Thoughts on The Curse

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:6-13

The first great human story in the Bible is man’s rejoicing at meeting the woman. The second great human story directly following is man being deceived by the woman and getting evicted from the Garden. It was all a big misunderstanding sure, but I’m just saying.

The crafty serpent appears, and this attribute is not a detriment. But the devil takes advantage of this and the fact the woman was not around when Adam received the instructions about which tree’s fruit could not be consumed (the Good and Evil tree). Somehow Eve got the impression that you couldn’t even touch it. Maybe Adam’s communication skills were still in the primitive stage or perhaps he led Eve to believe that touching it was not good just to insure a measure of safety to keep her well away from the tree. Who knows. We do know that the Devil took advantage of this ambiguity to drive a wedge in her doubt about whether it was really a good idea to keep the two of them from any proscriptions in the Garden. And she made the mistake of actually thinking about it instead of rejecting the thought outright. And as we all know, once you start giving an idea some credence it is all too easy to convince yourself that the worst possible idea is actually the best course of action.

And so she not only succumbed to temptation but she compelled her husband to follow her down, he apparently complied without so much as a “what the?” And the rest is the repulsive history we are vomiting up to this day; with a few glorious exceptions of course.

Following God’s examination of Adam and Eve’s so called confession, “the serpent made me do it,” “the woman You gave me,” God hands down summary judgement in order of appearance, to the serpent, the woman, and lastly Adam.

Interestingly, in the curse to Eve He mentions “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband . . . .” I always wondered what this “desire for your husband” was all about until I realized that since the bearing of children was always going to be accompanied with great pain – in spite of that fact the woman was still going to want to desire to have children with her husband, she still very much wanted to have his children. It was going to be hard-wired into her to desire his children in spite of the fact that it would be a painful experience.

And then when God added the phrase “And he will rule over you” she would have to submit to some hierarchy of authority since she was the cause of the temptation of Adam. Until that time they were equals on equal footing. And that part of the curse, just like every other element of the curse, would be fought over and would be attempted to be eradicated before its time of completion, just like we are trying to eradicate all the effects of the curse God laid on the man:

“Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground” Gen. 3:17-19

So God evicted man after making some clothes for the two of them and then barred the gates. The next big story, the third in the series, after a couple kids are born, is a murder. The world is progressing. We have a young family with kids eking out a living off the land, involved in a homicide and a runaway. Pretty much like what we have today. Only between that event and today salvation history has unfolded, without which all of this, from the first to the last would be completely pointless, meaningless. But including this makes the only sense possible.

Which is why you can’t stop reading at Genesis chapter 3. You have to read completely through to Revelation chapter 22 because we see the final victory that has been promised without which there is no hope. But we of all people have the most hope.

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