Blessing in the Curse

jak2010 By jak2010, 30th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Curse is many times thought of a very bad thing. In the Bible God cursed Adam and Eve for their part in their disobedience and submit to temptation and sin. Can there be a blessing in the curse? This article tell us that there is blessing in the curse.

Fall of Man and God's Judgment Genesis 3

When God handed down his judgment at the fall (Genesis 3) he specified penalty for each of the three, Adam, Eve, and the snake. To snake and the woman the pronouncement only takes three verses , vv14-16 where the curse affected their physical make up and their functions- the snake to crawl on its belly and there would be great pain at the child birth for the woman. Yet the woman will desire for her husband though painful the result of that desire brings forth.

To the man, which is our main point of discussion of the blessings in the curse in this article, he carries a curse that is so unique that in it blessings abound.

Adam was not cursed

The first pronouncement, “curse is the ground because of you through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life,” Genesis 3: 17. Notice here that God did not curse Adam, but cursed the ground. Why did God curse the ground which is innocent? One of the assumptions is that the substance of Adam’s make up is the ground. Adam was made out of the ground. God did not curse any of his biological and physical make as God did to the woman and the snake. God cursed an element which was Adam’s very own and core of his bodily make up in which he was created out of and from which his entire life will be dependent upon, the ground.

Adam needs to use his energy, skills, time and effort to toil a cursed ground to yield crops for his survival, sustainability and livelihood. Man and ground are inseparable even before the fall because Adam was created out of the ground. In other words, man and ground are synonyms. They are interdependent and they are made for each other. Their Hebrew names testify this view. Adam – man was created from adama- the ground. They are made for each other, the man is made to toil the ground and the ground is made for the man to toil it.

The Real Curse

The second pronouncement, “It will produce thorns and thistles and you will eat the plants of the field.” (v18). The real curse is what the ground would to do to the man, making it very difficult and laborious for the man to cultivate. Yet he will desire for it just as the woman would do after bearing great pains at child birth have desire for her husband .Because without the ground and without working on it he will die.

The third pronouncement, “By the sweat of your brows you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken;” v19. Adam’s life depends on him touching and working the ground. Working and touching the ground is the physical activity that brings physical pain to man. He will seat, hunger, thirst, injure, and age, and eventually return to the ground from it he came from (v19). Before the fall man was destiny for eternity, but here after the fall he destined for returning to the ground.

What are blessings in the cursing?

First, the man is not cursed in any way that affects his biological or physical make up. He remains the same in the form God created him. In fact, it is for both Adam and Eve they remain unaffected though Eve’s biological function of giving birth was made known in the curse. In the first creation story in Genesis 1:26-28 the function of giving birth is not mentioned, and it is not certain to allude to it as a feminine function. God said to them, “be fruitful and multiply.” It is unclear and improper to pinpoint to a specific gender that has the child bearing function. It is only in the curse in Genesis 3 that points to woman as the one who has the biological organs to give birth. The curse of the woman is therefore concerns the biological organs she possesses and not the physical construction of her body.

Adam and Eve retain their physical attributes, mental capabilities, emotional powers which empower them to toil the cursed ground to reap the blessings. The blessing here is actual eating or not accumulation of yield. Eating has both biological and social functions. Eating from the produce of the cursed land helps the body to be alive. Socially, eating has far reaching benefits that make man fulfill himself as a complete person. Eating unites, embraces love, shows kindness and hospitality and builds communion and fellowship. Eating has a religious function that makes human beings see God as a provider and keeper of their lives.

Blessing in the curse is not so much to do with toiling the land and reaping a galore of yield. It is, on the other hand, a blessing that by toiling the land it brings forth a produce that you and others eat of it (v19) until you return to the ground. St. Paul theologizes the eating as the blessing of work. “He who does not work shall not eat,” (2Thess.3; 10).

What does it mean for us today?

The modern technological world provides an environment where ground is no longer our ‘work bench.’ Yet, the same curse remains. Whatever profession one is in s/he must toil and sweat, be it on the keyboard of computer, behind the controls of a jet plane, playing professional football on a football field or on a land in a farm. At the end of fortnight a pay cheque becomes a modern version of yield which then is used for purchasing food for eating and drinking. The act of eating and drinking whether in a simple family home or a five star hotel restaurant, culminates the curse in which it is a blessing.

The curse of ‘through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life’ becomes an ethical norm for men to work hard over the centuries to bring forth civilizations. History has taught us that men worked so hard to bring comfort and modernity. Without hard work modernity and its comfort as enjoyed today would not have been possible. This is the blessing in the curse.

Read more:


Adam, Adam And Eve, Blessing, Curse, Genesis, Work

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author avatar jak2010
A teacher from Papua New Guinea, English is my sixth language and love to write articles using my sixth language.

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author avatar vpaulose
1st Aug 2011 (#)

An interesting write about creation and Genesis. Thank you dear friend.

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