisfaction. Even in the night man worries about his work. Many men dream of a time when they stop working. It is only in Christ that the curse upon man and his work is broken. Outside Christ, work is vanity upon vanity! To rejoice in the work of your hands, in your marriage and children is a miracle. It is a gift from God!
This is a lesson for all of us! No human should draw you into sin! Be careful with ‘little sins.’ They all kill! Sin killed Jesus! Pleasing man is rebellion. You cannot be a servant of Christ if you please man! Apostle Paul said: “Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Gal 1:10; AMP).
Our Lord Jesus Christ places hard conditions on discipleship. No family love should compete with the love of God! “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:26). To hate it means to love less. A disciple is a student. The Holy Spirit cannot teach you how to love and obey Jesus except He is your priority in life!
WORK IS VANITY (Ecclesiastics)
King Solomon was one of the wealthiest men who ever lived. He discovered that work is not a pleasure. It is hard to make money. Work is a ‘toil’. This is what he said: “Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind. Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun. For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity” (Ecc 2:17-23)
During so much pain and sorrow, the grace of God shines forth. God has promised to bless man with health and wealth. This is the work of Grace alone! If God has blessed you with health and wealth, be grateful to God! “Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God” (Ecc 5:18, 19; NLT).
Man works and works just to eat and take care of his family. He is tired at the end of the day. It is hard to make savings. There is a constant anxiety about providing food on the table. This hard work and anxiety are reminders of the power of sin and the need for a Savior! The earth produces thorns and thistles. Without labor the ground does not produce good fruits. In the Garden were plants and trees but not thorns and thistles. Adam did not need to plant to eat. The vegetation was planted by God. He only needed to take care of them. This is the consequence of the curse: man will eat but he will sweat to put food on the table. In other words, you sweat as you seat at the table! This is man’s life until death. Man cannot retire from this labor. Every day is the same. It is tiresome and boring work. Most people are not sure of their next meal. They do not have time for fashion or vacations. But they must work so that they can eat!
POVERTY IN THE WORLD
This information is found it on the internet! This is the Profit Potential for planting wheat in the US: To rent land for farming: $40/acre. Tillage (preparation of land), Seed and planting, pesticide, fertilizer, harvest and hauling, total $225. Price to sell it is about $255. Therefore, the Net profit is about $30/ per acre. The Average spending on food: the average American household spent about 10% of its total budget on food. This is the lowest percentage in the world. It is about $550. Other countries expenditure for food: South Africa 20%; Saudi Arabia 25%; India and Russia 30%; Pakistan 40%; Cameroon 45%; Nigeria 56%. High spending on food and malnutrition seem to go hand in hand. Many people starve all over the world. Most people spend all their money on food alone. Out of the eight billion people on the planet, a striking one billion are living in extreme poverty. They live on less than $1.25 a day. They do not have safe drinking water, sanitation, education, shelter. Small farmers, animal herders, and fishermen produce about 70 percent of the global food supply, yet they are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. Poverty and hunger are most acute among rural populations. Undernourishment causes 45% of all children’s deaths. Each year, 3.1 million children die from hunger-related causes, which include diarrhea and malnutrition. Every 10 seconds a child dies from hunger. As a result of hunger, children experience poor health, low energy levels, and reductions in mental functioning due to hunger. Sub-Saharan Africa is still the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, estimated at 22% of the population. This is expected to increase to 30% by 2030. The Caribbean also has a high rate — 16.6% of its population. Compare this to North America and Europe, where less than 2.5% of people are malnourished. Covid 19 pandemic has worsened poverty. These figures are painful to read. Thank God that you are alive and well! It is the Grace of God!
SPIRITUAL CAUSES OF POVERTY
*Disobedience to God’s Word! (Read Deuteronomy 28)
*Sexual lust! “For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life” (PV 6:26)
9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman… 11 For that would have been wicked, a sin to be judged. 12 It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest” (Job 31:9-12; NIV)
*Laziness and Idleness (being a busybody)!
