Online Bible Commentary
The Consequences of Sin
Genesis 3: 16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." 17 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. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." (NIV)
Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. They sinned, convinced by Satan, in the form of a serpent, that God forbid them the fruit because He did not want them to have His power. It matters not who sinned first or whose fault it was that they sinned. All that matters is that they both sinned. Now, they must pay the consequences of their sin, because all sin carries consequences.
Sin happens because we have free will. God gave each of us free will. He could have made us as robots. We would have done everything as He wished, including loving Him. But love is not love when it is forced. So God, desiring the love of His creation, gave us free will.
Sin also happens because there is evil in the world. The source of evil is the fallen angel, Satan. Satan roams the earth seeing what kind of damage he can do to God’s creation. He has already tried to overthrow God, but has failed. So he goes after us, God’s creation. He looks for our weak spots. When he finds them, his demons enter. Demons can take us over. They can only be expelled through the power of Christ.
So Satan found Adam and Eve’s weak spots. For the purpose of this subject today, it matters not what they were. We all have weak spots. You probably know what tempts you to sin. I know I do. Temptations come from Satan, never from God. So we must all guard against Satan entering our lives through our weak spots. When he does, we are tempted to sin.
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus Christ is the only person who walked this earth without sinning. Satan even tried hitting Him at his weakest times, but Christ resisted, and so should we. When we don’t, we must face the consequences.
This passage tells of the consequences of sin that fell upon mankind because of the sin of the representatives of mankind, Adam and Eve. Because of Eve’s sin, the “pains in childbearing” (v. 16a) were greatly increased. God apparently had not intended childbirth to be so painful, but sin changed all that.
An added consequence of Eve’s sin was “Your desire will be for your husband” (v. 16b). The Hebrew word translated “desire” is “tesuqah” which means desire, or longing. This would be a “longing”, a desire for sexual intimacy, which would lead to a higher incidence of childbirth. Also, the husband would “rule over” his wife (v. 16c). The wife would be more susceptible to the husband’s rule in the area of sex. This is another measure that would increase the frequency of childbirth. Both the wife’s longing and the ruling of the husband would make it harder to avoid the pain of childbirth. So God’s consequence for Eve’s sin is that childbirth would be more painful, and harder to avoid.
The consequence of Adam’s sin was the cursing of the ground (vv. 17-19). This is a reference to work. Men were assigned the task of working to feed their families. God intended this task for men, and the task of keeping the home and children for women.
The women’s liberation movement has upset God’s will in this regard. Women now suffer both consequences of the original sin, instead of the one God assigned to them. Women have it harder, now. This was not God’s intention.
The addition of women to the workforce has made it difficult for families to survive on only one paycheck. When men with families predominantly made up the workforce, as recently as the 1950’s, employers sought to pay them wages that would support their whole families. When wives began working in greater numbers, this policy changed. This change was not the will of God, nor the doing of God.
So, all sin carries consequences. When Christians sin, our sin is forgiven. We must repent, turn from that sin. But even so, the consequences remain. We will pay earthly consequences for sin. We would be wise to avoid these consequences.
We know our weaknesses. When we are tempted, we should not get into a conversation with Satan, as did Eve. The best thing is to run the other way, immediately! When David was tempted by Bathsheba, he kept watching and was drawn into sin. David’s son with Bathsheba died. In contrast, when Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he ran, leaving everything behind. Joseph was made the greatest in Egypt. Run from sin. You will be the better for it.