The Layman's Bible

Biblical Interpretation from Someone with no Training in Biblical Interpretation

The Curse

Truly, the Lord hath cursed us.  I use “hath” rather than “has” so you understand the seriousness of the statement (as older English is often heavier).  I read the NIV Bible, but there are times when the concept needs an older word.

I should be writing on a cooler topic, like that I think Genesis 6:1-3 was not about mixed marriages between angels and people but about intermarrying with non believers.  Or, I could be writing that one could argue that God’s command to Abram in Genesis 12:1 has to do with leaving behind personal baggage as a believer (see Genesis 11:27-28).  But I feel compelled to talk about the fall of man (again, I guess), specifically the curse itself.

In Genesis 3:17 God curses the ground and with it, creation itself,

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
Through painful toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.”

It is of some note that the first recorded murder was by Cain, who worked the soil.  We can read about it in Genesis 4:1-2,

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.

Even Noah, after disembarking the Ark ends up on an episode of “Patriarchs Gone Wild” after working with the ground.  If you don’t believe me, check it out;

Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent (Genesis 9:20-21).

I don’t think these are coincident.  The ground produces death, death springs up under us.  Notice that on the whole, from Genesis 5:5-31 and Genesis 11:13-25 people’s life spans decrease as the curse continues to set in;

Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. And after he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enosh lived 905 years, and then he died.

When Kenan had lived 70 years he became the father of Mahalalel. And after he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Kenan lived 910 years, and then he died.

When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. And after he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died.

When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because god took him away.

When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died (Genesis 5:5-31).

And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters (Genesis 11:13-25).

I found myself saying recently, “Before I knew Jesus, this world was much cooler.”  Before you get angry, it’s true, and here is the real point of the curse: When I know God, I realize that this world really sucks.  Think about it, God tells us all about heaven, and even just think of what the garden looked like, they don’t even compare to the world now.  And what’s worse, where I want to be, I can’t go yet; I have to wait until god deems it to be my time, or the whole world’s time.  Therefore, I end up thoroughly hating this world and seeking heaven.  2 Corinthians 5:2 says, “Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling.”  How true that is.

Hebrews 11:13-16 talks about the patriarchs, saying,

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had an opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

The Curse (Desert Man)We are like those patriarchs; we have become strangers in this world.  And now we are like Abraham, “For he was looking forward to a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).  Now that we’ve left the life of sin, and are looking forward to heaven, what is there in between?  A big awful desert.  No longer is sin desirable to us (as we know it leads to death) and yet we are not in heaven yet.  This is the curse, and for us, it hits even harder, since we know what we’re missing.  I have nothing against “Name it and Claim it” Christians trying to make the most of their time on Earth.  By all means, sweeten up this world, it needs it.  But as for me, I want to name and claim heaven- now- because Earth is pretty awful in comparison.

Think I’m being a bit over-dramatic?  I am, purposely, but really; think about life here and now versus what we read about in Revelations:

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal (Revelation 21:10-11).

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it (Revelation 21:22-26).

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5)

So, let’s see, we’ve got here or…a Technicolor wonderland in which both God and Jesus are so easily accessible that I can walk right up to them and see their faces.  I’m sorry, screw our world as it is now.  In Song of Songs 1:4, the “Beloved” yells to her lover (representing Jesus for us), “Take me away with you- let us hurry!”  I agree. Thank God that he is coming soon, for in Revelation 22:20, it says, “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

AMEN! COME, LORD JESUS!

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This entry was posted on July 19, 2013 by in Bible Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , .
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