Friday, February 24 “I will put enmity between you and the woman . . .”

Scripture: Genesis 3: 14-16

14 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.

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.”

16 To the woman he said “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Some thoughts:

The perfect creation is coming unraveled. With Eve’s disobedience, the holy sinless Garden of Eden is gone. God proclaims there will be continual strife between the serpent, the devil, and the woman. The woman will eventually triumph, but not without a heavy cost. How do we get all of that out of this passage? The serpent is placed under a curse by God, noting his words, “you will eat dust all the days of your life.” We’ll see in tomorrow’s passage that “dust” signifies death, (hence, the ashes of Ash Wednesday).  The serpent, slithering in the dust, is forever reminded that his ultimate end is eternal death, God’s fatal message to Satan.

The devil deals and dwells in death eternally. His kingdom brings not only physical death, death to freedom, but death in relationship to God. In addition, we read of strife between the offspring of the devil and the offspring of the woman. What is interesting here is the phrase the “seed of the woman.” Elsewhere in Scripture, “seed” is always associated with the man, not the woman. Here, however, we see “seed” being associated only with the woman, a precursor to the fact that the victory over the devil and evil will come through one born not of an earthly father, but of God, even Jesus Christ.

We see further that the offspring of the woman (Jesus) will crush the head of the serpent (fatally) even while the heel is being bruised (wounded) by the serpent. The crushing of the head is a mortal wound. (Romans 16:20 & Hebrews 2:14) In other words, Satan will be defeated by the virgin born offspring of the woman, even as our Lord Jesus Christ defeats death itself. The fear of Satan’s weapon of death is now gone. The pilgrim journey has heavy trials along the way, but the victory is assured, then and now.

In the meantime, we, as the offspring children of Eve, find evidence everywhere in the world where Satan is still warring with the whole human race contradicting God’s truth. Notice how easily our cultures embrace moral corruption, lying, and killing, the fruit of Satan’s work. God’s words on marriage, the sacredness of human life, sexuality, and care for the poor are summarily dismissed and/or redefined. The world truly is under the power of the prince of darkness and evil. None of this is new or news. The point is, we should not be surprised. As you read or hear the news broadcasts this day throughout the world, remember Jesus’ journey via the cross ended with him seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me even as you read this.

The devil . . . defeated, but still kickin’ and fightin’.

Music: “Agnus Dei”    Gjejlo  The Los Angeles Master Chorale

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world

Grant us peace.

Prayer: God in heaven, you have helped my life to grow like a tree. Now something has happened. Satan, like a bird, has carried in one twig of his own choosing after another. Before I knew it, he had built a dwelling place and was living in it. Tonight, my Father, I am throwing out both the bird and the nest.                 Prayer of a Nigerian Christian