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“So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, ‘Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.’”
Genesis 3:14-15
Points to Ponder:
It’s a sad and frustrating story punctuated by Scripture’s first glimmer of hope and redemption. Genesis 3 details the original fall of mankind in which Adam and Eve plummet from the pedestal of the most glorious and esteemed of God’s creation – His crowning achievement, if you will – to the depths of sin and eventually undergo expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Other consequences of their disobedience occur as well as a result of God’s judgment, and the chapter draws Scripture’s first clear picture of the fact that God in His righteous character cannot and will not tolerate sin.
At the same time, nestled securely into Genesis 3 is a pivotal turning point that pits divine provision against spiritual poverty. Early Church leaders coined the text of verse 15 as proto-evangelism, otherwise known as the initial delivery or preaching of the Gospel as we know it today. Before the prophets delivered their divine-inspired visions, before Israel was a nation, before Noah built and boarded the ark with family and animals in tow, before there was a human to be found other than the gullible Adam and Eve…God unveiled His promise of One who would come to redeem His followers. This brief passage delivers two notable pieces of news –  one piece grand; the other not so much – that make it arguably unique.
First the “not so much:” verse 15 states with clarity that as a result of the first couple’s disobedience to God’s command, an ongoing and tireless enmity will wedge itself tightly between two distinct classes of mankind. Go with me into the waters for a moment here because, in a world grasping for unity, what I’m about to say is a hard-hitting fact. Right here – as a result of the Fall – God divides His created world into two sectors that to this day remain. The first sector involves enmity between Eve and the serpent as God tells the serpent (who represents the enemy) that “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” Despite the fact that she and Adam themselves chose to disobey God, why would Eve not resent or downright abhor this being whose betrayal and lies forever changed her life? Conversely and because humans were now the object of God’s love and protection, why would the enemy not loathe Eve and those who would be forever associated with the human race?

And now the grand news: verse 15 projects that serpent will strike the heel of Eve’s descendent or “seed” while that same seed will crush the serpent’s head. This prophecy finds complete and utter fulfillment in the very incarnation – the virgin birth – of Jesus Christ! One of the most interesting pieces of this Advent puzzle reveals that the prophecy issued in this verse spans not only the course of Eve’s lifetime but across the centuries to the day when Jesus would be born of Mary.  Genesis 3:15 confirms this theory through the use of the masculine pronoun after the statement, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head.” That masculine pronoun, rendered as such in its original Hebrew language, indicates that the fulfillment of this promise would be a human of male gender, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

 

– Copyright 2016, Carole Anne Hallyburton. All Rights Reserved.
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Focus for Reflection:
As a Christian living in 2016, reflect on the birth and earthly ministry of Christ.
            What are some examples of the enemy striking Christ’s heel?
            What are some examples of Christ crushing the enemy’s head?
Does Genesis 3:15 give you cause to look expectantly or with hope toward Christ’s return? If so, how will you demonstrate that expectation or hope today:

               At home?

               At work?

               In your culture?

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