You are correct in stating that God placed a “direct curse’ on the serpent and on Eve. We read of the curse on the serpent in Genesis 3:14, “So the LORD God said to the SERPENT: ‘Because you have done this, YOU ARE CURSED more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life” (NKJV). The curse on the woman is given in Genesis 3:16, “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

I believe that God’s “curse” on Adam was much greater, for it included a CURSE ON CREATIION along with a CURSE ON ADAM himself. In other words, God DID curse Adam directly AND He cursed the earth as well. We read about these TWO CURSES in Genesis 3:17-19, “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.”

Regarding God “cursing the ground,” Adam was given dominion over creation (see Genesis 2:26-28) and when he sinned his fall affected the whole creation of which he was head. Thus we read in verse 18 that the ground would bring forth “thorns and thistles.” We learn more about how Adam’s sin affected creation in Romans 8:19-22, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the CREATION WAS SUBJECTED TO FUTILITY, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole CREATION GROANS AND LABORS WITH BIRTH PANGS together until now.” ALL of creation was “subjected to futility” on account of Adam’s sin. The word “futility” means “vanity” which speaks of “having no purpose.” God’s original intention for creation had been marred by sin which resulted in suffering and decay. This is why creation is said to be in “the bondage of corruption,” and why it “groans and labors with birth pangs.” Yet some day it will be redeemed and thus “delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Adam himself was CURSED DIRECTLY when told that in order to eat he would now “toil” (work very hard with adverse circumstances). He would have to deal with the “thorns and thistles” and his labor would be “in the sweat of his face.” I take it his labors BEFORE the fall had been a pleasure in every way: no “hard labor,” no “thorns or thistles,” no “sweat on his face.” And we are probably right in adding there were no “mosquitoes,” no “unbearable heat,” or other conditions that make work less-than-ideal.

And then on top of this CURSE, there would be “DEATH.” Had Adam not sinned he would have lived forever, but now his days would be limited as we see in the words “all the days of your life.” At the end of those days Adam is told that he would “return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.” Adam knew before he ate of the forbidden fruit that this curse would fall on him, for God had said, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). He died “spiritually” the moment he ate of the tree, and he began to die “physically.” Adam’s sin was thus more serious than that of the serpent or the woman. Have you ever thought of the fact that the woman sinned first and yet Adam is the one held responsible for sin and its results? Romans 5:12 speaks to this, “By ONE MAN sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” (277.3) (DO)