Firm Foundation Bible Study

Lesson 21 – The Consequences of Sin for the Man. 
Genesis 3:17

Sometimes people ask, “Why is life so hard?”  We will learn the answer in this lesson as we continue to look at the consequences of sin. 

In verse 14, we saw God’s judgment on the serpent.  In verse 15, we saw God’s judgment on the devil.  In verse 16, we saw God’s judgment on the woman.  Now it is the man’s turn.

Genesis 3:17-18 – “17And unto Adam he said, 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; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field”

God is speaking to Adam and He says to him, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife”.  What does it mean to hearken?

To hearken means more than just hearing.  It means to obey or consent to do what you hear.  Is God telling Adam not to listen to his wife?  No!  God is not saying you should never listen to your wife. 

What God is saying is that you need to pay attention to what is said and then decide if it agrees with God or not.  God commanded Adam not to eat of that tree.  But what did Eve do? 

She gave Adam the fruit.  Did Eve’s actions agree with God?  No.  He should have rejected the fruit and walked away. 

Adam chose to follow his wife instead of God.  That was the problem Adam had.  In our world today, there are many people who give us advice. They will tell us things they think we should do.

But a wise man does not just follow and obey what people say.  He listens to what they are told, compares it to what God has to say, and then chooses to obey God.

Adam knew that when he listened to his wife and ate the fruit that he was choosing to disobey God. This is where man’s sin problem began. This is where the suffering in life started. 

Why is life so difficult?  The answer is in this verse.  Because Adam consented to his wife instead of God, God says, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake.” 

It is important to see that God did not curse the man, but He cursed the ground.  Then He says, “in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”

The word sorrow means hardship, trouble, and sadness.  It means that life will become difficult. 

It will be hard work to grow food to feed the family.  There will be trouble cultivating the ground with thorns and thistles (vs 18). There will be sadness when crops fail due to drought or pestilence.

This curse does not just affect farmers.  It affects all men.  Life became more difficult when Adam chose to disobey God.  But God had a reason to make work harder and life more difficult.

God told Adam in this verse that he cursed the ground “for thy sake”.   God intended our life to experience sorrow and suffering.   He did it for the benefit of man.

Most people want God to take the sorrow and suffering away.  He will take it away when we are in Heaven but in this life God has told us this sorrow and suffering is a good thing for us. 

Why?  The reason is that it causes us to look to God for help.

Just as the judgment upon the woman was to get her to look to God instead of finding fulfillment in other people, so God placed this judgment upon man so he would look to God for help.

The difficulties in life should cause us to look to God for help. Often the sorrows and suffering in our life is the result of our sin. 

We made the choice to disobey God and now we are experiencing the consequences of those sins. 

God wants you to come to Him for help.  He has made a way to fix the sin problem in your life so that you can come into a right relationship with Him.


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Questions Lesson 21

1. According to the lesson, the word hearken means to obey or consent to do what you hear.
a. True            
b. False

2. According to the lesson, you should listen to what you are told, compare it to what God has to say, and then choose to follow your own heart.      
a. True
b. False

3. According to the Bible, did Adam choose to disobey God or was he forced to disobey God?
a. Adam chose to disobey God          
b. Adam was forced to disobey God

4. According to Genesis 3:17, what did God curse? ________________

5. According to the lesson, sorrow means three things, what are they? 
a. ___________
b. ___________
c. ___________

6. According to Genesis 3:17-18, life became more difficult after Adam chose to disobey God. 
a. True            
b. False

7. According to the Bible, God allows hardship and suffering in our life so that it would cause us to look to God for help.             
a. True            
b. False

8. According to the Bible, many times we suffer hardships in life because we chose to disobey God.  a. True            
b. False

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