© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 20 September 2016
1B32. God’s power and perfection were expressed as His judgments and condemnations that would also affect all future people:
(a) Adam and Eve were condemned to death and suffered other dire consequences
(b) The serpent was put under God’s curse and condemnation
(c) The whole of Earth suffered some alienation from God
1B32(title) God’s power and perfection were expressed as His judgments and condemnations that would also affect all future people
God had initially expressed His own nature positively TO Adam and Eve. But now He was making Himself known TO them negatively by enacting judgments and condemnations due to their disobedience. He was still expressing His own nature THROUGH them, but by His powerful judgments upon them! These resulted in huge losses for Adam and Eve and all their future descendants.
This was the abrupt ending of God’s “rules of the game” for Era 1! It was “game over” under that code, never to be played again unless God somehow made it possible…
1B32(a) Adam and Eve were condemned to death and suffered other dire consequences
Adam and Eve were no longer fully receiving and enjoying God’s gift of LIFE. As God had warned Gen 2:17b He condemned them to death! Gen 3:19b. It was a colossal FALL from their previous free enjoyment and full experience of LIFE. They also suffered other dire consequences, as follows.
1B32(a)(i) They could no longer fulfil God’s roles for them
The ability of Adam and Eve to increase in their knowledge of God was shattered by their alienation from Him. They would now corrupt their “likeness of God” by not living in His ways. So they could no longer fulfil God’s roles for them and share with Him in accomplishing His primary purpose.
They could still procreate and increase in number Gen 4:1-2a,17-22,25-26a. But they were no longer fully able to “subdue the earth” under God’s blessing, because the ground was now cursed Gen 3:17b. Nor did they fully rule over all creatures, as the serpent would continue to be a mortal threat to them Gen 3:15.
1B32(a)(ii) They had acquired God-like powers that they could not handle
Adam and Eve had been “made in the image and likeness of God” Gen 1:26-27. But as if this were not enough, God’s Enemy gave them a deceptive, sublime false promise that they would become like God by knowing good and evil Gen 3:5. After the FALL God acknowledged some truth in this Gen 3:22a.
They had taken for themselves the capability to know right from wrong and make moral choices. But such a power belonged to God alone. Only He had the authority to exercise it rightly and make only good ethical decisions.
So Adam and Eve had acquired a God-like power that they could not handle! This would result in further disastrous moral choices based on their own inadequate understanding and corrupt motives. Only by again submitting completely to God’s authority could they escape His further judgments upon their bad responses.
1B32(a)(iii) God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life
If the Garden of Eden had continued to be exposed to the presence of Adam and Eve, its perfection would have been corrupted. So God banished them from the Garden and the potential to live forever Gen 3:22,23-24.
1B32(b) The serpent was put under God’s curse and condemnation
1B32(b)(i) This signified God’s judgment and condemnation of His Enemy
The meaning of God’s curse (Hebrew arar) is “a revelation of God’s justice, in support of His claim to absolute obedience” and is usually contrasted with God’s “blessing” Gen 1:22,28, 2:3.1 So “curse” basically refers to the withdrawing of God’s favour or blessing. This meant being alienated from Him, as the result of disobeying Him.
The curse upon the serpent was the direct result of his spoken challenges to God’s sovereignty. But the serpent was the agent or manifestation of God’s Enemy [1B22(title)]. So this curse on the serpent signified God’s judgment directed at that Enemy himself. God was making Himself known TO His Enemy. God was even expressing His own nature THROUGH His total superiority over His Enemy!
Although God allowed His Enemy to live, he would always be under God’s curse Gen 3:14c. Its permanency meant that God had condemned His Enemy to His declared judgment forever. There could be no greater negative expression than this of God’s perfection.
1B32(b)(ii) The serpent would always crawl on its belly and eat dust
This curse demonstrated the permanent humiliation, condemnation and evil of a being that deliberately and persistently opposed God. It was symbolised by venomous, legless snakes slithering through the dirt that were both repulsive and threatening to people.
1B32(b)(iii) Serpents and God’s Enemy would continue to be a threat to people
God declared that there would be constant mutual enmity, conflict and attacks between the serpent, the woman, and the offspring of each of them Gen 3:15. In its simple literal sense this meant that snakes would be aggressive towards people and a constant venomous threat. They would try to bite people and people would try to kill them. This represented a significant loss of the people’s authority Gen 1:26c,28c. Some of those creatures would now not be totally ruled over but would strike back!
The more sinister meaning was that God’s Enemy, who had disguised himself as a serpent in his first encounter with people, would further attack them craftily. Like serpents, God’s Enemy was an agent of death for people. But he would be a greater mortal threat to them than serpents, being spiritual as well as physical.
Like a prowling predator, God’s Enemy would be ruthlessly looking to provoke people to sin by disobeying God Gen 4:7b. So serpents should have become a reminder to them of the evil nature and intentions of God’s Enemy and of his condemnation by God.
Adam and Eve had already yielded once to God’s Enemy at the FALL and their power to resist him in future was reduced. So his further challenges would be increasingly acute for them.
1B32(b)(iv) God’s Enemy would eventually be destroyed
This was clearly a further development of the analogy between snakes and God’s Enemy. Having once been successful in profoundly hindering God’s primary purpose, God’s Enemy would continue his ruthless attempts to completely thwart God. There would be ongoing mutual enmity, conflict and attacks between him and people.
God declared that the serpent would eventually be either severely wounded or killed by someone. This implied that God’s Enemy would ultimately be made powerless or eliminated. That would be the final fulfilment of God’s condemnation of him.
1B32(c) The whole of Earth suffered some alienation from God
The evil of God’s Enemy and the disobedience of the people had led to their judgment and deprivation. But it seems surprising that it also resulted in similar negative effects upon the wider natural world. God cursed the ground itself! Gen 3:17b,18-19a. Apparently all of planet Earth was caught up in these disastrous consequences.
This indicates that the whole natural world involved some kind of spiritual dimension. That becomes clear if instead of calling it the “natural world” (which implies a kind of secular neutrality) it is named on the basis of its origins and continuing existence. Earth should be seen as created by God’s spoken word and implemented by the Spirit of God, and also sustained and governed by God [1A4(a)]. So the entire basis of its existence is fundamentally spiritual.
Therefore it is hardly surprising that the whole of Earth was affected by the spiritual condition of the people, who were its central feature. As God had twice stated to Adam, it was because of you that the ground was cursed Gen 3:17.
Arrows 1B29 -> 1B32
1B31 -> 1B32
These arrows indicate that because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God declared specific judgments and condemnations upon them and their descendants, as well as upon His Enemy and the whole Earth.