LoS: Exposition – Genesis 3:14-21

3 14So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

What is true for the corrupters of individual children must be massively more true for the corruptor of humanity: “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” (Luke 17:2)

16To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

17To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

18It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

Adam after the Fall. Fresco from the monastery of Cantauque, Provence.

Adam after the Fall. Fresco from the monastery of Cantauque, Provence.

19By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 

20Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

This passage may appear to be the first and defining instance of “sinners in the hand of an angry God,” and it is. But if we listen carefully, down to the implications of the experience that God is creating for Adam and the Eve, we will begin to hear a strange new language that can teach hope and humility through pain, preparing our souls to cry out for and then receive a Savior.

21The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

We take our leave from this story on a note of hope. The LORD God has doled out punishment for our sin. But now He takes action to care for our needs. This is but the first of many instances throughout Scripture in which it is God who takes the initiative to mend the brokenness between Himself and humankind. We are at best slow to respond and unreliable in our commitment. But the LORD God is relentless in seeking us out while never compromising His holiness.

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