August 7, 2007

Thorns and Sweat

Category: Bible - OT - Genesis :: Permalink

In his Trees and Thorns, James Jordan points out the connection between Genesis 2:5 and Genesis 3:18.  In Genesis 2:5, we’re told that before the Fall there were no shrubs and, while there were grain plants (Gen. 1), they hadn’t sprouted.  Because of man’s sin, however, the shrubs come up and the grain plants sprout in a way that carries out God’s judgment:

The judgment pronounced by God in Genesis 3:18 is phrased in terms of the two kinds of field plants.  The shrubs will now grow “thorns and thistles,” and the grains are eaten by the sweat of the brow.  The orchard trees are not mentioned, and in a sense are excluded.  Throughout the Old Covenant, men were never allowed to drink wine in the presence of God, and the Nazirite had to swear off all grapes and raisins as well.  The priests were, however, allowed to eat the showbread and the cereal offerings in holy places.  Man could fellowship with God in the field under the Old Covenant, but he was not admitted back into the Garden until the New (p. 10).

This judgment, therefore, points forward to one of the great privileges of the New Covenant.  We not only eat bread in God’s presence, which is something only the priests did in the Old Covenant; we also get to drink wine at God’s Table, which even the priests didn’t get to do.  The judgment is still in place and we still eat our daily bread by the sweat of our brow, but because Jesus bore the thorns and died, we get to eat bread and drink wine by the blood and sweat of His brow.

Posted by John Barach @ 2:34 pm | Discuss (1)

One Response to “Thorns and Sweat”

  1. Marc Lloyd Says:

    Wonderful! The quote, the Bible, the gospel, Rev’d Mr Jordan, that is! Off for some bread and maybe some wine later…

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