Monday, August 08, 2011

The Dust of the Ground

The Lord God said to Adam:  "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Gen. 3: 17-19)
"And the Lord God said to the serpent:  'Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and the beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.'"  (Genesis 3:14)

Some "food" for thought here.  God didn't curse Adam, he cursed the ground.  He decreed a fate for the man; Adam was consigned to toil in futility and return to the ground.  Because of Adam, the earth was made into a realm of death.
The serpent is cursed also.  He is to crawl upon the earth and eat dust.  The serpent's portion is to dominate and ingest the dead.  The dead are given to him for his food.
Hell is not the prescribed punishment for sin simpliciter (there may be an additional penalty worked by the wrath of the Mosaic Law); death is.  Hell wasn't made for man; it was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). 
If a release is secured enabling the dead to escape the belly of the dragon before he (the dragon) is cast into the lake of fire, there doesn't seem to be a strict requirement of justice demanding eternal punishment for sin in itself.

The curse of death and the curse of the Law don't seem to be the same thing; they appear to refer to different penalties.
Perhaps this is how we ought to read Romans 5:12-14:
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, etc."
Questions to consider:  Is there a difference between sin and imputable sin?  What makes sin imputable?

2 comments:

charles said...

Hi Matthew,
Is it possible both Adam and the Serpent are somehow bound to eat this original sin? It reads very much like an anti-eucharist... as if Adam's curse is to tend thistles from the corporate body of the Serpent, eating bad and ill-nourishing seed which comes from it. Likewise, the serpent fills itself upon man's death.

Perhaps another picture of what already happened in the garden (ch. 2) where Eve usurped man's priesthood by elevating the incarnation of bad fruit per the Serpent's request, distributing this rotten meat to Adam? But the curse now casts this single transgression into perpetuity-- onto the flesh of Adam until Christ comes.

Don't we go to hell with the serpent if we remain in his belly? Thus, transgression of the law leads to final death? This seems to get into questions regarding the intermediate state, doesn't it?

A. M. said...

"It reads very much like an anti-eucharist...

Very true; the Serpent feeds on dead bodies. We feed on the body of a living Man.

"as if Adam's curse is to tend thistles from the corporate body of the Serpent, eating bad and ill-nourishing seed which comes from it."

Certainly, the food that comes from the ground doesn't nourish us eternally... There seems to be some connection to Cain... Gotta think about this some more.

"Don't we go to hell with the serpent if we remain in his belly?"

Exactly.

"Thus, transgression of the law leads to final death?"

Yes, the Law aggravates the offense. Care to say more on this? I'm not sure where you're going.

"This seems to get into questions regarding the intermediate state, doesn't it?"

It sure does. A friend of mine is doing a lot of work on Abraham's Bosom (the temporary holding place for the OT elect) right now.