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WHY IS WORK DIFFICULT? (Vol 01) - SIN MAKES WORK A TOIL - PART 1

Sunday English Service - 03 SEP 17

Transcript

Genesis chapter 3. I want to read from verse 14 all the way to the end, So, the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 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." To the woman, He said, "I shall greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you. Then to Adam, He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you saying you shall not eat of it, 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 your bread till you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust you shall return." And Adam called his wife's name Eve because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, "Behold the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also the tree of life and eat and live forever. Therefore, the Lord God sent him from the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So, He drove out the man and placeda Cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

As you know, we've been teaching for the last eight weeks on the subject of work. I said we're going to teach it in three parts. The first part is "Why work?" In that we gave you five reasons. In eight weeks, I talked about five reasons of why we should work, what the Bible says about why we should work. The first is we should work because God Himself worked. We are made in the image and likeness of God therefore, we work.

Second, I showed you that work was meant to show forth the character and the glory of God. And God wants to be seen in this world through our work. He's an invisible God but wants to manifest His glory through our work.

The third is that work brings us dignity. Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, we can never have a sense of dignity until you work and produce something. You are a little creator, made just like God. Until you do it, you can never have a sense of dignity and self-esteem.

Fourthly, we talked about how work is about making a society and making a culture. That's the basic work. We may all engage in different professions, different kinds of work but behind it all, the big picture concerning work is that we're making a society and a culture. Culture making, we talked about.

Fifthly, last week we talked about how every one of us is called and assigned, the two words that Paul uses. "Called and assigned," he says and Martin Luther took those two words with protestant reformation and really preached it with all of its implications. Changed the European society so that all the countries that embraced the protestant doctrine of work, the protestant doctrine in general became very wealthy because the dawn of reformation was also the dawn of innovation, creativity, because they taught from Genesis 1 and 2 how God has made man, man as a creator. Therefore, he dominates. Dominates not simply by exercising authority over all other creatures and so on, but dominates in the sense that he is able to tap into earth's resources and bring out new things that are beneficial to mankind. We have come up with aero planes and trains and cars and all kinds of things that are beneficial to people and all these innovations became possible only after the protestant teaching came. For centuries together, there was no innovation, nothing was discovered. There was a stagnation for many centuries until protestant teaching came and they began to teach chapter 1 and 2 in this way, then innovation began to happen, creativity began to take place and with that prosperity came and the countries that embraced protestant teaching became very prosperous.

These are things that are even spoken by sociologists in the world. They connect the two things; the protestant teaching with the general prosperity. Before that, only Aristocrats were prosperous. After the protestant teaching, the common man, the society in general became prosperous. The whole country, many countries became prosperous in that way.

All right. Now, today we're beginning the second section. And now I'm going to talk about, "Why is work difficult." I said the first portion is about "Why work", the second is about 'Why work is difficult" and the third is going to be about "How with our new life and this redemption that we have in Christ Jesus we can turn everything around and be successful in our work." That's the third part. Now we're going into the second part and this is the first session with the second part.

Today I want to talk about how sin makes work difficult. The number one reason why work is difficult is because sin makes work difficult. See God had perfect intentions and design for work. That is expressed through those five reasons I gave you. But if you see the world and the way the things are worked out in the world, you can see that things are not so perfect. As you go out to work in this world, you face a lot of challenges, a lot of problems, a lot of difficulties. You work very hard and you try very hard and still things take a lot of time to get working and you work a lot and sometimes you end up earning very little. You try a lot but results are very poor. These kinds of challenges, discouraging challenges happen all around us concerning work. Many people get discouraged. I believe it's very important to have the right attitude and right philosophy concerning work, the right philosophy concerning why we work, also the right philosophy concerning why work is difficult.

When we understand it, I think we can handle it better. We have a lot of weddings happening here. Every service just about we read the banns of marriage and all that. Lots of weddings, about 50 weddings happen every year. And every time the wedding happens I give the same introduction basically. The people come, the bride and bridegroom come and they are seated and then we sing a song and then I give this introduction. I consider it very important because you can see fear in their faces. Both of them sitting, they don't know what is going to happen, what their future is going to be, is it going to be good or bad, what it's going to be ugly or what? And they're wondering how the future is going to be. So, I give this brief introduction to ease them a little bit. I tell them the Bible says, In the beginning God made man male and female." So that's why we have male and female seated here to get married. Marriage is God's will and purpose. Families are God's will and purpose so there is nothing to be afraid of. There's everything to be happy about. God's will is happening in your life. You must step into it with this positive attitude that you are entering into God's plan for your life. You're not entering into something that's dangerous, you're entering into something very good and positive that God has intended for you, you must be glad about it, you must expect wonderful things, God's plan to come to pass in your life. I ease them in that way. It's very important also to talk about work in that way. A lot of young people out here, you're in college and you're going to finish college and get to work in your careers and professions. It's very important to develop a proper philosophy of work as to why we work, why there is difficulty in work and so on. When you understand this, you're able to handle it, you're able to take it better.

