The Devil's Burden
A daily devotion for April 17th
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 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."
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 3:15)
This is one of the most remarkable verses in the Bible. The early church fathers called it the Protevangelium, which means
the first preaching of the gospel. It is the clearest promise of the coming of a Redeemer. There are several unusual features about this remarkable verse that reveal the divine hand.
First, it predicts an unending enmity to exist between two classes of humanity. Here is the beginning of the two divisions of humanity into which the Bible divides the race. Its first manifestation is that of enmity between Eve and the serpent.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, says God. This is understandable. We can see why Eve would detest this one who had betrayed her by his lies, and as the effects of the fall would become more evident in her own life, she would feel a continuing abhorrence against this one who had so cleverly and ruthlessly led her astray. On the other hand, the enemy would surely hate her because she was now the object of God's love, and His hand of protection was around her. But also, it was not enmity merely between the woman and the devil but between his seed and her seed.
The only way this prophecy can be explained is that it finds fulfillment in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus. This concept of the seed of the woman is unique. It is the seed of the man that is the line of descent, and all the genealogies of the Bible trace the line of descent through the male.
We continue this in most societies today. Even today families usually bear the man's name. When a couple gets married, it is usually the woman who drops her name and takes her husband's name. But here we are distinctly told that the one who is to bruise the serpent's head is the seed of the woman. Now in all of human history there is only one who can fulfill that condition: Jesus.
So the seed is Christ. Here is this most remarkable prophecy, which looks across the centuries to the day when Jesus would be born of Mary. This is confirmed in Genesis 3 by the masculine pronoun that follows 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 indicates that the fulfillment of this promise, the seed of the woman, would be a man, born of a woman.
The Old Testament receivers of this word could not see what was involved in this, but now we know it meant the humble birth at Bethlehem, the silent years in Nazareth, the darkness of Gethsemane, the opposition of Jerusalem, the hatred of Judas and Pilate and Caiaphas, the blood and death of a cross—all that was the bruising of the heel. Then there came the bruising of the head of the serpent in the glory of the resurrection. This whole promise is clearly fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Father, I see how You have been working out Your amazing plan of redemption from the beginning. Thank You that I know the One whose heel was bruised but who rose victoriously.
Life Application: How does the Bible explain the unending enmity between the two divisions of humanity? Has the Seed given to us taken root and grown within us bearing fruit?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.