The Lord God addresses each in turn, the serpent, Eve, and Adam in that order.
1. God curses the serpent and tells him that he will slither on his stomach for the rest of his days. He will also eat dust all the days of his life.
Adam and Eve must now have seen the serpent, or Satan, in a different light from when he appeared in verse 1.
There is however in these following verses the most amazing promise.
God says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel”, Genesis 3:15.
God announces that Satan will bruise, wound, or hurt the coming Messiah’s heel, foot, but the Messiah would crush, and destroy Satan with a mortal wound. Here is the earliest promise of the complete destruction of Satan, and the total victory of the coming Christ.
Even in the face of the cosmic rebellion God has had His plan of redemption for the human race.
Redemption is a truth we will return to as it is a key Biblical word.
2 “To the woman He said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In pain You shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you”.
The woman will know a multiplied sorrow, specifically in relation to bringing children into the world.
Suffering has been the lot of women throughout history. Some of it has been relieved as a consequence of the gospel being preached throughout the world. Where the Christian ethic has been taught the lot of women has been improved.
Regarding the woman’s desire for her husband it seems that this has changed as a consequence of the Fall.
“This speaks of an inherent challenge in embracing the husband’s role as leader of his home and family. Now the curse on Eve makes it much harder for her to submit and flow with God’s institution of male headship in the home. David Guzic”.
“So, the rule of love founded in paradise is replaced by struggle, tyranny and domination: Susan T Foh, cited in Boice, in the Blue letter Bible”.
3 Adam listened to the voice of his wife rather than the choosing to obey God, hence he entered into a form of idolatry. So, God said to him;
“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”.
Adam had been given stewardship of the ground in the creation mandate. It was to be his work and he found great joy in it.
Here God’s judgement came against his most basic role; his work became a chore, a struggle. It was a constant cycle of keeping on top of things that would spoil the creation.
He was reminded now of his mortality. He was a dying man and ultimately would return to the dust from which he had uniquely been made.