Genesis 3:15 (NKJV) 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
(Once again there has been a break in my posting. We just concluded our annual Unity Through Fellowship leadership conference. This conference was begun by Dr. B. J. Pruitt more than 40 years ago and our church, Living Word Christian Center in Greene, NY, decided to reinstitute it 5 years ago. Our focus is on leaders in the body of Christ coming to know one another on a personal level. As we partake of fellowship together, we find that differences become less important and our relationship in Christ more important. We would like you consider joining us February 20-22, 2019 for our next conference.)
We have been looking at the origins of grace from the book of Genesis. There is a great deal of discussion about the grace of God in the church right now. Some of it has been contentious. I believe that there have been some conclusions about grace that are not faithful to what the bible really teaches. I felt that this year the Lord wanted me to look at grace in the Word of God with as few preconceived ideas as possible.
We ended the last post by quoting Genesis 3:15. We have found that God created man for fellowship. In the process of creation he included a mechanism that would give man a choice as to whether he would love and obey God, or rebel and be separated from God. Just as God knew he would, man chose rebellion. Man deserved to be eternally separated from God. God had every right to destroy man and start all over again. He did not do that. That is mercy.
Instead, God gave man what he did not deserve. He began a process that would redeem man and give him the choice to restore relationship with the Father by taking upon himself the punishment for sin. They did not deserve this gift. They were guilty of sin. By undertaking a plan to redeem man God was providing grace or underserved favor.
Grace was not an afterthought. Mercy and grace were built into the plan from the beginning.
Revelation 13:8 (NKJV) 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Mercy is God’s choice not to give man what he deserves. It is not a choice made after man sinned. It is not a choice God made when he sent Jesus. It is not a choice he makes when we decide to receive it. This choice was made before God began to create. It was made from the foundation of the world. In Genesis 3:15 we see God choose mercy over judgement and we see how God is going to make grace available. Both were in God’s plan from the beginning.
In Genesis 3:15 we see that God is not going to leave man in his sinful state. In subsequent verses he must tell Adam and Eve what their choice has done. He reveals that all of creation is cursed because of their choice. He tells each of them how sin will change their lives. This is not a curse by God. This is the curse of sin. Behavior has consequences and man must understand that. Nevertheless, before he tells them any of that, he sets mercy and grace in motion.
The first thing he tells the devil is that he is going to put enmity between him and the woman. Woman was not created as an inferior to man. She was created as a helper to man. Sin caused her to be lowered to a place of servitude and property. There was another reason for woman’s post fall condition.
Satan knew that God’s children would come from the body of women. He hated them for being the channel of creation. However, God put this hatred there because he had a plan. He was going to use woman in a way that no one could have imagined. The enmity between Satan and women would ensure that women maintained a kind of spirituality that would cause one specific woman to be ready when the time of mercy and grace came.
Then he says something impossible. He says he will put hatred between the woman’s seed and Satan’s seed. Neither of them has “seed” in the context of children. Who is Satan’s seed. The seed that will create humanity from the fall onward will have a spiritual genetic flaw called spiritual death. Adam’s rebellion caused him to be immediately separated from God and eternal life. It eventually caused the failure of his physical body. This flaw was passed to all those born of Adam. His seed was eternally contaminated by the nature of Satan, sin. Therefore, all who were born from that day on were the “seed of Satan.”
What of the seed of woman? This statement is even more impossible from the human standpoint. Woman has no seed! Woman carries the other half of the creative equation. She carries the “egg” that is fertilized by the seed. That is why in most cultures the family line comes through the male. In most royal houses if no male is born to the King, the line of succession ends. This is God’s way of incorporating into society that woman has no seed. Who, then, is the seed of woman?
When God was ready to put the plan of redemption into motion he sent an angel to a virgin girl. In Isaiah 7:14 God reveals something.
Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV) 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Notice he does not say “a virgin shall conceive.” He points through history to a specific woman through whom he is going to do something extraordinary. In Luke chapter 1, we find out who this woman is.
Luke 1:30-31 (NKJV) 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.
How could a woman have a seed? Who was this seed? A woman who conceives with no male human involved could be said to have a seed. A human being born this way would be the seed of that woman. Jesus is the seed of woman prophesied by God himself in Genesis 3:15.
God is revealing the special hatred that the seed of Satan, all those born by the natural order after the fall, would have for the one who would be born without the nature of sin. Jesus the Messiah.
Finally, God tells the devil what he is going to do. His words seem to be trivial if you do not understand that they are Hebrew idioms. An idiom is a saying that says one thing be has an understood meaning in the language being spoken. In English we may say “I will lend you a hand.” That does not mean I am going to remove one of my hands and give it to my neighbor. It means I am going to help.
In Hebrew to bruise the heal means to cause a minor injury. Satan is going to cause Jesus a minor injury. To bruise the head means to take away the Lordship of a ruler. Jesus is going to take away from Satan what he has won in the fall. He is going to give man what he does not deserve. He is going to make grace available for all of humanity. In our next post we will see how grace came to the world in the form of a baby.