The Curse & Effects of Sin

God’s creation was originally all very good (Genesis 1v31) but now it suffers the effects of the Curse (Genesis 3v14-19). In our world today there are many visual aids to remind us that man has sinned and needs a Saviour.

Take time to look up the Bible verses if you want to really benefit from this study

Serpent cursed above all other animals

“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life”

Genesis 3v14 KJV

While all other animals were affected by the curse (e.g. animal diseases), the serpent was cursed above them all for he was the instrument Satan used to get man to sin.  This verse suggests that snakes may once have had legs. Perhaps the ‘vestigial legs’ of such snakes as the anaconda, boa constrictor, and python are a reminder to man of his fall – resulting in God’s cursing the serpent above all other animals. The serpent transfers dust from its forked tongue to the Jacobson’s organ on the mouth’s roof where sensory cells analyse its content and the environment.

Sorrow in childbearing

Genesis 3v16

This is a ‘fact of life’. Women suffer so much more than female animals in producing offspring. This is because childbirth pains result directly from God’s punishment of Eve and hence of all women.

Ground cursed

“Cursed is the ground for thy sake…. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.”

Genesis 3v17-18 KJV

Some people tell us that thorns exist to protect the plant but dahlias and strawberries have survived as well as roses and gooseberries. God put thorns on some plants to remind us that this world is under His curse. The next time a thorn pricks your finger when you try to smell a rose, remember God cursed the ground because of man’s sin!   Thorns did not exist before God cursed the ground but they are found in the fossil record, so the fossil record had to be formed after Adam and Eve sinned, and not during a gap of millions of years between Genesis 1v1+2. It is interesting to note that thorns, the result of sin, crowned Christ when He died for our sins on the cross at Calvary (Matthew 27v29-31).

Work hard to produce good food

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.”

Genesis 3v19 KJV

Hard labour and sweat were necessary for Adam to grow food-bearing plants, so that he and his family would have enough to eat. There were now many enemies that were not in the original creation – weeds, blight, etc. Contending with the cursed ground was so difficult compared to life in Eden. In many countries today, millions of people have to toil endlessly to provide just the basic necessities.


Genesis2v17; 3v19; Romans 5v12; 6v23; 1 Corinthians 15v21+22; James 1v15; Revelation 20v14+15; 21v8

The moment Adam and Eve sinned they experienced spiritual death (separation from God). They were now sinners. Their bodies began to age. Physical death was to follow – “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”   We are all born with a sinful nature which makes us want to sin. Death has passed upon all men. Those who refuse to repent of their sin will suffer eternal death. Death is a solemn reminder to us that sin is punished by death and that we need to prepare to meet our Maker. The good news is that Christ has tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2v9) that we might have salvation free.


Genesis 6v5, 11-13; Romans 5v12

The results of sin were terrible – violence, death, and the struggle to survive filled the earth. There was murder in the first family (Genesis 4v8). Things got worse and by the time of Noah the whole earth was filled with violence and every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually.

Some animals began to kill others. Before Adam and Eve sinned all animals and man were vegetarian (Genesis1v29-30) and there was no death in the world (Romans 5v12), so animals did not kill one another. Some animals, that once used their sharp teeth and claws to obtain and eat plant food, now used them to kill and devour other living things in the fallen world e.g. T-rex, lions. The earth was no longer all very good.  Some insects began stinging and biting after the fall.


Genesis 3v16-19

What a change from Eden where Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect happiness and fellowship with their Creator!   Now there is sorrow in work, sorrow in childbirth, and sorrow resulting from death all around us in the world. Both men and women suffer sorrow as the result of the Curse.

Effect on creation

The Bible makes it clear that death, bloodshed, disease and suffering are a consequence of sin – they were not part of God’s originally perfect creation. Romans 8v22 tells us that the “whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” because of the effects of the fall of Adam – it was not ‘groaning’ with death and suffering before Adam sinned.  God’s entire creation suffers “the bondage of corruption” and decay, and waits to be delivered from it (Romans 8v19-23). The earth began to “wax old as doth a garment” and some day it “shall perish” (Hebrews 1v10-12). After Adam’s fall, it became universally true that everything would eventually run down, grow old, wear out, die, decay, and return to the dust. Adam’s sin caused all of creation to be affected by the curse. Is it any wonder that this old world has sickness, disease, violent weather, earthquakes, etc?

Effects on plants

When God created this world it was all very good and man could eat of every fruit bearing plant, except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 1v29-31; 2v16-17). However, the Bible teaches us that the curse of the fall changed things (Genesis 3v17-19). The very ‘dust of the ground’ from which God had made living things, was brought under the bondage of corruption (Romans 8v22) – and once beneficial plants became corrupted, developing malevolent characteristics e.g. poison ivy and poison oak now contain acid-like oil that is extremely irritating to the skin, nettles sting, and some mushrooms became highly toxic. The next time a nettle stings you, remember “the sting of sin is death” (1 Corinthians 15v56) and then rub the sting with a dock leaf and think of how Christ was “bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53v5) that He might remove the sting from death for us (1 Corinthians 15v55).

Man’s relationship with all things changed because of sin – they are not ‘under him’ as they were originally in the world of perfect harmony (Genesis 1v28; Hebrews 2v6-8).

The earth is no longer “very good”. It will remain “this present evil world” (Galatians 1v14) until Christ’s return. What a day it will be when there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain, and “no more curse” (Revelation 21v4; 22v3).

For further information on creation/evolution issues visit:

Answers in Genesis
Creation Ministries International