Proposition: Always, the justice of God proceeds from His wisdom, knowledge and grace, even in the curse.
Introduction: “Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love”- John Bunyan. The sin of Adam was all this as it called for consequence to the action of disobedience and the choice of unbelief. This morning we are going to take a closer look at the response of God to the sin of Satan and of humanity, we are going to look at what has been called The Curse of God. We know the word curse as that which expresses contempt towards others and even ourselves. We have many curse words, but a curse in another sense is a negative judgment. James 3:9 says that with the same mouth we curse men and bless God and that this is wrong. Galatians 3:10 puts things differently, “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ ” The curse of God expresses the inevitable consequences of sin and though it expresses Gods justice it has at its heart the redemption of man. Turn with me to Genesis 3:14.
I. The Curse of God Upon Satan. There is a two-fold judgment pronounced here, one upon the creature that Satan employed in his deception and one upon Satan himself.
1. The judgment on the creature. The serpent is said to have been more “cunning”, the Hebrew word used here is ‘aruwm’, it comes from a root word meaning, ‘to make naked’(Gesenius Lexicon). It carries the meaning of being subtle, sly, even sensible. This was the creature that Satan appealed to, that he used and in some sense it was held accountable for it’s compliance in the deceit of Adam. The effect of the curse upon this specific creature is that it’s form was changed. Instead of being an upright creature it was reduced to moving on its ribs and scales. The effect of this movement would create a sense of unease in those who see it. This is a curse that is meant to remind all who see the serpent that they are to be wary of it and the danger it represents through the deceit of sin.
2. The judgment on the spiritual being, Satan. God puts ‘enmity’ between Satan and the woman. Enmity means, ‘hatred’, ‘to consider someone or something your enemy’. God curses Satan saying that this hatred will be between Satan’s seed and the woman’s seed. Satan is an angelic being, he doesn’t procreate, so his seed are all those who are influenced and in agreement with his purpose and self exalting spirit. Demonic hosts yes, but even mankind can fall into this category as those whose hearts are against the truth of God and the personhood of God. What about ‘the seed of the woman’? Typically ‘seed’ is a term referred to males. The seed of the woman infers a male within her that had no male father, it is the seed, the male, ‘of the woman’ and it points to the incarnation of Jesus Christ. How can we know that for sure, look at what is said next, “He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” The curse of God upon Satan is to declare enmity between mankind and Satan, the devil will always be the accuser, the thief, the destroyer of mankind, even those who are under his control. But even higher, God is ever at war in the heavenly and earthly realms with the forces and purposes of Satan. To this end, the seed of the woman will come, Jesus Christ will crush Satan’s head, delivering a final and irreversible end to this eternal, fallen, angelic being. The cost will bruise the seed of the woman, the Son of Man, on the heel, a phrase that refers to the cross of Christ. This curse of being crushed is put upon Satan, at the cross of Christ it was pronounced as a sentence, at the casting of Satan into the Lake of Fire the sentence will be served.
II. The Curse Upon the Woman.
To the woman God declares He will, “greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception.” Because they have sinned, death has now come into mankind’s experience. The response to death is procreation and it and the pain associated with it is now greatly increased. God declares that the consequence of sin in a woman will affect her relationship with her husband. Her desire will be for her husband, the word means longing, craving and has the inference of a thirst to control. The same word is used in Genesis 4:7 where God says, “…sin lies at the door and its desire is for you…”. The counter declaration moves against this as God declares of her husband, “And he shall rule over you.” The relationship that occurs as a result of sin in mankind distorts God’s design for marriage. Power and authority are abused, headship and submission are confused.
III. The Curse Upon the Man.
There are three aspects to this curse upon man:
1. His abode is cursed. The very earth itself has changed from being fruitful to fallen. The growth of unproductive things increases to the point that man will struggle to exercise dominion over it. Romans 8:19-22 talks about how the whole of creation has been affected by the sin of man as it too awaits mans redemption.
2. Work is now the sentence that is handed to man, work that is necessary to overcome thorns and thistles. Where once Adam ate of the fruit freely now it is herbs of the field, where once it had been freely given, now sweat and struggle mark the way to basic bread.
3. The effect of death is instituted. From the dust Adam was made, the very name “Adam” means red earth. The effect of death is that the body of Adam will fall apart, it will degenerate and in death become the dust of the earth. The curse upon Adam that comes as a consequence to sin is the separation of his body and soul in death.
Had the Bible ended here it would be a hopeless truth, but God has a greater response to this curse. In Galatians 3:13 it says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing…”. In Revelation 22:3 it says, “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him”. Grace and mercy are Gods plan for bringing man past this curse, ending death, ending pain, ending a fallen creation, ending procreation, ending Satan, ending sin.
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