My brother, Ryan, lives in the Virginia Beach and is in the Air Force. Now, my brother is the complete opposite of me. We are only 18 months apart and we look a lot alike, but we’re completely different. I’m more laid back and just like to take it easy. I don’t really like a lot of attention drawn to myself. I’m quieter and stuff like that.
But my brother is a little crazy to say the least. I mean this guy is not afraid of anything and there are many reasons for that. For instance, he was stationed in Korea and the USA basketball team had come to play and he went to watch the game. He was telling me how he had really close seats and he went up to Lebron James and told him his game was garbage and that he didn’t want any of him on the court! Of course, Lebron laughed and so did my brother.
The main reason I suspect for my brothers courage and craziness is the fact that I beat that boy senseless everyday of his life. Yes, if I were to describe my brother in his early years, he would be a man under a curse. I mean think about it, he woke up everyday, thinking I don’t know when or how, but I’m going to get beaten unto oblivion sometime today. He was truly under a curse!
My brother was not the only one who has ever awaken to this thought, but also the original man, Adam. Adam was the man who brought the judgment of God upon himself and the entire human race. It was through this man who represented all of humanity that sin and its curse has spread to the whole world. And when we come to Genesis 3, the paradise of Eden, that place of rest, peace, and the presence of God is slowing fading over the horizon and the dark clouds of sin, suffering, and death are filling the skies.
Just prior to God’s pronouncement of judgment, Adam and his wife were deceived by Satan. They were deceived into doubting the word of God and were deceived into having resentment against God for not allowing them to eat from the forbidden tree. Then, this doubt and resentment towards God quickly spread like a wildfire in their hearts turning into unbelief and then engulfing into all out disobedience. The two quickly felt their shame for doing what was wrong, attempted to cover their shame, and hid from the God who made them!
The Curse of Satan
Now, in the second half of Genesis 3, God comes and confronts them for their rebellion. And the first one to be dealt with is Satan himself. Genesis 3:14 says, “The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.'” What I want to point out here is whatever Satan uses as an instrument of wickedness, will suffer the curse of sin. Satan, just like a well camouflaged rattle snake, took possession of this animal and waited for the right opportunity and bit the woman when she was unsuspecting.
But because of his attack against the image of God, this animal is cursed of God above all other animals. My dad used to tell me a good snake is a dead snake. I do not think it is ok, to deliberately go out an be cruel to animals, but I think out of all the animals in this world the snake is one that is looked upon with disgust and fear. Now, I know some love them, but my point is this that what the snake represents in the physical world, Satan represents in the spiritual. He is dark, deceptive, poisonous, and accursed.
You may remember Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc. Well, there is one scene, where he is dropped into a dark room and when he lights his torch the whole room is crawling with snakes. And he says, “Snakes, I hate snakes!” Just as there is hostility between mankind and snakes, God has placed hostility between Satan and his people. Genesis 3:15 says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Not only did God curse the instrument of Satan’s attack, the snake, but he cursed Satan himself. First, God cursed Satan by putting ‘enmity’ or hostility between God’s people and Satan and between the children of God and those who reject God. There is an on going animosity between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven. Second, God cursed Satan by saying that the woman whom he deceived will one day have a child that will crush his head!
God’s Judgment against Mankind
So, after God gives the verdict to Satan, he turns to his two accomplices in the crime. Because of their sin against a holy God, they are judged as guilty before him and given their sentence. Genesis 3:16 says, “To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.'” First, God speaks to the woman about the consequences of her sin. Notice the first part of God’s judgment against women, “‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.’
Now, what in the world is going on here? Remember what Genesis says about what it means to be a woman. Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” One of the most essential aspects of being a woman according to the Bible is being a mother, having children. The Bible teaches that this is a part of God’s design. This is her role, but now one of her fundamental purposes is flooded with pain and hardship. This command that God has given to you ladies is frustrated because of sin.
I don’t know how many of you all have been in the delivery room after a woman has given birth to a baby, but it’s scary. I mean everyone is happy because of the little baby, but the girl looks like she has been through some pain. And you know what, she definitely has! And this is the result of God’s judgment against sin, women will give birth, but through great pain and difficulty.
But there is a second part of God’s judgment towards women, Genesis 3:16, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Some have taken it to mean sexual desire. The woman will desire her husband physically. How could that be a curse?