Some people are surprised when they find difficulty at work. They think, "Why is there difficulty? I am baptized. I thought there'll be no more problem hereafter. I'm coming to church regularly, I'm reading the Bible and I'm doing this and that. Why am I having all this problem? Why nothing is working out for me? Why I try so hard but I get very little result?" People are perplexed and surprised when they see problems and challenges at work. But when you hear the teaching, you will never be surprised, you will actually be ready. You'll be ready to face all the problems. You know what is out there, you know what kind of world you live in, you know the challenges and difficulties that the world can present to you as you work. And you'll also learn how to handle the difficulty and how to overcome the difficulty by the grace of God. That is why this teaching is so important.

The first thing to learn about work is, what makes work difficult in this world today? Challenging and frustrating, futile basically. Sometimes you feel like useless, there's no sense in this whole thing. What makes work like that is sin. Sin is what made work difficult in this world. Now, I want to first talk about what sin is and how it came into the world and so on, from third chapter. And then I want to talk about how it affected the woman, how it affected the man and what is the basis of our hope that work will be blessed and we'll have fruitfulness in our work. I want to talk about that.

Now, let's go to chapter 3. I read to you from verse 14 but let me begin with verse 1 because that's where the story of sin begins. The first two chapters are wonderful. The third chapter, is where the trouble starts. You need to understand first of all what sin is, how it came into humanity and how it affects humanity and human life in this world. Now chapter 3 verse 1 says, "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" Now, the devil is a very mean devil. Look at the way he is asking the question. In the question itself, there is poison. He knows very well that God never said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden but he phrases the question that way. The whole intention of the devil is to present God as someone who's evil, someone who wants to withhold all the blessings from you, someone who has created this wonderful world but does not want you to touch anything and enjoy anything.

Now, some people in this world, I have seen some people preach it and speak about it in this way that you're not to enjoy all these things that are there in the world. But the Bible clearly says these things are created for us; for our enjoyment, for our use, for our purposes. These are all put there and we're supposed to tap into it and enjoy it and use it and use it for the glory of God. But the devil phrases the question in a very wrong way. He says, "Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" See, he puts poison into them. "Has He said that you shouldn't eat any of the trees of the garden?" Why did God make all the trees and the fruit of all the trees and so on? And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden. But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, "You shall not eat it nor shall you touch it lest you die."" Now the woman seems to have received some teaching. You remember when God made the man and woman, man was made first. Chapter 2 gives the thing in detail. Man was made first and then God made a garden for him and placed the man there and gave him the work there to till it and keep it and then God said, after giving him work, He said, "It's not good for a man to be alone." And He gave him a wife. The wife came after the earth was made, after the garden of Eden was made, after man was made and placed in the garden of Eden and all instruction necessary for life in the garden was already given. No instruction, as far as you read in chapter 2, no instruction was ever given by God directly to the woman. It was all given to the man. He came first, he began to live...he began to exist first and then came the woman. But before the woman was made, God gave all the instructions necessary to man. Man was placed in the garden and he was given the responsibility and the work and everything and then only the woman came. That means that the man was supposed to each everything about what God has said to the woman. He must be the teacher and the guide and the spiritual leader in the home to guide the home. That is God's intention. That is why he is first. He was made first. That is why he was given all the instruction. He is supposed to be like a pastor, clearly teaching the family in what direction they should go.

One fellow said to me, "Well brother, you know I am so busy. So I have left the department of spiritual life to my wife. My wife takes care of all the spiritual side. She prays, she fasts, she goes to all the meetings and she reads the Bible." Even today if you go in India, to the churches, the women section will be filled. The men's section will be mostly empty because all these men are nice people, they've left the women in the church to pray for them, to fast for them, to hear the sermon for them, to read the Bible for them, do everything for them. They think the wife will do a perfect job for them. But God holds man responsible. Some people are not happy when they see that the man is responsible. When they come to me sometimes for some problem I say, "You are responsible." "But I gave the responsibility..." "No, you are responsible ultimately. The buck stops here. God makes you responsible because He only told you everything and you are supposed to teach and you are supposed to make sure everything is all right. If something misfires and goes wrong, then it is the problem of the man.""Through one man sin entered the world," the Bible says and someone says, "Stop it. Through one woman, don't you know? Sin entered the world through one woman" but according to God's record, through one man sin entered into the world. That's how the Bible puts it. God doesn't seem to take into account what she did when it comes to how sin entered into the world. Sin entered because man sinned. That's the way God speaks about it.

All right. God has given this responsibility to man and man has taught her it seems like. He has taught her something. But it seems like she has not understood properly or he has not taught properly. Something is wrong there, because in her answer to the devil...the devil asked, "Has God indeed said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" The woman says, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said you shall not eat it nor shall you touch it lest you die." Now that's overstatement. God never said, "You shall not touch it." Somehow some poison has gotten into her so that she's also now turning out to be like the devil. The devil phrases the question like this, "Has God said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" That's very mean, very mean way to put things. "Has God said you shall not eat of any of the trees of the garden?" And she says, "No. God didn't say that. We can of the trees of the garden except this one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We cannot touch it or eat it." Which is wrong because God never said don't touch it. He just said don't eat it. But she puts it like that it seems that there is some confusion about what God actually said. I'm having the doubt that Adam was not a good pastor. He didn't covey it properly, didn't have teaching on it. Something was wrong. She has not understood. This is one thing that I have from the beginning followed. To teach the people that our God is a good God. There should be no doubt. In all my teaching, I endeavor to present and bring forth the fact that God is a good God. If you had even a little bit of doubt somewhere in the corner of your mind, the more you come here the more all those doubts will be removed because the final statement of our preaching, all our preaching, is that God is a good God. Once you remove that one confusion, a lot of problems are solved. If you leave doubts then people will become like this, they have this question about God. Maybe God is a very difficult person, a bad person, maybe He's the one doing that and she has got that into her heart. The devil has somehow gotten to her and inserted that idea into her so that she says, "God said, "Don't touch it lest you die. Neither eat it nor touch it lest you die."

