Free files for fellow youth pastors:
Something I’ve always wanted is a talking pet. Have you seen those cats and dogs that can talk by mimicking their owners by saying something like “I love you.” That is really cool to me…but it also freaks me out! Their voices sound so different than their normal pet noises.
When thinking about the scene in Genesis 3, we can’t imagine this speaking serpent as simply some “copy cat” (pun intended!). Rather, this snake is slithering right past Adam towards Eve with an evil mission. Queen Eve carries on a conversation with the coiling serpent who twists the Word of God which Adam had communicated to her. The serpent was hissing false claims about God’s commands and doubtfulness regarding God’s goodness in them. In fact, the serpent was following his method of temptation (3:6) that He later tried on Jesus at His temptation, and that also was exposed in 1 John 2:16: good for food (lust of the flesh), delight to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and to be desired to make one wise (pride of life). The woman not only listened, but she also submitted to the serpent. The man submitted to the woman. And no one submitted to God. When Adam was to be exercising headship over his wife, and both of them were to be exercising dominion over the creation, they disobeyed every command of God.
Something instantly changed when they rebelled. They felt very different. And worse yet, they heard God walking towards them (3:8). Never before feeling shame, they tried to hide among the garden’s tree from the all-seeing God. What had drastically changed was the one thing that everything depended upon…their unity with God. The sin-curse damaged the relationship between God and man. We no longer are born into a natural relationship with God, but because of the curse we are born separated from Him and in need of a Unifier.
When God began to ask them questions about what had happened (much like a parent watching their child take a cookie and allowing their child to fess up), Adam blamed it on the woman and worse yet – God, and the woman blamed the serpent. It was obvious to them that their relationship together had changed as well. The sin-curse damaged the relationship between humans. Humans no longer naturally and continuously love each other. We fight and argue.
After the blame game finally ended, God began to spell out the consequences of the curse which came with their rebellion. Notice it wasn’t God punishing them and saying if you rebel against me then I’m going to make life hell (literally) for you. Rather, God is announcing what has happened now that they have chosen to separate themselves from the life-source: Himself.
First, God says to the serpent that he is cursed above all beasts, he will be on his belly, and he will eat dust. But the most important part of this curse is the fact that God puts hatred between the children of Eve and the serpent. In fact, so much so that a Son of the woman will come who will crush the head of the serpent while all the serpent will be able to do is bruise His heel. This is the first mention of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ in Scripture (Genesis 3:15).
Second, God announces to Eve that the curse of her rebellion will be specifically applied to what she was created to find pleasure in most: being a mother and a wife. The reason women today are opting out of having children is not so much because of a change of culture but more so because they are listening to the ancient serpent and acting out of the original curse. Likewise, women who seek to control and manipulate their husbands don’t simply suffer from a stronger personality, but they are seeing the female curse act itself out right before their eyes.
Third, God describes to Adam the curse he and his male offspring will experience. The sin-curse damaged the relationship between humanity and creation. By Adam’s rebellion, all creation was cursed to rebel against him rather be under his dominion. The ground became hard, and work became difficult. The reason men today suffer from laziness is not merely because they are bored, but it is because they are not working to reverse the sin-curse in their lives. Christ has become the curse for us (Galatians 3:13). We must live as men and women for Christ!