To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:16-19
This passage of the Bible is one which few accept. Why? Because it speaks of the curse brought upon all mankind by the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden; and who wants to acquiesce to a life filled with pain, sorrow, hard work, trouble, hardship and, finally, death and decay?
To the woman God said, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” How many women are willing to accept this truth and submit themselves to such a life of sorrow and pain?
To Adam God said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
One doesn’t have to be a farmer to know that the ground brings forth thorns and thistles, but the curse includes the fact that we will have to labor and work hard to earn and produce our daily bread; yet we so often forget this and seek an easier way. We grumble and complain about the need to labor and work long and hard hours, but we shouldn’t expect things to be easy in this sinful world.
We also will all die and return to the dust of the ground. We try to put this truth far from our minds, as well, and we live as though death will not overtake us; but it will! We will return to the dust of the ground from which we were formed and created. Some go to great lengths to avoid the inevitable, but they too die.
And why all this suffering, sorrow, toil, pain and death? It is because of sin – because Adam and Eve doubted and disobeyed God’s word to them and because we are born in sin and disobedience to the perfect will and design of our Creator. The Bible tells us that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and these words are true. We die because we are sinners, and there is nothing we can do about it
Yet God has provided a solution to our self-inflicted dilemma. He sent His only-begotten Son into the world a true man to fulfill all righteousness for us, living in perfect obedience to the holy will and commandments of the LORD, and then to bear in Himself the full punishment for the sins of the world, by suffering and dying upon the cross, that we might be pardoned and acceptable in God’s eyes.
This Jesus has done. He lived a holy life in our stead and then suffered and died upon the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day. In Christ Jesus, God offers and gives to us sinners forgiveness for all our sins and everlasting life with Him in heaven. As the Scriptures say, “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Yes, as sinners, we suffer the heartaches, pains and sorrows of this world. We have to spend our days here laboring for our daily bread. And, finally, when our days here are done, we die and our bodies return to the dust (cf. Psalm 90). But as believers in Christ Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again in victory, we are assured that we too shall be raised up on the last day to life eternal. We are assured and take comfort in the fact that Jesus is right now preparing a place for us and will come again to take us to be with Him forever in the mansions of His Father’s house (cf. John 14:1ff.). For us, “to die” is “to depart and be with Christ, which is far better”! (Philippians 1:21,23).
Indeed, we live by faith in the Son of God who died for us, rose again and is coming to take us to be with Him forever! We endure the pain and suffering of this world in eager anticipation of the life which is to come for Jesus’ sake!
O dearest Jesus, You lived the holy and sinless life which I should have lived, and You took the punishment I should have suffered when you were condemned and forsaken of the Father upon the cross. Thank You for paying the price for my sin and opening up for me the way of eternal life. Graciously receive me into Your everlasting kingdom and give me never-ending life with You in heaven. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.