Adam & Eve • Devotion #6: Adam’s Curse and Position
Joshua Combs | Lead Pastor
“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; 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.’” Genesis 3:17-19
There is an old saying attributed to several different authors and statesmen, that the only two certainties in the world are death and taxes. I suppose we could modify this saying ever so slightly to reflect what God says in Genesis chapter 3. The curse that is spoken over Adam, summarized, is simply, “Adam, work is going to be hard and then you die.” Adam was given the joyful task of maintaining the Garden of Eden and was never going to die, but sin and Adam’s rebellion ruined all of that. The work that had once been so wonderful became extremely burdensome. Food that had been so readily available to provide for his family’s needs would now come at an extremely high cost. Only through tireless sweat, that would simultaneously zap the life from him, would Adam be able to eat and provide for his family. Sin had undoubtedly changed everything, including work.
But Jesus came to redeem us from the curse. He died on the cross and rose from the grave to restore what was broken in Eden. This amazing redeeming work rescues more than just our souls from the powerful grip of sin but redeems work. The Scripture is filled with important passages concerning work that point us to its greater meaning, purpose, and mission.
Paul writes in Colossians 3:22-24, “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.”
Just as Adam in the garden was “hired” by the Lord and “paid” by the Lord (the room and board were pretty great), in Christ, we are the same. Yes, we will have human supervisors, but they are not who we ultimately answer to or pay us. The Bible is very clear, as followers of Jesus, we are to work diligently not to impress our direct supervisor, but because we know the Lord gave us our job. Not only did the Lord bless us with our job, but it is the Lord who rewards us (Colossians 2:24).
Without a doubt, we live in a fallen world that was dramatically changed that day in Eden. But Jesus the Redeemer has come to buy back what was stolen through sin. The Lord’s redemptive work includes redeeming us and even our work.
Bonus Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12; Ecclesiastes 9:10; 1 Peter 2:18-25