Paradise! Everything was good and going well in the Garden of Eden until that fateful day. Adam and Eve were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) . . . but they weren’t satisfied with that most noble status, above and beyond all other created things (Psalm 8:4-8). Our first parents grasped for more; they wanted to be God! Their rebellion plunged all of creation into groaning cosmic corruption.
But God did not leave them there! He made a promise to reverse the curse:
“I will put enmity between [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
Here we find the Gospel proclaimed in Genesis, God’s first promise to send a Savior for sinners. But notice that this is a two-part promise. God said He will put enmity between the devil and the woman. Why? Because they had become good friends! Adam and Eve had rejected God’s Word and accepted the evil insinuations of Satan as truth; they were now on the run from God and in relationship with the devil.
But God, in His infinite grace and mercy, refused to let the story end there. He promised to separate Adam and Eve from the serpent and to drive a wedge between them . . . and His name is Jesus Christ. The promised Messiah was on the way, and He would ultimately crush the head of the serpent on the hill Golgotha.
God would cause the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent to do battle. And along the way to glory, the promise given to the Messiah about the striking of His heel is to be received by us too. The powers of evil attack us and strike our “heel” often. But what we must remember that only our heel is struck, not our head. The serpent’s strike will hurt, but it will not kill us, because Jesus took our death on the Cross.
How often we learn this second part of the Gospel promise by way of painful providence! We are tempted. We are tried. We are tested. And we fail those tests all too frequently! The waves of challenge seem to wash over us day and night. But through it all, we have a power in us that is far greater than any power that comes up against us. “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NASB). You and I shall be bruised . . . but never beaten.
To be sure, every time the devil strikes our heel we cry out and we limp a bit. But in those times of pain and defeat, let us never forget the Bible’s first Gospel promise: victory is assured through our conquering King, Jesus Christ, the young Prince whose final, triumphant victory cry from the Cross caused the earth to shake and the rocks to split open!
Are you limping today? Then limp all the way into glory, knowing the whole truth of God’s promise to fallen man. Our Lord was victorious in conquering every last one of our enemies, including Satan and even the ultimate enemy: death itself. Let that truth strengthen your walk with Christ this day.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!