There will now be consequences for their disobedience to the Lord. What God pronounces as their consequence is not what God desires. We will see a little bit later how God sets out a plan to reverse the effects of sin.
The Bible says that sin, at this point, came into the world and death through sin (Romans 5:12). Not only mankind but also the physical creation was contaminated by sin (Rom 8:20-22). Some point out that Adam/Eve didn’t actually die on that day. But that comes from a misunderstanding of the nature of death. Physical death (what we call death today) is only the final step in a long process. Death is progressive. It begins with spiritual death (we are internally corrupted towards evil) and continues through physical death. If you think about it we are all “dying”, some of us are just closer to the finish line than others. But Adam/Eve, initially, were not in this process. When they ate the forbidden fruit they began to die.
There would be other consequences to sin than just the entrance of death.
- Shame towards God and separation come from our sin (Gen 3:8-11).
- Pride creeps in keeping us from taking responsibility for our actions (3:11-13).
- The Woman would have pain in childbirth (3:16).
- She would also have a tendency to rebel against the hierarchical order of creation (3:16). That is, she would want to wear the proverbial pants in the family.
- On the other hand the husband will abuse his authority as the head of the household and dominate his wife (3:16—“he will rule over you”) rather than loving her as his helpmate (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:25).
- They were no longer afforded the benefit of working in a perfect environment. From here on out Adam’s work would be hard because of the cursed environment (Gen 3:17-19).
- They were banished from God’s presence and His paradise (3:22-24). The Lord can no longer walk among them with intimate fellowship.
In the midst of this gloomy turn of events we get a beacon of hope. While God is explaining to everyone what the consequences of sin will be He also makes a promise. In Genesis 3:15 the Lord is talking to the devil and says:
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.
The first thing we notice is that both satan and mankind will have offspring. There will be enmity or strife between the two descendants. The last part of the verse is extremely important. “He” is singular and masculine. That means God is promising a boy baby to come from Eve. This boy baby will be struck on the heel by satan but will deal satan a head blow. If you are hit on the heel you are injured but not fatally. If you are hit in the head hard enough it can be a lethal blow. The promise is that a boy baby will one day come from Eve who will destroy the devil. This guarantee is fulfilled in Jesus Christ (1st John 3:8) who defeated death (1 Corinthians 15:56-57; Hebrews 2:14). The Israelites came to refer to this promised boy as The Messiah.
The plan has now been initiated. The rest of the OT is God’s story of how He brought about this boy baby to destroy sin and death. The Lord will begin to build the stage for the Messiah to appear. All these physical things in the OT (sacrifices, priesthood, tabernacle) are there to give us a physical representation of the spiritual realities the Messiah will inaugurate (more on this later). Thus, the purpose of this book is not to give a survey of OT history. Instead, we will go through the OT chronologically to show how and why God did/commanded certain things. Hint: It is all preparation for the Messiah.