"Then the serpent said to the woman," verse 4, "You shall not surely die. You will not surely die." What a lie. No wonder he's called the father of lies. "You will not surely die." He wants her to sin, he wants her to perish in sin. He wants her to lose everything she's got, all the blessings that God has given to her and he lies outright. He says, "You will not die." And God said, "You shall surely die." Read the statement that God said when He said don't eat of the tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He said, "The day you eat of it you will surely die." He phrases it exactly the same way he says, "No, you will surely not die."

Have you ever seen people tempting others to sin? Young boys and girls especially. When the devil comes to you, he doesn't come with two horns and a tail, not like you think. If you're looking for the devil like that, you'll miss him when he comes. He comes in the form of a good friend, sometimes in the form of a good Christian friend. And this is how he says. He enters in and the fellow says, "Don't worry. Everybody does it. Nobody will know it. Tell me who hasn't done it. Nothing is going to happen. You will not surely die. No bad, no evil will happen. Don't worry." This is the assurance that the devil gives you each time. You remember he took Him to the pinnacle of the temple, he took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and he tried the same trick. He has no new tricks because he's not that intelligent. Same old tricks he's using on Jesus. He says, "Jump from the pinnacle of the temple. The Angels of God will come and hold you up" quoting Psalm 91, right? And Jesus knew Psalm 91 but He knew the rest of the Bible also. He said, "The Bible also says, it is also written, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God."" See how clearly, with clarity, He understood the word of God. Some people, once you quote the word they say, "Oh, yeah." He gave me one verse and that's enough. No, that's not enough. The Bible can be used in so many wrong ways. The devil uses the Bible and people will swallow every lie of the devil if they do not know how to put things together in the Bible. That's the reason you need to hear solid preaching. When you hear solid preaching and understand things, you are able to put one and one together and discern what the truth is. You can't just pull out statements from here and there and make something out of it. You got to be able to interpret them correctly and understand them correctly. So Jesus said, "It is also written." Are you able to say like that? "It is also written?" There must be clarity about truth. That's the problem. That's why sin enters in. There is no clarity about truth. Now listen to this, "For God knows," verse five he says, "you'll surely not die," verse four. Verse 5 he says, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil."

What is this knowing good and evil? A lot of people think knowing good and evil simply means know what is good and what is evil. No, they already knew what is good and what is evil. They knew that they can eat of all trees but not of this one tree. They knew what is good and what is evil. Whatever God has permitted is good, whatever God has forbidden is evil. They knew it already. And if they stayed with God and obeyed God and lived for God, God would have shown them every step of the way what is good and what is evil. Every step of the way He would have guided them. "Do this, don't do this." He would have shown them very clearly. There would not have been problem to understand what is good and evil. So the issue here is not simply knowing what is good and evil. The issue here is when it says that God knows that in the day you eat of it, eat of the forbidden tree, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil. All the Bible scholars, they recognize this. They say, "He says, "You'll be like God, you'll know good and evil." It's more than knowing good and evil. It is saying something like this, 'Good and evil hereafter will be decided by me. Just like God decides now what is good and evil, I will become like God. I will decide what is good and what is evil. I will take the right and the privilege of deciding hereafter what is good and evil.'" Now read that statement again, "Your eyes will be open and you will be like God." Like God means what? Knowing good and evil. You mean God just knows what is good and evil? No, He not only knows what is good and evil, He is the one that determines what is good and what is evil. He decides what is good and what is evil. When the devil said, "Your eyes will be opened, you'll be like God," he's actually saying you can take God's job. You don't need to listen to God, He doesn't have any right to determine what is good for you and what is evil for you. What business does He have to tell you what is good and what is evil? You have a brain, you have a mind of your own. You were made with a mind to think, you can decide what is good and evil. See what a dangerous territory they are crossing now. There is only one thing that they cannot take for themselves and that is the right to decide what is good and evil. The whole world is theirs, everything that God has made is theirs, everything that God has created is theirs for them to enjoy. The only thing is God decides what is good and what is evil. They just have to listen to God. Whatever He has permitted, they are allowed to do. Whatever is not permitted, they are forbidden. That's it. That's the whole meaning of the tree of knowledge of good and life.

It's not that the tree was filled of poison or something if you ate it something would happen to you. No, the tree had nothing in it. It was kept as a sign there. A sign of what? A sign of obedience to God. Till the day they did not eat of it, they were affirming every day that God is their Lord, that there is someone above them. They are above everything and there is someone else above them. They are listening to someone else. His authority says that this is forbidden therefore, they are not eating of it. Every day they refrained from it meantthat they are living in obedience to God, they are listening to God, they walked in obedience to God. The day they ate of it meant they have rejected God and His Lordship from their lives. Now, they have become like God. They have now said, "I will determine what is good and evil hereafter. I will decide." Now when you take on yourself what doesn't belong to you, that's too much my friend. That is too much of a job to decide what's good and evil. God never gave that job to us. He says, "You ask me and I'll tell you what is good and what is evil. Leave that job to me. I will do that, you do the rest."

