Of Making Many Books There is No End Recommendation #11

I have been reading through T. Desmond Alexander’s From Paradise to the Promised Land and have been struck by the masterful biblical theology of the land (including the Scriptural teaching on the “ground” or “earth”) found in the book of Genesis. I want to recommend that you read the chapter entitled “Paradise Lost.” One of the chief focus’ of Scripture, according to Alexander, is the curse God places on the ground and the removal of that curse through the Gospel. Why did God curse the ground in the first place? Alexander suggests, and I believe correctly, that the ground was cursed because man was taken out of the ground. Adam, the man God made from the earth, rebelled against his Maker and must bear the curse of that rebellion–ultimately Adam must return to the ground. The fruit bearing earth would not produce in the way that it should since sin entered the world. But Alexander goes on to points out that God curses the ground further when Cain sheds Abel’s blood into the earth.

While these are not new concepts to biblical theology, Alexander ties the theme of the curse on the ground and the early accounts in Genesis together in a most interesting way. When he comes to the account of Noah and the deluge Alexander shows that Noah’s name is intimately connected with the removal of the curse to the ground. While it is clear that Noah was not the one who would lift the curse–but Jesus would–it is clear that the flood did affect the ground man would till. We see this when Moses writes, “so Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.” Noah found that the earth, which was cursed at the fall and further cursed with Cain’s wickedness now bears fruit for him as a direct result of the flood minimizing this curse. Finally, Alexander points out that God established the death penality after the flood, in part, to hold back further curse from the ground. When Cain killed Abel God further cursed the ground for Cain since Abel’s blood was shed on the earth. Everytime someone sheds man’s blood that blood cries out for justice. Because in the beginning man was taken from the ground the natural implication for such wickedness is to further curse the ground. Though these are only some of the major points that Alexander makes (and you may not agree with all of them!) nevertheless it shows how valuable this work is for anyone interested in consistent biblical theology. You can also find some thoughts that I have posted on the subject of the curse here.

The previous posts in the series Of Making Many Books There is No End Recommendation can be found here.

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