The Cursed Earth (Pt. 2) – A Thorny Situation

Thorns, a curse on this earth because of sin and a tool used by Satan to inflict pain, was placed on the head of Jesus during His crucifixion.

Thorns, thistles and briers exist “because of the ground which the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:29). Jesus, the son of God, spoke of thorns in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13; Mark 4). He said that thorns choke good seed and render them unfruitful. That is what sin does to those who hear the word, but still desire worldly things (cares, riches and other unrighteous things). Sin literally chokes the life (specifically eternal life) from people who hear the Word of God and still ignore its message.

Thorns inflict physical pain. By comparison, sin inflicts emotional and spiritual pain. King David can attest to the agony in Psalm 25:18 as he pleads to God, “Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.” Gideon used thorns with briers to tear the flesh of the leaders of Succoth for questioning him as God’s servant (Judges 8:7, 16). In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul talked of “a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.” The word “buffet” means to strike with the fist, give one a blow with the fist, to maltreat or treat with violence.

Note how Satan is associated with the thorn. Which brings me to the ultimate use of thorns to inflict pain, the twisted crown of thorns. “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’” (Matthew 27:29).

Thorns, a curse on this earth because of sin and a tool used by Satan to inflict pain, was placed on the head of Jesus during His crucifixion. At the cross, God the Father placed the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) on His Son, Jesus, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). The next time you feel a prick when you pick a lily among thorns (Song of Solomon 2:2) or smell a rose, think of the physical, emotional and spiritual pain Jesus went through bearing your sins as He wore a crown of thorns.

In the end, thorns are worthy of one thing – fire! And the source of that fire is God Himself, for He is a consuming fire (Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24, 9:3; Hebrews 12:29). “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

I love this body of scripture. The “foundation” is Jesus Christ, the “gold, silver, precious stones” is your work done with pure motive as a Christian, the “wood, hay, straw” are works done with an impure motive (sin), and “revealed by fire” means every thought, word and deed will be tested by God Himself. I call it the sniff test! Good work is refined by fire, resulting in you getting “a reward.” Bad work is consumed by fire and you “will suffer loss,” for He is a consuming fire. This judgment of work takes place for Christians in heaven (“but he himself will be saved“) after we physically die. The judgment for all your sins took place at the cross and were forgiven when you asked Jesus to be your Savior. But what about those who do not ask Jesus to be their Savior? Fire is their future.

The future destiny for all sin, represented by thorns, is fire. “For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:7-8). “For wickedness burns as the fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and kindle in the thickets of the forest; they shall mount up like rising smoke” (Isaiah 9:18). The lake of fire is the eternal home for Satan (Revelation 20:10), the beast and false prophet (Revelation 19:20), Death and Hades (Revelation 20:14), and anyone not found written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:15), meaning the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (Revelation 21:8). The key word is “unbelieving” – those who rejected the sacrifice Jesus gave for their sins. They have to pay the death penalty themselves – TWICE! The lake of fire is the second death (Revelation 20:14). What are sins and thorns good for? Fire.

The ultimate curse imposed by God on humanity for sin was death, hell and the grave. No longer in reach was the tree of life in the garden of Eden that produced immortality fruit (Genesis 3:22). “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22-24). That tree of life still exist today. It produces twelve fruits, a different kind every month, and contains leaves to heal the nations (Revelation 22:2).

The good news is that Jesus is the way, truth and life (John 14:6). To punch your ticket to heaven and defeat this curse, accept His gift of eternal life by believing in Him as your Savior and He will give you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) to continue in that belief. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

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NOTE: The preceding excerpt was taken from the book, “God on Climate Change: Worshipping creation instead of the Creator” by Jim Wear (the author of this blog)… available in paperback at Amazon.

The Cursed Earth (Pt. 1)

Creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty… Romans 8:21

To all the environmentalists, this curse is for you. “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return’” (Genesis 3:17-19).

The ground is cursed in two ways! No longer will there be a garden of Eden that produces boundless fruit, including fruit from the tree of life that provides immortality (Genesis 3:22), but now the ground will bring forth “thorns and thistles” that man must toil by the sweat of his brow just to produce food to eat. The second way the ground is cursed is by way of death (“all the days of your life“), which until sin entered the picture did not exist. The ground now becomes a graveyard for all mankind. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God provided a way (Jesus) to reverse the death curse.

As for the earth itself, the ground is still under a curse of corruption. In essence, the ground is no longer holy and pure. Men normally wore sandals, and it was ceremonially important to wash the cursed soil off one’s feet before entering a house (Genesis 18:4; 19:2; 43:24; Judges 19:21; Luke 7:44).  Jesus set the ultimate example for feet washing in John 13. “Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’ Peter said to Him, ‘You shall never wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” (John 13:6-8).

Strong words from the son of God. Why? Because the ground, specifically the dust, is cursed because of sin. Holy ground, where the curse was removed, required men to go barefoot. Just ask Moses at the burning bush on Mount Horeb when God spoke to him. “Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’” (Exodus 3:5). Joshua was commanded to remove his sandals due to holy ground (Joshua 5:15). Jewish custom required the priest on duty in the temple to be barefoot.

Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:21-23). God will reverse all curses on creation one glorious day. The earth and heavens will be resurrected from the “bondage of corruption” just as our bodies will be resurrected in the likeness of Jesus, if you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior (Romans 6:5). “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). There is nothing mankind can do to stop God from re-creating a new earth from the current cursed version we live on now!

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NOTE: The preceding excerpt was taken from the book, “God on Climate Change: Worshipping creation instead of the Creator” by Jim Wear (the author of this blog)… available in paperback at Amazon.