“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” -Genesis 3:19
When man fell into sin, God immediately cursed the ground. Since then, man has to suffer from a life of difficult labor. This was a curse, but it was also a blessing.
The original creation was characterized by abundance. Now it brings forth weeds and thorns. Man’s rebellion brought bad consequences. Yet if we think with deeper understanding, the cursing of the ground also brought innumerable blessings.
First, If the world did not fall into scarcity, and man just went against God, man will keep rebelling without suffering the consequences of death and scarcity. He will be unafraid.
If the world stayed as a place of complete abundance and man is already in a fallen state, what catastrophic consequences it will bring. Uncontrolled wealth will breed more perversion.
Second, if the world remained in a wealthy condition, man’s energy would not be channeled into labor and discipline, but to murder and further perversion instead.
He will think no costs and feel no sacrifices for everything he does. He will not pay the consequences of scarcity that result from mismanagement and his fallen mindset.
The case is this: A rebellious man with an abundant surrounding is the ultimate recipe for failure. Look at unregenerate men who have not developed godly characters of self-control and sacrifice, when they win a certain lottery or receive a huge amount of wealth, if not controlled, they are on the way to greater destruction. Wealth now becomes the curse.
So the curse of God to man is now the antidote to the wealth that has become curse to man. The curse is a grace of God in some way. Although death and hell brought negative implications to humanity, this also brought in tremendous blessings.
Because of scarcity, fallen man has no choice but to labor in order to survive. Instead of living foolishly, he begins to think how not to waste his resources and time.
Because of death, man is restrained from carelessness. Death is the end point of the curse for the regenerated man. Death provides a way for man to escape the eternal consequences of his rebellion.
Because pain, man now thinks of safety and avoidance of pain. Pain and death, in some sense, are blessings in disguise. They bring wisdom to foolish men. There is now control within the human mind.
He now guards the “limited resources” of his lot instead of wastefully ignoring them. He now manages time because death is approaching.
He now avoids unfruitful activities because time and energy is limited. His energy is now channeled from doing evil, to doing labor, which is good (Exodus 34:21).
Man was fixed by his own consequences, this is how amazing God is. He punishes, but his punishments to His beloved are truly blessings in disguise.