3) Gen 3:19: Great reversals have occurred since God formed Adam from the ground and caused food to grow (Gen 1:29–30; Gen 2:7–9). The pure joy and satisfaction from working the ground which God intended no longer exists.[1]

Instead, the ground (adamah) would resist and eventually swallow Adam back into itself, rather than continuing to submit to his care.[2]

This struggle would continue until death occurred,[3] quite different from the elevated state Adam and Eve expected to attain by trespassing the Lord’s restriction (Gen 3:4–7).[4]

God’s pronouncement confirms the penalty for eating the forbidden fruit (Gen 2:16–17).[5]

However, it also promises respite from the difficulty of living under these conditions. Even repentance cannot free humanity from the toil of labor to provide sustenance for our bodies while this life lasts.[6]

God’s decree hinted that exclusion from Eden was imminent, for a death sentence implied that he would obstruct the way to the tree of life (Gen 2:9). Only by remaining in the garden could Adam and Eve experience life to the fullest.[7]

Since the word “die” does not appear here, physical death would not come instantly, as they might have expected (Gen 5:5).[8]

They would inevitably—not immediately—return to dust as a penalty for their sin.[9]

In their disobedience, Adam and Eve experienced death before they died. Thus, the serpent had spoken the truth even while lying (Gen 3:1–4).[10]

By desiring to live, being unable to fully live, and being forced to live, humanity without God remains dead (Eph 2:1–3).[11]

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

 a) Read Gen 3:19. What great reversals did the Lord pronounce? How can people be dead even while living? In what ways have you experienced this?

 

 

 

Go to Clothed by God

 

[Related posts include The Lord Provides Food (Gen 1:29–30); The Lord Breathes Life (Gen 2:7); A Well-Watered Garden (Gen 2:8–14); Forbidden Fruit (Gen 2:16–17); Serpents in the Ancient Near East (Gen 3:1); A World-Altering Conversation (Gen 3:2–5); and Noah Planted a Vineyard (Gen 9:20–21)]

 

[Click here to go to Chapter 9: Painful Toil (Genesis 3:17–21)]

 

[1] Alexander, From Paradise to the Promised Land, 117.

[2] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 95.

[3] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 203.

[4] Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 95.

[5] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 83.

[6] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 203–4.

[7] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 83.

[8] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 204.

[9] Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 83.

[10] Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3, 135.

[11] Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3, 142.