That one thing you cannot have. That's what makes God, God. He is the one that determines what is good and evil and they decided, they were tempted saying that they would be like God, they would be able to decide and determine what is good and evil for themselves and that God can be thrown out of their life, there'll be no need for God. They can live without God. That's the whole thing. And what happens? Verse 6, "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took the fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate." Now listen, three things are said about the fruit. It is good for food, it is pleasant to the eyes, and was desirable to make one wise. Out of that two was right, one was wrong.

See that's the thing. The devil always puts half-truths. 75% truth, 25% poison. When you add poison, you want to kill somebody, you want to add poison, you don't have to have a whole pot of poison. You don't even have to have half pot full of poison, you don't have to have 75% full of poison. You can have just a little bit of poison in a whole pot of something and that is enough to kill a person. The devil always comes like that. He has put poison in there. He has said, "Well, it's good to look at", that's right. "It's good for food." Yeah, God made everything good for food and good to look at. And the whole chapter two says that. But the third thing is wrong. God never said that it will make one wise. Did God say if you eat this it will make one wise? God said, "Do not eat it, lest you die. The day you eat of it you'll die." Right? This particular fruit. And she ate and she also gave to her husband with he and he ate. He was with her, right there. Can you see that he is very silent? He is just standing there watching the whole transaction going on. He's right there and he took and he ate.

"Then the eyes of both of them were open." Verse 7. "They knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings." The eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked. What has happened there? The eyes of both of them were opened. It was opened in the wrong way. Until then, chapter 2 the last verse says, "They were both naked the man and his wife and were not ashamed." Which meant that they were living a transparent life, not just a physical covering of nakedness that it's talking about. Every writer concerning this acknowledges this. It's not just about physical nakedness and the shame associated with it. It's much more than that. Men and women lived trusting one another, not fearing one another, opening themselves to one another, lived in a transparent manner, lived in a harmonious life together. Adam and Eve lived in a harmonious relationship together and that day something happened. They had to put on something to not only just cover their physical nakedness...from then on there is mistrust, there is fear and they have to keep things from one another. The whole relationship equation changed. A very sad thing happened there.

And then it says, verse 8, "They heard the sound of the Lord," now this is very interesting. Now God comes in. They have sinned, they have done the things that they should not have done and God comes in. "They heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said, "Where are you?"" The first question is 'where are you?' Adam replies. He says, "I heard your voice in the garden," verse 10, "And I was afraid because I was naked and I hid himself." When God said, "Where are you?" He must have said, "God, sorry. I did something terribly wrong. You told me not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I've done it. And because of that I've ended up in this trouble. I'm naked, I'm ashamed, I'm afraid, so I'm hiding." That's the way he should have said it. He tells the problem but he does not tell why he got the problem. He says, "I'm afraid and I am naked and I am hiding," but why? The "why" he does not even want to address. He's just saying I got a problem. But why? Then He said, "Who told you that you were naked?" God says, "Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?" God directly asks the question.

This chapter is very rich in the fact that it shows how men in sin operate and how they refuse to see their problem, refuse to admit their problem. They always go around the bushes. Dr. Akbar Haqq used to come and preach here many years ago, now he's I think very old. He was associate of Billy Graham. He told me a story that I will never forget. He was a counsellor in Billy Graham's crusade back in the 50s. He is a guy who had a PhD in Philosophy, so they used to...and very good at arguing and answering difficult questions and so on. So when the altar call was given and some difficult people came up and wanted answers for difficult questions, they would send them to this man. So Akbar Haqqwas attending one day the crusade and answering some questions for some people and this guy walked in, he was brought to him. He was a former army or navy official and so on, and he started talking to him. The man had question after question. "Why did this bombing happen? Why this war is going on? If God is there why all these things are happening? If God is there why did this man die of this illness? If God is there why did this happen to such a good man?" He asked question after question. And Akbar Haqq is an expert and he can answer just about every question. That's his job, that's his profession. He goes into universities and answers questions and so on. He answered one question after the other but as soon as you answer one question satisfactorily the guy would go on and ask another question, endlessly going on. Finally, Akbar Haqq said to him, "Listen, what's your problem?" Immediately the guy, within few seconds, he started crying. He said, "My wife left me." He said, "You should have told me as soon as you came in. You wasted all this time talking about all this other stuff. You should have just told me that's your problem. We could have talked about it. I could have told you why these things happen. I could have told you how sin comes into people's lives, makes it very difficult for them to live together because each one, when they have sin in themselves and sin is ruling in their life, and they don't know God, selfishness rules. With selfish people, it becomes very difficult. When two selfish people get together wanting to live with each other, it will be very difficult to live with. That is why you need Jesus Christ, salvation from sin and from this selfishness so that you may live for one another and together live for God.""You should have told me as soon you came in," he said.

