Then to Adam He said, … “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 3:17b-19)
When God first placed man in the garden, he was told that he could “freely eat” of all the trees in the garden with one exception — the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God made it very clear that the fruit of this tree was deadly and was not to be considered as food. In spite of the warning, he and Eve gave into their temptation and ate it anyway.
As a result, the ground was cursed and began to produce even more plants that were not good for food — thorns and thistles. Adam’s punishment was that he would have to contend with these unfruitful plants in order to produce something that could be used for food. He went from being able to freely eat food God had provided to working very hard in hopes that he could eat. Here’s the point: in the garden, he demonstrated a longing for things that were not good for food, and so, God gave him what he wanted.
It’s very similar to what would happen later when Israel turned their noses up at the manna God provided in deference to meat. Again, God gave His people what they wanted only for them to discover, it was not what they needed — especially when it came out of their noses. The lesson we should learn from this is to be content with what God provides for us, knowing that He will always give us what we need. He may not always give us what we want, because what we want might be detrimental to our health. So let us always be thankful for the manna that He gives and be determined to abstain from those seductive “deadly delicacies” that lead us to destruction.
Blessings and Shalom,