30 I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; 31 And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. 32 When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; 34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man” (PV 24:30-34)
WE ARE COMMANDED TO AVOID LAZY AND IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE (2 Thess 3;6-12; 1 Tim 5:8)
IN CHRIST THE CURSE IS BROKEN! WORK BECOMES MINISTRY
The earth is rich with treasures, but it takes hard work to bring them out. When sin came, sickness, confusion, fear, and death came. The first sin came thru three persons: The serpent, Adam, and Eve. God cursed the three. The curse on the serpent (on the devil is eternal). The curse on the man and a woman is temporary. These curses are removed only thru Christ and in Christ. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) (Gal 3:13)
*God blessed the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job etc) with spiritual and material blessings! For example: “Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So, the Philistines envied him. Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth. And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we” (Gen 26:12-16)
*There is a prophetic blessing upon Joseph. The blessing is upon the ground. It is a blessing of increase and fruitfulness. This is an example of a blessed earth, a type of The Promised Land! “And of Joseph he said: “Blessed of the Lord is his land, With the precious things of heaven, with the dew, And the deep lying beneath, With the precious fruits of the sun, With the precious produce of the months, With the best things of the ancient mountains, With the precious things of the everlasting hills, With the precious things of the earth and its fullness, And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let the blessing come ‘on the head of Joseph, (Deut 33:13-16)
*In Proverbs 31 we see a family free from the curse on men and women
We find the picture of a godly woman and her redeemed family. She is spiritually mature, a champion and an inspiration to her family. Her husband ‘praises her’. In Hebrew, the word ‘praise’ means ‘to shine a light’. This man knows his wife better than others. He is not intimidated by her strength and success. He encourages her to shine by adding his own ‘shine’ to hers. ‘Many daughters have done well’. In Hebrew the word ‘done well’ means to bring home wealth and strength. She is seen as the captain of a victorious army who defeats the enemy bringing home the spoils of war. She is excelling as a helpmeet to her husband. Thru faith in the Redeemer, this woman has destroyed the curse of God upon her. She knows that there is a curse upon her husband’s work. She helps him break the curse on his work. She is not lazy. She does not complain about her husband. She is grateful for her husband and encourages him in his business. She helps with the expenses thru her own successful business. She is spiritual and hardworking! She desires that her whole household should be saved! This is a wonderful testimony!
*Aquila andPriscilla were a first century Christian missionary married couple. They were tent makers. They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, who highly commended them. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house” (Rom 16:3-5) Christianity is radical in the view of women, marriages and work. Priscilla is not seen as Aquila’s property but his co-laborer in ministry and work. Tradition reports that Aquila and Priscilla were martyred together.
*Finally, let me add that God instituted the Tithe to break the curse upon man’s labor (Mal 3:8-12)
How do you know that God’s curse upon the work of your hands is broken? You need to be born again and Spirit filled! Pray for freedom from the curse! This blessed freedom is manifested as a blessing in your office, in your business. There shall be a different atmosphere in your business, in your shop. You will not be ashamed to tell people that you are a believer. You do not need to commit sin to make profit. You do not need to bribe or cheat to make profit. The country may suffer from economic downfall, but God will provide for you amid poverty. God will make an exception for you! This is a supernatural blessing. Your relationships with your colleagues and workers will improve. People will come close to you to learn how did you prosper, what is your secret? People will want to work for you free of charge just ‘to tap’ from your anointing. This type of financial blessing is not because you work harder than others or are more educated. It is the Grace of God working in you, as the curse in Christ is broken. Many people get divorced these days. Money is the main source of conflict in marriages. Most people who are too poor or are too wealthy end up in divorce. But the blessings of God on you will bring not only health, wealth but also, peace and joy in your homes! This is the Grace of God! Never underestimate the Grace of God! Grace is King! To the glory of God! Worship the Lord!