So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,"Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity
between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." (NIV)
This covenant was also given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This one however was given to them right before God exspelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. This covenant took the place of the first covenant and illustrates how God changed the way HE would deal with man. In the first covenant as mentioned, God dealt with man from the perspective of innocence. Now, in this dispensation, God deals with man from the perspective of "conscience". God talked with both Adam and Eve before HE executed this covenant. He gave them an opportunity to give in account of their disobedience towards HIM. Both Adam and Eve gave excuses and neither owned up to their actions. Because God has no covenant relationship with the adversary, (Satan) God did not ask the serpent to give in account of its actions as it was used by Satan to decieve and dissuade Eve to remain obedient to the charge God gave them. God did however punish the serpent because of the actions of Satan. This is the beginning of the "Dispensation of Conscience" This covenant comes with no formal conditions, but it embodies 2 importamnt elements: a "Curse and a Promise"
I. "The Curse"
In the passage of Genesis 3: 14-19, God after confronting Adam, Eve and the serpent for the fiasco that resulted in the fall of man and the strained relationship man would have with God for generations to come until Jesus Christ would comne to earth in the flesh, (human form) God now pronounce a "4-fold curse" upon both man and beast (serpent) and notice God punished everyone involved in the breaking of the first covenant.
A. As to the Serpent:
Before the serpent suffered in this rebellion against God's command, it was one of the most beautiful creatures God made that dwelled in the garden. Satan in his craftiness used this creature and seduced Eve into questioning the integrity of God and causing her to seduce her husband to disobey God's direct command concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God now condemns thei serpent and cahnfges its status from a beautiful creature to a loathsome reptile. Now the serpent has been sentenced to crawl on his belly for the rest of its existence and to "eat dust". The place of the serpent in the scale of animals was in keeping with the crookedness of its instinct. It was cursed above all cattle, since it was inferior to them in the lack of those limbs which serve for rising, moving, and holding; such as legs and arms. This meaning of cursed is familiar to Scripture. "Cursed is the ground for thy seed" (Gen 3:17). It needed the toil of man to repress thorns and thistles, and cultivate plants more useful and needful to man. The serpent's condition was a fit emblem of the spiritual serpent's punishment for its evil doings regarding man.
B. As to Eve (the woman)
Eve's status changed in three ways:
1. Multiplied Conception: The Bible does not indicate that prior to the fall that Adam and Eve had living children. The intimation here is there may been many instances where multiple children were born in each pregnacy. This, according to Dr Clarence Larkin in his book Dispensational Truth would be necessarty to accelerate the replenishing of the earth. also, during that period of time in history where the Bible said that God "winked at" the actions of man, there was also intermarriage between syblings as to the fact that there were no other human beings on earth.
2. Sorrow in Child Birthing: Along with multiple child births, many of these birth would come with much pain and anguish. This is one major area where sin affected the ecology of man. If sin had not entered into the world, motherhood no doubt would have been pain free and the behavior of our children would not reflect a tendency toward sin.
3. Equality in Authority: Originally, Adam and Eve were "colaborers" in the garden and and Eve was created for Adam as his helpmate, thus putting her in equality as far as household authority was concerned. However, after the fall, God changed her status and told her that her "desire" would be to her own husband, that is, Adam (the man) would hold the position of "sole headship" in the family and she would be in subjugation to that authority.
C. As to Adam (the man)
We must not forget that the charge and responsibility of the affairs of the garden and of life were given to Adam (the man) before he was given Eve, his helpmate. So Adam was given headship ovcer the family by God even before there was the first marriage and family. As a result, God punished Adam based on the fact that he "listened and harkened" , that is,gave in to her desire rather than obeyed God's command. God isn response to Adam's disobedience did the folowing:
God cursed the ground for Adam's sake. By doing so, work would not be pleasurable as it was in the garden anymore. God would expell them from the garden and now outside the garden, farming would became hard, sometimes futile and would require more effort on the part of Adam to secure a harvest. The downside of hard labor would be the deteriation of the human body and and the wearing out of his biological syatem on every level, causing death to occur over the course of time. As a matter of fact, God limoted the years of man to 12o years and eventually reduced this further to 70 years. In natural progression whereas man was living in excess of over 969 years, that decreased with each suceeding generation.
D. Concerning the Ground
Before the fall of man, the earth was furtile and plant life grew rapidly and in abundance. Now after the fall, God cursed the ground with "thorns and thistles". This menat that the ground would experience everything that would make cultivation for farming difficult. This came about in many ways. Adam would have to deal with changing climatic conditions, noxious weeds, change in soil textures and terrains etc...
E. Now, Concerning the Promise
In Genesis 3:15
The "promise" in tis verse is the "first prophecy" God made toward the welfare of man. The address is not to Adam and Eve, but to Eve alone; and it was in consequence of this purpose of God that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin; this, and this alone, is what is implied in the promise of the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent. Jesus Christ died to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and to destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Thus he bruises his head -destroys his power and lordship over mankind, turning them from the power of Satan unto God; Acts 26:18. And Satan bruises his heel-God so ordered it, that the salvation of man could only be brought about by the death of Christ; and even the spiritual seed of our blessed Lord have the heel often bruised, as they suffer persecution, temptation, etc., which may be all that is intended by this part of the prophecy.
III. The Noahic Covenant
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord ; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Adam as a race failed the Lord under the Dispensation of Conscience. Man became so corrupt in his living and business practices, that God, grieved in HIS heart of man's evil actions in Genesis 6 actually regretted that he ever made man. Even the "sons of God" (angels) left their first estate and took wives from the daughters of man. God in his disgust in Genesis 6:3 declared: "MY Spirit shall not dwell with man always and his days (of life) shall be 120 years. Man became so wicked that all God saw in him was evil in every sense of the word. Man's immagination and thoughts were so corrupt, all he thougth of was new ways to commit evil on a continual basis.
Finding grace in Noah, God spared Noah and his family and instructed him to build an ark of gopher wood, pitched inside and out. 120 years later, God sent a flood to destroy man and everything else outside the ark. After the flood, Noah in gratitude to God offer up a "sacrifice" that was well pleasing t0 the Lord. In response, God made an unconditional covenant with Noah, thus the Noahic Covenant was born. This covenant ushered in the "Dispensation of Human Government" Under this covenant and dispensation, God made the following 6 "provisions"
The Covenant in Detail Genesis 9:3-18
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
God's 6 "Provisions"
A. God would never curse the ground again, neither destroy all of the living. From this time forth days, nights, and seasons wouild never end.
B. Noah and his descendants were to be fruitful and multiply and as Adam was commanded, replenish the earth.
C. Noah and his discendants would have dominion over the animals as Adam did before.
D. Man from this time forth would not be restricted to a vegetable diet. Man now could eat meat, however, he could not eat or drink the blood from the animal. The blood must be drained from the animals.
E. God instituted the "Law of Capital Punishment" This is a Biblical law and is to be adhered to even in today's society. If a person willfully murders another, the murderer's life will be required as recompense of the crime. The complete rules are completely spelled out in Numbers 35:1-34.
F. God's promised never to destroy the earth by a flood again. The world as we know in history was destroyed twice by water. (Genesis 1:1-3) and (Genesis 6) The sign that God used to seal this covenant is the "Rainbow". This covenant will remain in tact until God renovate the earth by fire.