Remember the woman at the well in John chapter 4? Jesus meets the Samaritan woman. Jesus goes to the well and says to her, "Give me something to drink. Give me some water to drink." All He's asking for is just a glass of water. And she says, "You're a Jew, I'm a Samaritan. How can you come and ask me for water? We have nothing to do with each other. We don't even drink a glass of water from one another." She brings Him all these ethnic differences and works on it and says, "How can you ask me for water?" He says, "Lady, if you knew who was it that is asking water from you, you would ask Him and He will give you the water that will quench your thirst forever." Jesus knew her problem. She had a thirst, a thirst that is seen in her life. She has been married five times, now sixth time and now she's living with a man and wants to try this guy out because every time she's marrying and ending up divorcing. So now she's said, "We'll try him out first and then we'll marry him if it works out." She's in a mess. She's gone from one relationship to another, constant thirst, nobody could satisfy her longing. Her heart is longing for something nobody could give her, going from one relationship to the other, going on like this and Jesus has come specifically to address the problem. He said, "If you knew who is it that is asking you to give something to drink, you will ask of Him." In other words he said, "If you knew who I was you would say, "Lord, you give me to drink that water which will quench the thirst of my life and solve my problems." And you know what she says, after Jesus says that? She said, "This is Jacob's well, very traditional well. Jacob, our forefather dug it and we've been drinking from it for so many generations traditionally. You mean to say you have better water than this? You have something better than our traditions? Tradition of our fathers?" Jesus said, "Well, the water I give you if you drink you will never thirst again." But she said, "No, you don't even have something to pull water out of the well. How will you give me? Where is that well?" All kinds of things she's talking and Jesus came to her straight because she does not want to admit her problem. That's the thing. They'll talk about everything. They'll talk about world affairs, they'll talk about everything but they don't want to talk about what is wrong with them and Jesus came straight to her. He says, "Woman, where is your husband?" What a question to ask her. She says, "I have no husband," which is correct. "I have no husband," she says and then Jesus deals with her. A lot of sin problem is such that a typical person is like this- He does not want to admit that something is wrong with him. Adam and Eve knew there is something wrong with them, they have gone and hidden but they are not admitting that they have done something wrong. They are always evading the whole issue and talking about something else.

God says, "Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree with which I commanded you that you should not eat?" He comes straight to the question, asks him a pointblank question saying"Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?" Then the man said, "The woman you gave me," look at that answer. "The woman you gave me to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate." This is a good chance to come clean. All he should have said is, "Yes, Lord. I did it. I'm wrong. I'm a sinner, help me." He says, "The woman you gave me." First of all, he puts the blame on the woman, "She gave me and I ate" and secondly, ultimately, he puts the blame on God Himself. You gave me the woman. You are the one who arranged this marriage. You got me the wrong kind of woman. That happens even now in India sometimes. "You only told me about that girl I got married and look what I am... like this." One fellow said, "Brother, someone prophesied over both of us and said that God wants us to get married. Now, is that prophecy wrong? Why did God do like this?" God is the problem for them. "How come it happened like this? After the prophecy only we married." For all I know the prophecy may be right but they didn't handle their problems right probably. Sometimes the prophecy itself is wrong. But the thing is this is generally people don't want to admit what the problem is. He says, "The woman You gave me, she's the one." And the Lord God said to the woman, now God turns to the woman because he said, "The woman made me do it." God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman is no better than him. She says, "The serpent deceived me." Not one of them is coming clean. No one is saying, "Lord, I did it. I'm a sinner. I made a big blunder. I did it. I'm wrong, please help me." No. "The serpent deceived me." Now the story begins. We read from chapter 14, how the curse comes upon the serpent and so on but I want to start with verse 16 and come to verse 14 and 15 in the end. I want to talk about what happened to the man and the woman as a result of sin.

Sin has come in. What is sin? Disobedience to God's word. God said, "Don't eat of it." They have eaten of it. They are beating around the bush explaining it in so many different ways. God says, "No, you did what I told you not to do. That's what sin is. It will have its consequences." Verse16, "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 for your husband and he shall rule over you."

I have not forgotten that I am talking about work. It's not a digression that I went into the explanation of sin. I'm still remembering, I'm still keeping with my subject, work. I want you to notice in verse 16, there are two things that are happening here. One is sorrow is multiplied, her pain is multiplied. Sorrow is multiplied with conception and bringing forth children. To conceive and to bring forth children is going to be a problem. Secondly, there's going to be a husband and wife problem. Your desire shall be for your husband, he shall rule over you. Equation in husband and wife relationship changes. Two problems but both those problems are related to the work that God had given to the woman.

God gave woman two things to do, assigned her two jobs, two things to do. She was created to do two things. One is that God told man be fruitful, multiply and fill. And she was supposed to bear children and multiply and help fill the earth. That's one of her jobs. I know we live in modern times. Some women say, "Well, what do you think? Is that my job? Is that all my job?" They talk like that and then when they can't have a child they say, "Oh please. Prayer brother. I'm not able to have a child." What is this? If God gave that job, that job must be something. God gave the job to the woman. He said, "You be fruitful and multiply and fill." "That's your job," He said. That's not a bad job. That's a good job. She's supposed to start from one and create a society, come up with a whole lot of descendants. That's her job. Now sin has brought a problem in the carrying out of the job. She is not going to be able to accomplish it comfortably. She is not going to be able to do it well. Why? Because there is going to be sorrow in conception and there is going to be pain in bringing forth children. Some are not able to conceive at all and once they conceive and the child is about to be delivered, there's going to be a problem. They say delivering a child is a very painful thing and women dread that. It has become like that. Two things that God had given her to do, two things that she must accomplish by way of work. Both are affected by sin. One is the conception and delivery of children, that is affected. What is the second one? It's very interesting what the second one is. 'Your desire shall be for your husband, he shall rule over you.' What does it mean? Your desire shall be for your husband. What does that mean?

