Where Sin Abounds: The Spread of Sin and the Curse in the Primeval History -- By: Robert Gonzales, Jr.

Journal: Reformed Baptist Theological Review
Volume: RBTR 05:1 (Jan 2008)
Article: Where Sin Abounds: The Spread of Sin and the Curse in the Primeval History
Author: Robert Gonzales, Jr.

Where Sin Abounds:
The Spread of Sin and the Curse in the Primeval History

Robert Gonzales, Jr.*

*Robert Gonzales, Jr. is the academic dean of Reformed Baptist Seminary (www.rbseminary.org) in Easley, South Carolina, where he also serves as a pastor of Covenant Reformed Baptist Church. He has an M.A. in theology and a Ph.D. in Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University.

Mankind was expelled from Eden’s Garden as a result of his sin (3:22-24). Yet he was not immediately banished from the land of Eden itself, nor was he completely barred from access to God’s presence and favor. Just as Yahweh-Elohim’s covenantal threat-sanction of death (2:17) included an implied promise-grant of eschatological life (2:9, 22), so Yahweh’s judicial curse-penalty (3:14-19) contained an implied reinstatement of the original promise-grant of life by which the Serpent-initiated rebellion would be reversed and the original prospects of eschatological fullness would be restored (3:15). However, as the curse-promise portended and as the events subsequent to mankind’s tragic fall revealed, God chose not to reestablish his original kingdom objectives instantaneously. Instead, the Creator-now-turned-Redeemer opted, according to his wisdom, to display the riches of his grace against the backdrop of the fullness of human sin. Accordingly, postlapsarian history unfolds a story of the spread of human sin. As surely as mankind multiplies and fills the earth, so human sin advances in stride.1 This sad story of human depravity in turn provides the background against which divine justice and mercy are gloriously displayed.2

Brother Kills Brother

The record of life outside the Garden begins with a birth-notice of Adam and Eve’s firstborn son, Cain, and Eve’s maternal response (4:1). The birth of a second son, Abel, is also recorded but without any accompanying maternal response (4:2a). The asymmetry may suggest

that the firstborn child occupied Eve’s special attention.3 More likely, though, it is Moses who is especially interested in Cain, evidenced by the fact that he refers to Abel not as Eve’s “son” but as Cain’s “brother.” The f...

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