Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
And to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife you have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, saying, you shall not eat from it, cursed shall be the ground because of you; in sorrow you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”
Creationists claim to base every last drivel of their research and conclusions upon the biblical record. In other words, nothing in science (or any field) makes sense except in light of God’s Word. Where the Bible does not give specifics, creationists form far-flung hypotheses and models that accord with what they believe the Bible teaches about the world. They presume to test these hypotheses against whatever data they need to debunk in terms of its relationship to evolution or any other theory not giving the particular scriptural nod they claim to profess. Thus, hypotheses can be discarded, but the biblical record (as they view it) is not. Although this is often ignored as simple verbal gymnastics, evolutionists rely upon the same methodology: that is, while hypotheses are discarded, the belief in evolution is never questioned.
There have been proposed many theories concerning the extent of the curse and its consequences to mankind. After being driven out of the Garden of Eden man left behind the fabled “paradise” and began his life in the “cursed” world. What were the differences? We know that the soil of today is quite varied over the surface of the earth. With some areas being quite fertile and having very deep rich top soil. While other areas have no top soil and nothing will grow. Also the watering conditions vary considerably with areas that are water soaked marsh lands to the deserts where nothing can grow. However, many of the desert areas need only to be watered and they will grow crops abundantly.
Soil chemistry varies considerably from area to area to the extent that some locales would seem to grow almost any plant while others are poisoned by salts. Some plants prefer chemistry of one area and other plants prefer the chemistry of another area. The color of the blooms of some plants are a function of the chemistry of the soil. Some plants like cool or cold areas while other plants like moderate or hot climates. Others are fostered by the desert and others thrive only in high humidity. As we know it today the most fertile soils are quite often those that contain a higher percentage of dead and decayed organic materials.
Adam was commanded to “dress it and keep it.” So it seems logical to assume that in the garden the amount of work necessary was relatively minimal for plants to grow abundantly and that the soil, watering and temperature conditions were “very good” for the plants that the Yahweh choose to provide therein. The climate was also quite moderate given the occupants were unclothed at first glance.
The first point is pretty obvious. Adam was going to have to plant his own crops (instead of eating what God had already planted) and work the fields enough to draw a sweat. The second point is that the weeds were going to grow in abundance. Quite significantly, the text does not say that God created the weeds—only that they would grow. The text says that Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden4 into the real world of weeds and untended unsubdued land. The whole key to the curse is the third part. Adam was going to have to work the fields, manage the crops, and could no longer depend on a tree for sustenance. Adam’s curse was in being kicked out of the garden into the thorn-flynt world.
If we use the most common translation for adamah, it reads like this, “Cursed is the land because of you; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” In other words, the land of Eden was no longer under the protection of God, but the garden would revert to its wild, unsubdued state like the rest of the land around the garden. This much we all have been taught.
The Bible clearly teaches that there was a perfect creation, but it is now marred by sin. But now we are dropped into the middle of a major controversy of whether we must accept one of two theories of the age of earth. Old earth verus young earth. Millions of years old versus 6000 or so years old.
Some say that to accept the millions of years history for the fossil record, to be consistent, they have to throw out original sin, and death being the penalty for man’s rebellion. The god of an old earth cannot be the God of the Bible who is able to save us from sin and death. Let’s explain in the words of Erich von Fange:
With all its great accomplishments, science has never been very good at reconstructing the past nor in forecasting the future. There is no need to stand in awe where the evidence is weak or non-existent. Honesty requires that theory and guesswork should be so labeled.
Many examples were given in this book which demolish various age concepts evolutionists have attached to the past history of the earth. While the Christian who accepts the Old Testament for what it says about origins and time has no real problem, it is important that Christians be able to witness to others in the language of science. Evidence speaks louder than emotion. If there are compelling reasons for accepting the concept of an ancient earth, the evidence (without the ridicule) should be brought forward for study. An old earth is a belief required to support the theory of evolution.
There doesn’t seem to be much convincing evidence that we live on anything but a young earth. There are, however, countless mysteries in our world which no one can unscramble. We do not know how old the earth is, and this question is not really an important one.
Don’t be fooled by that last sentence by von Fange. But here is one “biblical” alternative to the conventional geologic clock:
THE FIRST AGE: The void earth in the beginning. Gen. 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty… The great separations: light from darkness; the waters from under and above the firmament; the dry land from the waters; the day from night.
THE SECOND AGE: The good earth, from the sixth day to the Fall of man. Gen. 1:31 And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.
THE THIRD AGE: The cursed earth, from Adam to Noah. The ground was cursed, not yielding its strength; thorns and thistles; high technology; earth corrupt and filled with violence. Gen. 5:29 (Noah) will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.
THE FOURTH AGE: The flooded earth in the days of Noah. Genesis 6-9 The story of the Flood; Gen. 7:23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out…
THE FIFTH AGE: The divided earth from Noah to Abraham. The ice, the hoary frost, the frozen deep, Job 38:29-30; The mighty hunter; The plastic and watery Post-Flood world; mankind ‘splattered’ over the earth from Babel; Peleg – when the earth was divided.
THE SIXTH AGE: The plagued earth from Abraham to Hezekiah. Sodom and Gomorrah with widespread destruction and formation of the Dead Sea; the ten plagues in Egypt and the Exodus; the ‘long day’ of Joshua; mountains skipping like rams; the great earthquake; the backward sun dial of Hezekiah.
THE SEVENTH AGE: The modern earth, about 650 B.C. to the present. The rise of Greece, Rome, Japan, and so-called Western Civilization.
To be continued…