A lot of people look at that and they say she will desire her husband and go after him but he will take advantage of it and treat her badly. That's the simplistic understanding of it but there are many Bible teachers who point out something very extraordinary here. They say that there is a relationship between the phrase used here in 16, your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you. That phrase is found again in chapter 4 verse 7. Chapter 4 verse 7 in the story of Cain and Abel, remember? Cain and Abel bring an offering, Abel's offering was received by God and immediately Cain's face...his countenance has fallen. He was angry. God could see that this fellow is angry and is probably going to commit a murder. God can see it in verse 6 God asks him, "Why are you angry? Why has your countenance fallen?" And then in verse 7, "If you do well, will you not be accepted?" He says, "Hey, don't be angry. Don't be upset, just do well, just like Abel did. You bring the proper offering, you come with the right attitude, your offering will also be accepted. No use being jealous over this and be angry over this." And then He says, "If you do not do well," that is "if you do not correct yourself, if you do not change yourself, sin lies at the door." That means sin is waiting to take over you. He says, "And its desire is for you." Listen to this, its desire is for you. Sin is desiring you. What does that mean? It means that sin wants to have control over you, to express itself through you, to commit the act of murder through you. Sin's desire is for you. Sin desires to have you. Its desire is for you. "But you should rule over it." God is putting it very beautifully. He says, "Look, sin is at the door. Are you going to be angry and allow your countenance to fall and allow sin to come in and end up murdering? Sin wants you to murder. The power of sin, the devil is waiting to get over you and influence your thoughts and fill your mind with anger and rage and kill your own brother. Do you want to do it? Don't do it. Go do well, your offering will also be accepted. Don't do it. Sin's desire is for you but you should rule over it. Overcome that, overcome this temptation that the devil is bringing you." "Don't get into this problem," He says. But we know he murdered and got into the problem.

Come back to chapter 3 and read verse 16 and the end. I want to read 16, the last portion, as well as 4:7 again to show you how similar the phrases are. "Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you." That's 3:16. Now 4:7, "Sin's desire is for you but you should rule over it." See the similarity? The Bible scholars say the phrases are so similar, strikingly similar and purposefully so. Moses writing it has put it in this way so that people will relate the two. So that when in chapter 3 verse 6 they read it, they will understand the meaning is connected to chapter 4:7. In 4:7 it means sin desires you, it wants to influence you, wants to fill you so that your actions will follow according to the thoughts that sin provides. But you must resist it, overcome it. If you take that meaning and apply it to chapter 3 verse 6 it will mean than the woman's desire for her husband is not just an ordinary desire, just loving him. The desire is to influence him.

Women are given influence power, what is called influence power. Men have brute, physical power. Some of them say, "If I kick you, you'll go fall over there." Because they are confident about what they can do physically. But a woman will say, "I don't have to kick anybody I don't even have to raise my hand. Just by influencing you, just by getting you under my control, see what I'll be able to do to you." Influence power, tremendous power. I wouldn't say influence power is bad. God has given it to the woman so that it can be used in a good way, in a good context; as she raises the children, guides the family and so on and help her husband in this great mission for God that she will influence in the right way. Some husbands need to be influenced in the right way. When they are doing wrong they need to be told, "Hey, that's wrong. Don't do it." As long as you have a wife with you like that you'll always think I can't do it because my wife...and she's a good wife. She'll tell you when you are wrong. She just doesn't go along with everything that you do, which is good. It is influence in the right way. But after sin came, it has taken on a wrong turn. That power is misused. Sin doesn't bring in something new. It simply twists and thwarts what is already there. It turns it into something evil. So, this influence power is now turned into evil. And so in verse 16 you read, "Your desire," God says to the woman, "Your desire shall be for your husband." That means you will try to influence your husband, to act according to your wishes and to obey you and to do whatever you want him to do, completely bring him under your control. You are trying to dominate in that situation. Your desire is for your husband means that you want to influence him and dominate him and bring him under your control so he does what you wish. But then whenever you try to dominate a person, make him do what you want to do, he shall rule over you. That becomes a reality. He also gets ready. He says, "Oh boy. I need to take charge. She's trying to rule over me so I'm going to rule over her." The harmonious relationship is gone.

God put them together and said "Together you rule over everything. Be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and dominate." He told both to the man and the woman according to Genesis 1:28 when He blessed them. He said these words upon both of them. Both of them are supposed to be like king and queen, ruling over the whole realm that God has given to them. Instead of joining hands together and ruling everything and subduing everything, dominating everything, bringing up solutions to human problems and making the world better and work towards the flourishing of the earth and humanity, that's their job. That's what is contained in those five commands; be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and dominate. They need to help the world flourish under their leadership. Instead of joining hands and doing that, they're working against one another. She's trying to get control over him, put her thoughts on him, make him do what he wants so he gets ready to control her and he rules over her. The equation has changed. Now there is competition instead of cooperation. Instead of partnership now you have hardship. Everything is difficult now because she's pulling in one direction and he's pulling in another direction. They can't ever get together to do one thing with one mind. Life becomes difficult. They can't work together. She can't be the helper. They can't join together and do something. Only two things God told the woman; to be a helper, one. To bear children, two. Both things are difficult now because of sin. Just imagine that. Sin affected all aspects of our lives; spiritual, physical, material, social, every aspect. But the most profound effect of sin is found in work.

