Devo Scripture: Genesis 3:14-19
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I’m tired. Most days exhausted by day’s end. Weary from work that has no end. You too? It is work to live. Work to love. Work to raise godly children. Work to stay married. Work to succeed. Work to be patient; to be holy. And it’s tiring. Am I appreciative? Oh yes absolutely! Do I love my precious little people and my hard working farmer? More than I could ever express! They are God’s gifts to me. Along with our home and all that it brings. But because of sin. Because of the judgments pronounced back in the garden these gifts that mark the core of my existence blend with hard continuous work. It is toil…at times painful toil. That sometimes produces sorrow. Perhaps today you feel the harsh reality of the painful toil. It’s hard. It drains. It fatigues. But there is grace. Always grace. We must look for the grace…
There is much I wonder about this scene in Genesis 3. Did God clothe them before discussing the results of their disobedience? Did the LORD call for the serpent to come near or was he still lurking close by? Did God speak with a harsh tone or gentleness in his voice? Maybe he spoke with tears in his eyes. Hurt in his voice. Sadness underlying each word knowing what he could no longer protect them from. Did Adam and Eve respond with tears of their own? Regret pulsing through their bodies – hammering away at their last bit of resilience. Did they beg for a second chance? Did the LORD reassure them with the promise of his presence? It says he drove them out of the garden. Did he then stand and watch them walk away; praying over them (for HE lives to intercede for us; Rom. 8:34) as they walked into a world brimming with hurt – knowing full well what lay ahead for them; for us. Did God long to share with them the mystery’s of what was to come? How he would one day make it right again. I cannot fathom the agony and ache of the separation.
Pain. It had to be painful to leave the garden. Can you imagine knowing perfection and then losing it? The quest for perfection can be maddening but I purpose to obtain perfection and lose it be even more maddening. I can only imagine what life must have been like for Adam and Eve having known what it was to be righteous yet live out their days in unrighteousness. No doubt it was painful to leave the garden. To leave behind all that it represented. But pain was now inevitable. In Gen. 3:16 and 17 the word pain is part of the consequence for both the man and the woman. Striking the very core of their God given roles. The Hebrew word itstsabon used here can be translated “painful toil.” The result of disobedience meant painful toil for both man and woman. The sheer heartbeat of the woman, her children, would not only cause her great pain at birth but she would toil in raising them. She would experience first hand what it was like to give a command and have it deliberately disobeyed. And though her children be a blessing, raising them right would mean exhausting toil. Painful toil. Sorrow. She would strive. Labor. Work. Struggle. In the home and also in the marriage. What was meant to be a beautiful partnership between man and woman would now embody struggle. The woman’s desire spoken of in verse 16 is not an emotional desire of intimacy but a desire of mastery. A desire to rule over him instead of beside him. It would be a labor of love to close her mouth when necessary. A labor of love to submit to her husband’s leadership. A labor of love to respect and honor him. Is anyone else suddenly feeling a bit uncomfortable here? Someone please open a window; it’s getting a bit warm!
I don’t know about you but my first hand experiences with these judgments is proof enough to me that the Bible is real. It’s all very real. The toil. The struggle. The work. It’s real. I not only feel it and struggle with it but I see it. I look no further than my flower beds to see the weeds. Lift my eyes to the fields beyond to see that which threatens to choke the crops. I see it in the look of exhaustion etched upon my man’s face daily. The sweat. The toil. The painful toil of year after year battling a relentless earth to produce nourishment for a hungry world. The sheer heartbeat of the man, his work, marked with sorrow, pain, and frustration until death. But it’s not just farming. It’s anything mankind seeks to produce. Man’s work – intended to be a gift – shrouded in struggle. Struggle resulting in backbreaking work. Painful toil. Sorrowful toil.
But there is hope even though there be struggle. God gave Adam and Eve hope. He’s given us hope. Hope in the offspring of the woman. Genesis 3:15 is the first messianic prophecy in Scripture. There in the garden God foretold that day Satan’s doom. The seed (singular) of the woman would be merely bruised by Satan, the ancient serpent (Rev. 12:9) but this Seed (Jesus Christ, Son of God) would crush Satan’s head. Christ upon the cross was merely a bruise for he resurrected! But “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20), forever and ever Christ will rule while the devil spends eternity in the lake of fire and sulfur (Rev. 20:10).
But where is the grace for today? We still need the grace remember? We’re tired. My beloved friends, every moment holds grace for God holds every moment. And the beauty of the painful toil is that it makes us thirsty. Very, very thirsty. Thirsty for a soul quenching glass of living water. Thirsty for Jesus – the only one who can ever truly satisfy us (John 4:10-14). The painful toil of this life gives ample opportunities to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. Though there be pain. Though there be toil. Though we be tired. There is grace. Always grace. And there is living water for the thirsty. Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37).
Contemplate and Evaluate:
- When life doesn’t satisfy, what do you thirst after? Do you thirst after Christ or look to the world to quench your soul? Do you look to a friend? food? a good book? social media? shopping? exercise? What changes do you need to make to let Christ quench your thirst?
- Does viewing the daily struggles of life through the portal of the garden judgments encourage you to keep at it? How so?