Good Gets Complicated: Part Two

Genesis 3: 6-24

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

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. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[e] and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

As we stated last week, everything in God’s creation is good. And God has blessed man with several things whose impact is to be blessing and life. Marriage and family we talked about last week. (Two of the Ten Commandments specifically refer to this by the way) This week we will look at how work, the environment and our fundamental relationship with God were complicated as a result of sin.


And when we think about the impact of sin on these things, we need to think in two ways:

  1. Philosophically. The world was one way, and now it is another. The very pull we feel within ourselves, the frustration we feel is an indication of the way things “should” be.


  1. Personally. It’s not just Adam’s sin! And it’s interesting that He is the one held accountable. Why? Because God gave HIM the instructions! Eve wasn’t even around yet! And now we have the instructions from God. What will we do with them???? My sin impacts my life in the way that these curses from God impact everyone generally.


  1. Relationship with Work


’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”


The idea is for us to see a garden as the goal of our work. A garden is useful, it feeds us. A garden is beautiful, it pleases us. So, that should be our goal as we work. We need to do things that are useful and productive. And we need to do things that are clever and beautiful. And we need to do them for God!


  1. All the days of your lives


We are meant for work and we are going to have to work. We had peach trees at the first house we bought. We had pear trees too. Trees remain, you don’t plant them every year. They just bear fruit. But, they required LOTS of work and we did not get fruit from them as a result.


If you run a business, a great day today does not prevent a terrible day tomorrow. You can build up a business and work really hard and your employees can frustrate your efforts. Competitors can move into town and your customers are gonna be fickle. It is what it is.


We had friends who were dry land wheat farmers in NW Nebraska. They NEVER got a full crop in from their fields. Wind, hail, rain, and one year a fire from their own vehicle…


  1. It is gonna be painful and frustrating at times


When you work and do not see the fruit of your labor, that’s painful and frustrating. We work at ordering a chaotic world. There are forces working against us. It’s like maintenance costs of anything. Something costs a certain amount of time and energy to build or buy. We do that and there is a certain amount of satisfaction, but then there are the maintenance costs that occur in order to avoid losing what we built in the first place!


  1. Your failure threatens others

        Eve, Cain, Able and Seth rely on Adam. If he fails to provide, they will die. So, the pressure gets ramped up. I felt this a lot when I managed the restaurant. The variables are not manageable!! But, God is also involved if we are honoring Him. God honors those who honor Him.


How should we react to the difficulties of work? We should work for our employer like we would work for God. We should work hard, not only while they are watching, but all of the time. Why? Well, if you don’t then someone else will have to.


Now, other employees are not going to share in this understanding of hard work. What should we do? We should work hard. It is what it is. Take the initiative. And realize that they will want to prevent you from producing a lot also. Even your production can cause you trouble. What should you do? You should work hard!



  1. Relationship with the Environment


Looking ahead to chapter 6, when God destroys the earth he uses the environment to do so. The text seems to indicate that it did not rain before the flood. And if it did not rain, they had never seen a rainbow in the sky. There is an environmental change as a result of sin. And if we do not treat the world we live in as God’s and us as stewards of it, the environment will continue present us with more challenges.


  1. You will get unexpected plants


Thorns and thistles grow. Not just plants, but painful plants. We live in the land of chiggers, seed ticks, tick fever, poison ivy, honey suckle, privet, bamboo and blackberry brambles.


  1. You will get unexpected negatives

The environment is trying to kill you.


Drought and flood. Heat and cold. Storms.








  1. You will have to work harder than you thought


        Greed will threaten the whole thing.



III. Relationship with God


The last area of blessing that I want to touch on is the blessing that comes from our relationship with God. As a result of sin,


  1. We hide from God


Exodus 20 the verses just following the Ten Commandments:

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid[d] and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.



  1. God separates us from Himself


Exodus 19: 21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.


God removes Adam from the Garden and puts angels at the entrance to prevent re-entry.




  1. We struggle with the consequences of our sin

        Fig leaves. Hiding. Separation. Trouble with the garden,       work, wife and family.


But more profoundly, we struggle with faith, with self-denial, with personal perspective and honesty.


God removes Adam from the Garden and puts angels at the entrance to prevent re-entry.


Gal 4: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.


John 14:6 (Slightly adjusted) Jesus said, “I am the way to God, all men can come to the Father if they come through me!”

I am the way to the truth. I am the way to life. I am the truth about God. I am the truth about life.


John 11: 25 I am the Resurrection and the life whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live!


  1. God gives grace

Grace for forgiveness:    

God makes a way of salvation: animal skins to cover nakedness. This is the first recorded death of anything.

Ephesians 2:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b]

But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


  1. 10 here and the law of Moses: Grace for Living a life of blessing!


The great invitation of the Old Testament:

Deuteronomy 30:

11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God[a] that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules,[b] then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”