Q&A: Mercy after the Curse

Mercy after the Curse

How did God show mercy to Adam and Eve even when giving the curse of Genesis 3?

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Answer

In Genesis chapter 3 when Adam and Eve are cursed by God and evicted from the garden, I think one of the surprising things we see is the evidence of God's mercy in the midst of that discipline. You see it first when he clothes them, he provides to cover their nakedness and their shame. The second thing he does is — we see it as punishment, but there's an element of kindness in it — in the actual eviction from the garden. The Tree of Life is still there. They could still hypothetically partake of the Tree of Life and live eternally in their rebellion. To put a barrier between them and the Tree of Life is to keep them from eternal rebellion. The third thing that he does is he provides a way for them to continue living within his creation. It's broken, it's fallen, but he continues to bless them with life. Now death is at the end, and death is a part of the curse, but there's also an element of mercy in the curse of death, because we aren't left to live eternally in our rebellion. While death is foreign and alien within God's good creation, there is an element in which it's a mercy. We aren't condemned to eternally live in rebellion against God.