Condensed from my Missions Course (2008).
Why did God curse the ground for Adam’s sake?
God avoided placing a curse directly on Adam. Instead, He placed it on the ground, perhaps in acknowledgment that Adam was made from dust. The earth which represented a part of Adam’s makeup was placed under judgment. God said “Cursed is the ground for your sake.”
God would later promise blessings to man for his obedience to His commands by blessing the ground, giving rain, causing a fruitful yield and prospering man’s tilling of the soil. They would eat their fill and even dwell there in safety. In the same command, God also warned that if man disobeyed, the ground would not bear its expected yield, there would be no rain as the heavens would be shut up, the fruits of man’s labor would be disproportionately small, and in general the land would be cursed for man’s disobedience.
There was another sense in which the cursing of the ground was done for Adam’s sake. By the sweat of his brow, man would toil the earth, but this exercise would prove a blessing to man.
Even here we see the redemptive mercy of God who refuses to curse the crowning act of His creation. He directs blessing and cursing instead to the ground and man indirectly receives the result of blessing or cursing. Many years later, God spoke through Moses to give a list of blessings and curses that would attend obedience or disobedience to his commandments. A large portion of them was expressed through the ground’s yield.
As for his wife, the pain in child bearing, giving birth and desire for her husband will increase as well as the fact that her husband will rule over her. In this particular event, Adam named his wife Eve meaning “the mother of all the living.”
For any questions (Bible reference for this post) please feel free to e-mail Pong.