Let’s read about that curse in Genesis 3:14-19, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, 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: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto 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. And 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; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In 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.”

The Lord had already warned Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We read in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” When they did partake of the ‘forbidden fruit’, Adam and Eve died. They experienced a SPIRITUAL DEATH that distanced them from their creator. They also experienced death in that they, at that point, began to age which led to their PHYSICAL DEATH.

Let’s consider the person of God for a moment (although we cannot fully understand or describe Him). Psalms 103:17 says, “But the MERCY of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his RIGHTEOUSNESS unto children’s children.” Psalms 4:1, “Hear me when I call, O God of my RIGHTEOUSNESS: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have MERCY upon me, and hear my prayer.” God is a god of MERCY, but He is also a god of RIGHTEOUSNESS. When Adam and Eve rebelled and sinned against God, He did not strike them down and destroy them immediately. That was God’s MERCY. He did, however, cause them to suffer consequences for their sin. That was God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS. If the Lord had struck down the pair immediately, there would be no mercy. If the Lord ignored their sin, there would be no righteousness. Our remarkable God showed them both!

Of course, for the serpent (Satan…read Revelation 12:9) there was no mercy. God told him of his ultimate defeat in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; IT SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” We read in 1 John 3:8, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that HE MIGHT DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.”

As we read at the outset, Eve’s consequence was that she would suffer pain and distress of mind through bearing and raising her children. Instead of being Adam’s ‘help meet’, her position now would be one of humble subjection to her husband. We read of this continuing subjection in Ephesians 5:22 which says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

To Adam, though, we read of no curse. Instead the Lord cursed His own creation because of Adam’s sin. While work is certainly not a curse, for Adam worked keeping the Garden of Eden before his sin, yet now his work would be greatly multiplied in that he would have to contend with thorns, thistles, sweat and sorrow until the day he would return to the dust the Lord had created him from.

So, our main lesson in this event is that it reveals God to us. It shows us His MERCY and His RIGHTEOUSNESS. Have you received His mercy by repenting of your sins and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior? If not, you will one day meet a sin-hating God without mercy. Then you will learn His of His pure RIGHTEOUSNESS in His judgment of sin.   As Hebrews 10:31 tells us, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (269.4)