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We know what God said in His heart because it is revealed right here in the Scripture.

Here is what He “said in His heart” after the conclusion of the flood:

I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Gen. 8:21-22).

Notice, however, Romans 8:22:

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (NASB).

102716-blog-white-quiteThe earth groans under the curse. We often talk about a cursed earth. If the earth is under a curse, yet here God says that He will not curse the earth anymore, how then do we interpret this passage?

We can find a very logical answer to that question in the words of the text themselves. The curse of Genesis 8:21 (קָלַל) is a different kind of curse than the one given in Genesis 3:17 (אָרַר). This is evident in that different Hebrew words are used to describe the two different curses—the latter one being more intense. Both of these words are also used in Genesis 12:3. Interestingly, that stronger word for curse (אָרַר) is related to the name of the mountains on which the ark landed. Genesis 8:4 records:

The ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat (NASB).

In other words, the ark landed upon cursed mountains. God had cleansed the earth and promised that He would not bring the specific type of curse mentioned in Genesis 8:21 back upon the earth again in the future. This word for curse means to disregard or to make light of. However, the earth still had the same problems that it had since Genesis 3—being under an intensified curse since the fall. But God would never allow the earth to destroy itself, as it really had done during the flood (cf. Gen. 7:11).

102716-blog-white-photo-arkI am intrigued by attempts to find Noah’s ark, and I think that the ark is probably still there somewhere because of the materials that Noah used in building it (cf. Gen. 6:14). Perhaps I am wrong about that and it disintegrated years ago. But I also do not think that we would necessarily find it on what is today termed Mount Ararat (that name being the adjectival form of the word for curse in Genesis 3:17). Rather, I think this term primarily gives us insight into the condition of those mountains and the fact that we still live in a world that needs a Redeemer—even after the flood. Noah landed on cursed mountains.

When Noah took his first steps on the new earth, that ground was still cursed. But we have assurance from God that the earth will never destroy us. Likewise, we can never destroy it. We are to be good stewards of the earth, but we do not worship the earth.

The radical environmentalist movement does not understand these basic truths about the nature of the cursed earth, or about God’s plan to continue to maintain it for His purposes.

God would not curse the earth because He recognized the state that man is truly in, as explained in Genesis 8:21:

The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth (NASB).

What does man really need? We have a heart that is inclined toward evil. But we can receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. God can be our goodness, and that can overcome the effects of sin that are outlined in verse 21.

One has come who is my goodness. I trust and I rest in Him. That is what you need to do as you continue your journey on “the mountains of Ararat” (Gen. 8:4).

Editor’s Note: This blog article is taken from the following sermon, which you can watch in its entirety here:

(Read Part 10)

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
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Photo within the article is by Paul J. Scharf