Genesis 3:15 is the first promise in Scripture. It is a promise God made to Satan and to all of humanity:
“And I will put enmity (hostility/conflict) between you and the woman, and between your (seed) offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
I’m glad God announced these happenings from the beginning of time. God told the end of the story from the beginning of time. Why? He did it to reassure Adam and Eve that though they had sinned, though there was fall out, He was still in control and in time, a plan would be executed that would reverse the curse that sin had put humanity under.
In this verse I see a Promised Conflict, a Promised Person, and a Promised Victory!
A Promised Conflict
God spoke directly to the tempter, to the evil one, to Satan, to tell him what he could expect. God wanted us also to understand what we could expect. God made it clear that there would be a struggle between Satan and Someone that would one day be born. The struggle would not only be between Satan and that Someone, but between Satan’s offspring (the powers of evil and those influenced and enveloped by it) and between those who would descend on earth to be God-followers, Jesus’ people.
By allowing Satan to have some limited authority and to express his evil ways, God was establishing the difference between good and evil and was further validating our right to choose how we would live and who we would serve. Jesus did not come to remove conflict from the human experience, but but through his earthly life, He has shown us how to deal with and how to overcome Satan and ourselves. And in His coming, through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus has made another promise to us which is that one day we will enjoy an existence with no pain, no tears, no sorrow in a perfect existence.
Genesis 3:15 was the announcement by God to Satan that a war was on, and God was letting Satan know that Satan would not win. He was telling Satan, “You and I are going to have trouble, and I’ll be sending Someone to deal with you.”
The second piece of this promise in Genesis 3:15 is that God was declaring there was a Promised Person who would right what had been made wrong.
Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, God talked about the seed of the woman. That is sure a different way of describing the birth of a child, isn’t it? That process would typically be described in terms of the seed of a man, not of a woman. Here we have a hint of the uniqueness of the Savior. A man wouldn’t be involved in the process of His appearing, yet the one who would be born would be born human just like we are. He would be born of a Virgin. Jesus fulfilled over 200 prophesies spoken about Him.
Knowing that a Person, a Deliverer, a Redeemer was promised by God to destroy him, Satan did whatever he could to try to stop Jesus from coming into the world. You’ll remember that Pharaoh tried to kill the Hebrew baby boys as they were being born. Who do you think was behind that move? You’ll remember Herod tried to murder all of the Hebrew male children two and under. Can you guess who was behind that murderous shenanigan? Jesus was born with a target on His back, and as soon as He started His ministry, at the prompting of Satan, people started plotting against Him. Scripture tells us that Satan entered Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus in Luke 22. Satan knew what God’s plan was because God told him. How many people tell their enemy what their plan is to take them out? That’s how confident our God was and is that His plans will succeed. In fact, God’s plans are so foolproof, even Satan played right into God’s hands as the crucifixion of Jesus was all part of God’s sovereign plan.
Third and finally, we see in Genesis 3:15 that God declared a Promised Victory.
The fact that Jesus was born would have no impact if He didn’t come to fulfill the purpose for which He was born. In other words, Christmas is meaningless apart from the reality of Easter. Genesis 3:15 is power-packed because it contains the promise of both Christmas and Easter. Someone special would come, a Messiah, and He would secure victory for all of us.
Look again at our text: Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your (seed) offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This was no mamby-pamby statement that God was making. It wasn’t just trash talk. The conflict would lead to a battle, a decisive battle. Jesus would be struck in the process, but Satan would be crushed. The image is of Satan, slithering around, crawling on his belly and grabbing Jesus to hurt Him but only being able to reach or to impact His heal. In other words, the battle would be inconsequential for Jesus. But what would happen to Satan? He would have his head crushed. Jesus would survive a bruised heal. Satan would not survive having his head crushed. The battle would be a decisive victory for Team Heaven. God didn’t want there to be any speculation about who would be victorious when the battle took place.
Look at Hebrews 2:14-15 14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Do you see the word “destroy” in Hebrews 2:14? That is what happened to Satan when Jesus rose from the dead. Crucifixion, the death of Jesus, was the best Satan had up his sleeve, and his attempt to kill Jesus and to doom people to die in their sin, disconnected from God was a complete and utter failure, proving he is no match for the plan and power of God.
Satan’s fate was sealed and his works, his attempts, his efforts, his lies and deceptions—these things are destroyed in the life of the believer. Revelation 12:11 tells us we overcome Satan by the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb and by the word of our testimony as Christ followers. And one day, when Christ returns, when this age, the age of the church as theologians call it, is over, Satan will be done forever.
My friends, it’s only because Genesis 3:15 played out as God promised we can say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Easter!” You and I are on the winning team!