Reversing the Curse (Genesis 3:16-24)

2016-Week 6“At the very moment of the fall, God is working for human redemption.” -Justo Gonzalez

The Bible is an epic story. It is a historical narrative of redemptive history which tells the true story of God redeeming His chosen people. This is true for Genesis just as it is for the Gospels. The inspired and inerrant (without error) Word of God is fully true. We can trust it, always. With this in mind, let us examine Genesis 3:16-24.

Sin, the Seed and Separation

In this passage, God is handing out punishment for the disobedience of the first human beings. Adam was given the very clear command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:16-17). The serpent, Satan, deceived Eve into taking the fruit from the tree, which she shared with Adam who was by her side, a joint act of rebellion. The result was devastating.  First, God punished Satan by confining him to the earth, setting his offspring at war with the woman’s offspring (v. 15). As noted in the previous post, a unique promise was made. The seed of Eve, a human deliverer, would bruise Satan’s head while the enemy would wound his heel. This verse is the first mention of the Gospel in the Bible! It was the beginning of the end for Satan. Jesus is the seed of the woman and would later crush Satan at the cross and will finally at His return. Before these events, God punished Adam and Eve. First, Eve with pain during childbirth. Then for Adam, hard toil to eat and provide as well. The punishment culminated in spiritual and physical death (vv. 17-19).

In verses 22-24, the Lord banished Adam and Eve from the paradise of Eden. There is a deeper meaning of divine separation here. Sin drives a wedge between a holy God and sinful human beings. Now, Adam and Eve had to survive apart from God’s perfect provision. In essence, the punishment for sin was separation. Both separation from perfect union with God in this life and in the life to come. Sin blanketed the whole of creation. As Paul writes, “just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). The curse was death.

The Curse-Reverser

Tucked away in verse 21, God provided for the sinners by clothing them, covering their shame. What an act of grace! Despite their defiance, the loving Father chose to provide for his wayward children. This also points to a greater reality. The God of Scripture is fundamentally a God of love. And this love is proven by offering salvation to a fallen, corrupt world. God the Father sent God the Son to pay the debt for guilty sinners. If we repent of our sin, receive and believe in Jesus Christ we will be saved. The first Adam brought the sin-curse upon humanity. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, brought the sin-cure to humanity. In essence, Jesus reversed the curse by dying for sinners in their place. Again, Paul writes in Romans 5:17,

“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”

Jesus is the only way to be free from the bondage of sin. It has enslaved us. Jesus liberates us. Do you believe him today? If not, I pray you turn from your sin and receive him as Lord and Savior of your life (Rom. 10:9-10). Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you believe the Bible is true? If so, do you take seriously the punishment of sin?
  • Have you reflected on the truth that Jesus sets you free from sin? Is this reflected in your daily walk with him?

This week’s devotional was written by Steve Sering. He has been a follower of Jesus since high school. By God’s grace, he has served in different ministry roles in different churches in Indianapolis. He is currently a Masters of Divinity student at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY.  He also writes at his blog www.inthevalley413.com.

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