According to Genesis chapter 3, according to what the Bible mentions as a big thing. If you read Genesis chapter 3: 16-19 you can see the most profound impact of sin upon man's life is seen in the area of work. Two jobs God gave, two jobs have become difficult now for the woman. What about the man? For man also God gave a job. What is the job God gave to man? In Genesis 2:15 God made a garden and put man there and said, "Till it and keep it," right? That's his job, to take care of the garden. Cultivate it and guard it. That's the other word. Till it and keep it means to cultivate and guard it. That means to develop it and to protect it. He gives a realm to develop and to protect. Now man is thrown out of the garden. That is why I read to the end of the chapter in chapter three because finally God throws him out of the garden. The beautiful realm that he was given to be in charge of, to develop and to protect, the garden of Eden, a beautiful place filled with every riches, every good thing that he needs is now lost. Paradise is lost. He is thrown out. He lost his job. That's his job. He was supposed to cultivate it, he was supposed to protect it but now he is himself thrown out. Now he is to go to the wild earth and start all over again. And when he starts all over again, work is going to be very difficult. Thorns and thistles, it brings forth, not like the garden of Eden. In the garden of Eden God took care of everything, planted the garden Himself. If God plants a garden, how will it look? My friend just imagine how it will look like when God plants a garden. That must have been the most beautiful garden, nothing compared to Ooty or Mysore. This is something on another level. God planted a garden and put man in there.

Now he lost it, he comes out in the wild and only thorns and thistles are growing. What he plants grows but thorns and thistles choke it. Lot of opposition, lot of difficulty hefaces in his work. Again, the work is affected. That's is the thing that God gave man and it is affected. You read in verse 17, then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and eaten from the tree of which I commanded you saying, "You shall not eat of it"...that's the problem, he heeded the voice of his wife and did what God told him not to do.

A lot of people look at this and say, "See, you should not listen to your wife." No, that's not what it is saying. "You heeded the voice of your wife and did what I told you not to do." If the voice of the wife is saying what God told you to do, if it's telling you to do what God told you to do, then you better heed that voice. The whole thing is about he did what he's not supposed to do just because his wife said so. And God says, "Cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life." The tree of knowledge of good and evil grew on the earth and God said, "Don't eat of it", he ate of it. Now He says the ground out of which these trees grow and bear fruit, the ground itself will be cursed. "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." What words, oh my God! My heart sinks when I hear this. Here is man that was made so wonderfully and placed in such a good position, given everything. Now he is told the ground is cursed, that he will plant and it will be difficult for him to raise a crop there and all the days of his life he's going to face thorns and thistles and out of the sweat of the face he's going to eat bread till he returns to the ground.

Here again man's work is only affected. That's why I say the most profound impact of sin was upon man's work, both man and woman. Some people say that work is not important, what's important is if you die you do to heaven. No, work is important. When work is affected, then everything gets affected. Work is a very important thing in life. It's important that you succeed in work, it's important that you overcome your difficulties in work, your problems in work. In order to do that, you need to understand why there is difficulty in work, what sin has done to our work, what sin has done to this world. We need to understand it. Is there any hope? God says you will eat like this from the sweat of your brow all the days of your life. The ground is cursed. In toil you shall eat of it. Does that mean that I'm going to live the rest of the days in toil?

When we come to the third part I'm going to deal with it in more detail but I'll just give a clue. In Deuteronomy 28, just a little while later after all these things happened, few generations later God says to them, "If you just obey my voice, you will be blessed going out, coming in. You will be blessed in the city and in the country, the fruit of your womb will be blessed, the fruit of your labor will be blessed, the fruit of your cattle will be blessed, even your grinder will be blessed. Your enemy will come one way and will run seven ways. Everybody will look at you and be afraid. I will bless you in such a way..." God will open His good treasure, the heavens and pour out rain in due season. You will not borrow but you shall lend to many nations. You will be above only and not beneath. You shall be the head and not the tail. That's not in heaven. He was telling the Old Testament people; New Covenant even hasn't come. That's why I tell you my friend, cheer up. There is hope in the midst of all this confusion. In the midst of all this curse that has fallen upon the earth and work becoming difficult as a result of it, still there is hope because the hope comes through something called blessing and something called faith. The power of blessing is given to overcome the power of curse. Blessing is light and curse is like darkness and blessing is more powerful than the curse. When you've got the blessing, with the blessing you can overcome every curse.

That's why God says, "I will command a blessing upon the work of your hands." Why blessing needs to be commanded? Because work becomes difficult if you have not found out already. Because it is challenging, it is frustrating. Sometimes you want to give up hope, that's how it happens. But God says, "I will command blessings upon the work of your hands." So, when you face difficulty my friend, there is hope. Don't run away. Don't flee, don't quit, don't give up hope. Sometimes it's very difficult. Even in ministry, it's very difficult sometimes but we can overcome every time with the God's grace, with the power of blessing and faith, we can overcome every difficulty and move forward. We should not give up because God is with us and His blessing is with us and we are New Covenant people and Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law that is written 'Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.' So that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles. One man was telling me, "What are you talking about blessing? Don't you know the earth is under curse?" I said, "I know the earth is under curse but I know that in this cursed earth Jesus came and died on the cross and a crown of thorns was laid upon Him signifying the thorns and thistles that were supposed to grow in my work and forbid me from earning well and living well. That crown of thorns, that curse, that symbol of curse was placed upon the head of Jesus so that the curse may be borne by Him and blessing may flow upon me.

Finally, verse 14, "So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you shall go and you shall eat dust all the days of your life." Now the Satan is cursed. Remember, God only curses Satan, never cursed man and never cursed woman, only difficulty in their work. That's it. The Bible doesn't say God cursed them. The earth is cursed but the man is not cursed, the woman is not cursed. The devil is cursed but man and woman are not cursed. Everybody say Amen.

Then listen to verse 15, the most amazing verse of hope. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. And he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel." This is the first promise of the coming Messiah, right in the middle of sin's evil work that has been done. God stands there and gives the greatest hope. It's amazing. He begins by giving hope. Before He pronounces all these things upon the man and woman, He first gives hope. He says, "I will make enmity between your seed and her seed. Put enmity between you and the woman and her seed and your seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel." And then he begins to talk to the woman and says, "I will greatly multiply your sorrow in conception."

Why? Why does he put the hope first? Because if He didn't put the hope first by the time He got through 16th,17th, 18th, and 19th verse, their heart will stop. They'll want to give up, they'll want to hang themselves or something. What is there in life if I am to be left to like this? To eat out of the sweat of my brow and work is going to be toil and I'm going to fail every time I try. Why work? And if I'm cannot even live harmoniously with my wife and have a good family and happiness at home, why should I live? If I can't even bear children and dread it every time, why should I live? That would have driven them off the edge literally. Would not have wanted to live. That's why He gives the hope first. He says, "A seed of the woman is going to come." That is why after hearing this Adam names his wife as Eve. That comes only later. Names his wife Eve in verse 20 only and calls her the mother of all living. Man has received that hope. He's saying, "I'm not going to give up because better life and better things can come only through the children that are going to be born to me. Only through the children, through the descendants Jesus Christ, the savior, is going to come, who's going to crush the head of Satan and do away with this deceiver who has spoiled the human life. Jesus Christ is going to come through him, come through his wife. Even though childbirth is difficult, it's going to happen. So they go home and they work on getting children nevertheless. Even though it's going to be difficult they said, "All right, we're going to have children." Even though it's going to be difficult to work, I'm going to have some blessing. I'm going to work, I'm going to have some hope. God will help me.

In chapter 4 verse 1, Adam knew his wife, Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain and said, "I have acquired a man from the Lord." Amazing verse. When the first child is born to Adam and Eve, immediately the first thing she thinks about is I've got a man from the Lord. That's what she says. "I've received a man..." That means this is the seed that's going to crush the head of Satan. She's full of expectancy. With that hope only, she went through with the childbirth. Otherwise she would have run away from it. The way God said it that she's going to have intense pain during childbirth, she goes through with it and has a child and she says, "I've gotten a man from the Lord. This man is going to crush the head of the devil that ruined our life." But it didn't happen. They had to wait many generations.

In chapter 5, go to chapter 5 verse 29 Noah...Lamech gave birth to Noah. Lamech was the father of Noah. It says in verse 28, "Lamech lived 182 years and had a son and he called his name Noah saying, "This one will comfort us."" Listen to this, "This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord has cursed." When Noah was born, Lamech had such hopes that through this son something good is going to happen. With Noah something good did indeed happen. He was a righteous man and the whole world was destroyed, Noah was saved. You know the whole story, right? He probably sensed that this is a very special child. Something very special is going to happen and he thought that special must be the seed of the woman who's going to crush the head of Satan, that he's going to be the savior. "And when He comes to save, He will deliver us from the toil of work," he says and he named him Noah because of that. He says he called his name Noah saying this one will comfort us concerning our work. That means this one will finally give us relief, not from work but from the pain of work. Some people want to be relieved from work. I've got news for you. Even after we finish here, we go to heaven, we'll have work. Read the Bible correctly. Work never ends. I decided to work all my life and then when I close my eyes and go there continue working. What will I do without work? Work is so exciting, so wonderful. God is in it and it reveals God. Once you understand work, you'll never want to quit working. You'll go on working because it has such a lofty goal. Lamech says, "Noah, this son, is going to comfort us, give us relief concerning our work." Not from work, it says it very clearly. Not from work...concerning our work and the toil of our hands. The comfort is going to be concerning the toil that comes with work. He's going to relieve us of the toil, not the work, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed. Because of the ground which the Lord has cursed, work has become difficult. "Noah will come," he says, "probably relieve us from the curse of that." Noah didn't relieve us of the curse but someone greater than Noah, the son of the living God. Jesus Christ came and died on the cross, became a curse for us. Took our curse, signified by the crown of thorns so that he can deliver us from the toil of work, not work but from the toil of work so that the work of our hands will be blessed, so that we can overcome our difficulty.

When you see difficulties understand where they come from. They come from a fallen world, from sin and you understand also that Jesus is the deliverer. He has come to relieve us. There is relief, relief from the difficulty. Trust in Jesus to help you in the wisdom of God to put you over the difficulties of your work. Shall we all stand together.

Amen. Tomorrow is Monday. Somebody said, "Sunday is so anointed." Monday is anointed also. Let's lift up our hands and give thanks to God.

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