Project 119: Heaven and Nature Sing | Genesis 3

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

Reading for Friday, January 1: Genesis 3

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.
-"Joy to the World"

If you are a sports fan, you probably know the legend of curses on sports teams, like the Curse of the Bambino and the Curse of the Billy Goat. We even had tales of the Chicken Curse at the University of South Carolina. Perhaps you might put some stock into one of these curses, but even I, as a South Carolina fan, know that the Chicken Curse isn’t fully to blame for our failure to win the SEC championship. 

The curses of Genesis 3 aren’t based on superstitious stories related to sports failures but come as a direct result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. The serpent, Adam, and Eve are all cursed for the parts they played in bringing sin into the world. But the curse doesn’t stop there, does it? Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden, but humanity has been sinning ever since, because we share in Adam and Eve’s fallen nature, and so we share in the curses they faced because of their sin. We feel the weight of sin, the thorns and thistles of broken relationships, pain in childbirth, and frustration with work. We experience the sorrow of death. 

Yet there is hope, even in Genesis 3. If we look back to verse 15, we begin to see a glimmer of light that sin will not rule forever, and that one will come to break the curse. The Lord declares to the serpent, cursed to crawl on the ground, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15 ESV). Theologians call this the “first gospel”—it is the first prophecy we have of one coming to crush the heel of the serpent, coming to defeat sin and death and the grave. It is the first word of the coming of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who took on our curse of sin, who became cursed for us (Galatians 3:13-14) so that we might have life in His name.   

As we sing this hymn at Christmas, we proclaim these things to be true, that Jesus has come, that He makes his blessings flow as far as the curse is found, that He is making right all that is wrong in the world, that sin has no power over believers. Yet we sing this song as people who deal with the effects of Genesis 3 and the presence of heartache, sin, and sorrow on this side of heaven. But take heart, believer, because this is not the end of the story. A day is coming when Christ will have the final victory over sin, when even the presence of evil will be banished forever. Even now, the curse is being broken, and Christ will have the last word.