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!
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.