Well I hate to ruin the dream, but I don’t think this is what it means. In the next chapter, Genesis 4, in the story about Adam and Eve’s first two children, we have the very same words used of sin’s desire to master Cain. Genesis 4:7, “And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” God is saying sin’s desire is against Cain, it desire is to rule him, master him, and control him. So, if we take this way of thinking back to Genesis 3:16, what does it mean? Because of the curse of sin in the life of women, their essential role in their relationship with their husbands has been drastically altered from one of a ‘helper’ to one who desires to control, rule, and master their husbands. So, now instead of peace and agreement in their relationship, there will be resistance, because both are trying to run the show.
So, women will desire to rule men, but men will also exploit the weakness of some women. Genesis 3:16, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Man, do we not see this in our world or what? There are fractured relationships all around us. I mean, just turn on the TV five minutes and you’ll see some woman being exploited by a man because she looks good or a woman using her looks to gain control over a man. This is the judgment of God against sin.
You ladies need to be aware of this in your lives and the way you relate to your brothers in Christ and the guys who are non-believers in your lives. You need to know that there is a deep seated root of sin that desires to distort your role as a woman. It might appear in the way you dress? Do you dress in a way to draw attention to your body? I heard Paul Washer say one time that if the way you dress is a frame for your body then it’s sinful, but if the way you dress is a frame for your face then it’s pleasing to God. And any guy who’s worth dating won’t want someone who wants to draw attention to themselves by the way they dress. Are you rebelling against God’s design for you as a woman to be a wife and a mother? Are you letting some guy rule over you by taking advantage of you? Ladies think about these things!
Genesis 3:17, “And to Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” So after God finishes with the woman, he turns to Adam, he turns to the protector to the man. He begins by telling Adam why he giving him this judgment.
Genesis 3:17, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife.” Now, it’s not saying guys, when you get married don’t listen your wife or God will judge you. But that Adam sat back and watched his wife being preyed upon by a blood thirsty wolf and did nothing about it, but listen to the voice of his wife. Whose voice should he have listed to? Genesis 3:17, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it.'” He should have listened to the voice of his God! Guys, how are you doing in this area? Are you listening to God and the lies of Satan, coming at you from every avenue in this world? How much time do you spend in God’s word everyday? I’m telling you, it is my joy to hear God’s word everyday and I couldn’t survive without out it. Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” We’re just like Adam, unless our paths are guarded by the word of God, we’re fools and Satan will destroy our lives!
These are the reasons for God’s judgment against Adam, but the actual judgment is that just as the woman’s primary function is confused now, so is man’s role as a leader and a provider. Genesis 3:17, “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” If you remember in Genesis 2, Adam’s primary role was to serve the Lord in the garden and take care of the creation. This was to be free of frustration and hardship and was actually joyful act of worship. But now, his sin has destroyed everything and if he is to do anything, it will by through pain and suffering.
Genesis 3:18, 19, “Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” So, because of sin there is not only a rivalry between men and women, but also between us and the creation. The creation is cursed. We who were called to rule over the creation are now being ruled by it. Can we not look out at the world and see that something has gone wrong somewhere. This world is groaning under the weight of sin.
God has placed a curse upon the earth because of sin and now it’s no longer like Eden, but chaotic and thorns and thistles come up out of the ground. Look at Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground.” So, man’s privilege of work will now be done through hurt, pain, and emptiness.
One of my best friends plays in the NFL and I once told him that the NFL isn’t like a job or work or anything, not really thinking about what I was saying. He responded by saying, “Yeah, ok!” The first hand off he ever received in the NFL was given to him by Brett Favre. I’ll never forget watching his retirement speech and him saying that knew he could still play, but that he had give it his all and he was threw. You see, even our sports figures can be brought to the point to where they have nothing left to offer. He’s tired. He’s frustrated. And in the end, man dies and returns to the dust he was made from. There is an entire reversal of the creation! This is the result of sin!
God’s Grace in the Midst of Sin
Despite this terribly dark situation, there are sparks of light. Despite the awful thing it is to fall into the hands of angry God, this passage does not rule out hope, but is filled with the grace of God. God is a gracious God! Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
In this verse, God promises that one day, there would come one who would crush the head of Satan. There was coming a man born of a woman who would defeat Satan and the curse that stands against all humanity. And at the appointed time in God’s plan, there was a daughter of Eve, her name was Mary and she was a virgin and God caused a new creation to be created within her. He was to be called Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins. He was coming to crush the head of the serpent. He was born into this world and that serpent bruised his heel all the way to the cross, biting and striking all the way.
On that dreadful day, the serpent was poised to strike, the son of God, and when he did and that cross came crashing down like a shotgun blast and Jesus Christ complete crushed the head of his enemy. Colossians 2:13-15, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” Praise God, the curse is lifted for all who are in Christ!
Check out this talk on The Curse Motif of the Atonement by R.C. Sproul