21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” GW The ground will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat wild plants. (Genesis 3:18)
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The original "curse upon the ground" is recorded in Genesis 3:17-19 and bears repeating. "To Adam he [God] said, 'because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat from it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from 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." This curse resulted from Adam's disobedience to God's command. When Adam rebelled sin entered God's world. Each generation of human beings was born with this sinful human nature, a natural disposition to rebel against God. This rebellion caused so much evil and wickedness upon the earth that God decided to wipe out all human beings with a worldwide flood. God chose to save Noah and his family, along with all the animals who could not survive such a flood, by having Noah build an ark to live in during the flood. God was starting over with a righteous man in Noah. However, this doesn't mean that Noah was without sin, rather it means that the natural inclination of Noah's heart was to do what pleases God. Does this mean that because God started over with a good person, that evil and wickedness would somehow be restrained or not require God's intervention and judgement? In Genesis 8:21 God said "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Does this passage imply that God has lifted his curse upon the earth? Why would God do that? Has evil and wickedness been eradicated by the flood? No, God himself says that every inclination of the human heart is evil. God actually said he would not put another curse upon the earth because of evil. One curse was sufficient to cause humans enough struggle in life that they would turn to God for his help and salvation. God also said he would never again destroy all living creatures as he had done, that is, with a worldwide flood. In Genesis 9:13 God said "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.... Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life." That does not mean that God will never destroy all life upon the earth, because of evil and wickedness, it simply means God will not again use a flood to do so. God was so pleased by the burnt offering from Noah, a righteous man. God is always pleased with the faithful sacrifices of righteous people, those who are trusting in God for their help and salvation. But that doesn't mean that God does not deal with sin and evil to judge, punish and constrain it upon the earth. Even with the nation of Israel, whom God had chosen to be his righteous light upon the earth, God warned them of the consequences of rebelling against his commandments. We can read about these curses in Deuteronomy 27:14-26 and 28:15-68. God offered them the choice of life or death. If Israel chose life, they would obey God's commands and receive his wonderful blessings listed in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. If Israel chose to rebel against God they would suffer all his curses. This was God's will until Jesus came. Through his birth, life, ministry, suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus Christ bore all the curses of God upon himself and opened the door of God's grace to every human being. Now the obedience that God requires is to repent of our evil and wickedness and accept Jesus as our personal saviour so we can enjoy all the blessings of eternal life that God has promised. God will still punish evil and wickedness on the earth as described in Isaiah 24:1-23.
My opinion is that it did not. Under Edenic conditions, before the presence of sin in the world, it would not have been necessary for humans to perform laborious work to produce food. After humanity fell into sin, the curse that God placed on the ground meant that such conditions would never again be the case. Humans would have to produce their food "by the sweat of their brow" (Genesis 3:17-19), characterized by the revolving seasons of planting and harvest, which was shown as early as when Cain became a tiller of the ground (Genesis 4:2). After the Flood, in Genesis 8:21, God was not saying that this arrangement was cancelled (since sin was still present in the world), but that the existing cycle of sowing and harvest would never again be interrupted by another worldwide flood or other catastrophe of similar scope.
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