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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Cursed Ground of Genesis

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Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you [Adam & Eve] every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

 

Adam and Eve were fed from the fruit of the trees God gave them. They never had to go grocery shopping.

 

Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

 

God did all the hard work of planting a garden. God then put Adam and Eve into a ready made garden. It was a garden unlike anything that exists today. That one garden had all they would ever need for an eternity of pleasure. The word “Eden” comes from the root of the Hebrew word for means “pleasure.” We can't begin to imagine the fullness of such a way of life.

 

Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food;

 

God did all the heavy lifting to provide them with food. God made the trees to grow. Adam and Eve simply enjoyed the fruits of God’s labour.

 

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

 

All in all, they had a pretty easy job. Remember, God made the food to grow. They never had to worry about “losing the crop.” They just kept things trimmed up a bit.

 

Suddenly things took a turn for the worse. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. They did not believe him when he told them they would die if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

God not only told them they would die, but that they surely would die.

 

But, instead of believing God they believed the lies of the serpent, the devil, who told Eve they would not die if they ate from that tree. In fact, he told them they would be just like God.

 

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

 

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

 

It’s the same today. People either believe God or the lies of the devil. The true greatness of any nation does not depend on politics, but whether or not the people of that nation know and believe the truth in God’s Word. Unfortunately, most look to a man, a Reagan, a Bush, A Clinton, an Obama, or a Trump. Few look to God. That explains the present sad state of America and every other nation in the world today.

 

Gen 3:17 And 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;

 

Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

 

That’s just what the ground does. It’s not God’s fault. He never meant for man to live in such an environment. Remember, He had put them in a most decidedly different environment, namely the garden of Eden. God knew a lot more about things than Adam and Eve knew. He knew what would happen if they ate from the tree and he was nice enough to tell them all about it. After all, he was their father, so why wouldn’t he have warned them.

 

By looking up every verse in the Bible where the word “curse” is used it becomes apparent that a curse was not some spell God cast on the ground out of spite or vengeance. Instead the word is used in a predictive sense. God was just telling them what would happen.

 

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

God certainly didn’t trick Adam and Eve. He was completely upfront with them. When they disobeyed God, they turned their backs on God, not the other way around. God has not punished them any more than you could be said to have punished your child because he or she didn’t believe you about the heat of fire and stuck his hand into it.

 

Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

 

Now they had to work a lot harder. A whole lot harder. Sweat and all. Clearing, plowing, planting, harvesting, processing, storing, etc. All backbreaking work. But that’s not all. No matter how hard they worked, there would never be a guaranteed harvest. Floods, droughts, insects, and more could destroy the entire crop at any time. The very fact that there are people starving in this world says it all. In the garden of Eden nobody would have starved.

 

All thing considered, compared to what they had in Eden, I would say that “cursed” is a most appropriate adjective to describe the new ground in which they found themselves!

 

As far as the word itself goes, a curse is the opposite of a blessing. Israel was about to enter the promised land when God gave them some final instructions.

 

Deut:11:26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;

 

Deut:11:27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:

 

Deut:11:28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

 

Before Adam and Eve sinned none of this would have been an issue. There were no curses in Eden, only blessings. That was God's desire. That's what he wanted for them. Adam and Eve just made the wrong choice when they believed the serpent instead of God. The cursed ground wasn't really anything God did to them.

 

The good news: God will set everything back to "normal" in the end. Revelations, usually considered doom and gloom is arguably the best thing that God will ever do.

 

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

 

The people on that new earth will once again live in a garden of Eden. But there is a big difference between the new garden and the old one. The difference is that Adam and Eve had a major stipulation if they wanted to remain in that garden. Their stay in paradise was conditional, namely, they could be kicked out if the ate of the tree of knowledge and evil. No such stipulation will exist in the new heavens and new earth. It will be an eternal kingdom and there will be nothing any man or woman can do to change that. Guaranteed eternal bliss. That is the hope of all born again believers.

 

Col 1:27 To whom [born again believers] God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

 

That's certainly something to look forward to!

 

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