“Cursed is the ground because of you”
By Jon W. Quinn
Our world has not been made a better place
because of sin. Our sins always have a bad impact on our lives. The sinner may
think that he has improved his life by stealing, lying, exploiting or
transgressing God’s Law in some other way. What a good feeling it is to get
away with something, whether you are a corrupt politician, a con artist or a
shoplifter. “Stolen water is sweet” (Proverbs 9:17). But sin changes things.
Subtle but serious changes that have horrendous consequences. If sinners only
knew what they were doing to themselves they wouldn't be smiling. If
Christians would only remember some of these things when temptation seems so
strong then perhaps the temptation would wilt away. Sin changes things.
Sin Alters Your Relationship With God
"And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of
the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord
God among the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). It had not always been that
way. Fear such as this was something new. Before sin there had been only trust
and joy, but now that was gone.
The couple had a very immature concept of God. They tried to hide from the One
who is all-seeing. Neither can we today hide our actions from the eyes of God.
Let your actions be of such a nature that there is no need to hide them. Many
people revel in their rebellion against God as they mock any idea of judgment.
They may be bold now, but will they when the hour of recompense comes? Adam
and Eve did not become afraid until they realized that they were in the
immediate presence of the Lord. One passage well describes the reaction of the
rebellious as they faced a judgment of the Lord. Remember: these had also
previously been bold and mocking in their contempt for Christ and His people;
"...and they said to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from
the presence of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for
the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" (Revelation
With Adam and Eve, Satan had put a question mark where God had put an
exclamation point. What God had forbade Satan had declared permissible. The
course of these two lives, as well as the entire span of human history, was
changed forever. One sin can wreck a whole life. It often happens.
No matter how far from God we fall, the answer is always the same. Jesus is
the only way to regain fellowship with God. Because we deal with a loving God,
He, Himself, has paid the price for our transgressions. The relationship
broken by our sins can be restored by God's grace through our faith (John
14:6; Ephesians 2:1-10).
Sin Alters Your Relationship With Yourself
"Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing
good and evil..." (Genesis 3:22). Man had been at perfect peace with himself.
There had been no inner conflict between right and wrong, no pangs of guilt,
no struggles. There had really only been one moral choice to make: obey God's
command not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. But now there was
no peace. Something had awakened within Adam and Eve that had taken away their
innocence, and with it, the security that they once knew. No longer did the
world seem the safe home it once was. They felt threatened and exposed.
The search for inner peace continues today. It has led many to false hopes.
The answer is not in eastern religions; they offer no Savior. It is not in
drugs and alcohol; they only create additional problems. It is not in suicide,
that final solution merely sends one to eternity. Again, the only correct
choice is Jesus. He will restore peace legitimately. He will make it possible
for you to face life and death without anxiety. "And the peace of God, which
surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Sin Alters Your Relationship With Others
"And the man said, 'The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from
the tree, and I ate" (Genesis 3:12). Now there is strife. There is suspicion,
distrust and conflict. Here we have the beginning of disharmony in the home.
As the world is populated, there will develop conflict between brothers,
between neighbors, between cities and finally between nations. But here we
have the beginning. No human tear has ever been shed but what can ultimately
be traced back to the first sin.
Again it is Jesus who teaches the principles necessary to get us back on track
in all of our human relationships. The answer is unselfish dedication to
others, whether it be husband or wife, brother or sister, neighbor or
stranger, friend or enemy.
Only when the teachings of Jesus are applied to our lives can we really expect
there to be much improvement in this area. Whenever two people are faithfully
dedicated to the teachings of Christ, distrust will dissolve and be replaced
by trust and confidence. That is why Christians will make the best husbands
and wives; friends and neighbors; employers and employees. They have risen
above the world's standards in their dealings with others. God is the greatest
builder of human relationships; Satan is the destroyer of good relationships.
Sin Alters Your Relationship With Nature
"...cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the
days of your life" (Genesis 3:17). Various natural consequences resulted from
the first sin. Not only was nature cursed, but being separated from the tree
of life meant that man became mortal and destined to die. From then on,
through one means or another, the day would come for each human being where
the body of flesh would fail and the spirit depart. Pain in childbirth,
wasteful thorns and thistles and physical exhaustion are other results
mentioned specifically in the context. Everywhere we look today we see human
suffering caused by living in a fallen world. And sin has its direct
consequences as well: disease, hunger and poverty are many times the direct
result of sin.
Again, the answer to this human dilemma is Jesus. he said, "And if I go to
prepare a place for you I will come again, and receive you to Myself, that
where I am you may be also." (John 14:3). This is the hope of all those who
are tired of the human condition. It is God’s gift. Take it and be thankful!
From The Bradley Banner 6/30/2013
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway