The account of the initial curse is recorded in Genesis 3:14-19. From this account we find that (1) God cursed the serpent; (2) He put a curse on child birth, that women would have pain in childbirth; and (3) He cursed the ground.
In Romans 8:20 we have another account of the curse, but here Paul calls it a “subjection of the creation to futility.” And in this account we are told plainly why God brought the curse. We read that God subjected the entire physical universe “in hope”; that is, He did it so that man in his sinful state would have hope in better things, hope that he and all of creation would one day find redemption and deliverance.
Now it seems to me, from these two accounts, that the Genesis account is just the beginning of the curse; and the Romans account is a broader and more complete account—a curse on all of creation; for after the initial curse in Genesis there have been other curses along the way throughout history. The curse of the flood is the next major curse and the one we will focus on now.
David Reagan, in his article, The Earth in Prophecy, explains:
There is much Biblical evidence in both Genesis and Job that the second earth [the earth after the fall and before the flood] had a thick vapor canopy which shielded life from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun, producing the long life spans recorded in Genesis (see Genesis 2:5-6 and Job 38:8-11). The whole earth was like a greenhouse with thick vegetation growing everywhere, even at the poles. There was also probably only one large land mass.
Reagan goes on to explain that because of man’s rebellion God caused the vapor canopy to collapse (Gen. 7:11), and the “fountains of the great deep” to cover the earth (Gen. 7:11). Hence, this caused the polar caps to form, the unified land mass to split apart, and, because of the depletion of the vapor canopy, ultraviolet radiation resulted in greatly reduced life spans.
So God has put a curse on all of creation. We will break it down into three general areas: a curse on the ground, on the atmosphere, and on the animals (though there are other areas of the curse we could consider). In the millennium much of the curse will be removed.
The curse on the ground. In this part of the curse God caused unwanted and poisonous plants to grow in the ground along with all the good eatable plants, so that man would have to work at pulling the weeds and cultivating the ground (Gen. 3:17-19). We have an indication from Isaiah 55:13 that this part of the curse will be removed:
“Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up; And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up; And it will be a memorial to the Lord, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
The curse on the atmosphere. This is the curse of the flood, which in turn, among other things, caused the vapor canopy around the earth to collapse, which then let loose ultraviolet radiation into our atmosphere. I can’t tell you precisely what that involved, but it is what has polluted our air, has made our plant life less productive, has given us droughts, and has brought to us climatic cataclysms (like hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods). Essentially it was a poisoning of the earth’s atmosphere, which significantly reduced our life span—from almost 1000 years to 70 years.
But in the millennium there is plenty of Biblical evidence that most of this curse will be reversed if not all of it; the vapor canopy will likely be restored. The book of Isaiah tells us that in that day there will be no lack of water (Isa. 43:19-20), there will be an abundance of fruit and crops (Isa. 30:23-26; 55:2), and people will be healthy and strong and will live long lives—“as the lifetime of a tree” (Isa. 65:22).
The curse on the animals. In the Genesis account we have the curse on the serpent: the curse of having to slither along on his belly, having to eat dust, and being made an enemy of man—especially women.
But the Genesis account is far from complete, for much of the animal kingdom has been cursed. Somewhere along the line many of the animals that were tame and ate vegetation became wild and carnivorous. These wild animals became not only enemies of man but of each other. And so, in the wild animal kingdom the strong prey on the weak.
But in the millennial kingdom it seems that this curse will be completely reversed. Apparently God will cause the wild, carnivorous animals to lose their sharp meat-eating-teeth and grow teeth for eating only vegetation—as it was in the beginning. And He will cause the poisonous creatures to lose their venom, and all animals to lose their fear and anger toward each other and toward man, so that they will all be tame. Isaiah 11:6-9 describes this curse reversal.
Isaiah 11:6-9 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the kid, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. 7 Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.
Copyright © 2014 by Stephen Nielsen