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.”
The very first promise in Scripture comes from Genesis 3:15. It is a promise that God made directly to the serpent, to Satan. It is a promise that should give us great comfort and the fulfillment of the promise should cause us great joy. In fact, I would say this promise was the first delivery of “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” in all of History. This promise reflects the Sovereignty and authority of God. This promise speaks to the events of both Christmas and Easter. It foretells two epic events, the Birth of Christ and the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. I don’t know of anyone else who has ever said so much with such an economy of words.
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? Because He could. Because He knew the end from the beginning. I also believe 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. I want to share three ideas with you about this promise as I see them, and I’m going to give them to you at the outset of this message. 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 word “enmity” means hostility or hatred. 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.
There wouldn’t be a call for Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men if all was already “Calm and Bright” now would there? No, we have a foe to face. The same one who spoke lies to Eve, who twisted the truth, who appealed to her flesh and human sensibilities I still speaking. The same one who tempted Adam and Eve toward that which brought death is still tempting people toward the same because that is what he does. He is God’s enemy, Jesus’ enemy and is an assassin of souls. If you want to attempt some interesting reading, look at Revelation 12 where the seed of the woman is discussed again. Let me just give you one verse to pique your curiosity. Revelation 12:17 (KJV) And the dragon was wroth (angry)with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The war with the seed of the woman, Jesus, became the war with the entire Church of the Living God, and until Christ returns the war that began in the Garden of Eden still rages. It is an ongoing saga from Genesis to Revelation and is a real and present issue today. Spiritual warfare is real.
God had to respond to the sin that had taken place in the Garden. Because of His incredible commitment to humanity and deep love for Adam and Eve, He couldn’t simply leave things as they were, leaving Adam and Eve without hope to “fend for themselves.” If you hear nothing else this morning, hear this: Our God is the God who intervenes. He is the God who comes our rescue. Yes, Adam and Eve made their own choice to sin, but God drew close to let them know it wasn’t over.
If you are here this morning thinking that it is over for you because you have given in, you have gone astray, and even if that has been the pattern of your life, I want you to know that although there is a real and present conflict in this age here on earth, there is still a real God who has made a way for you to escape the crushing blow the conflict would suggest is yours to face.
Eve fell first. She had a hard failure to live down, but isn’t it so cool that the plan to right all wrongs included the seed of a woman? While theologians agree God was speaking of Mary who would give birth to Jesus when God spoke about the seed of the woman, Mary’s descent and existence would only be possible because thousands of years earlier, Eve would bear children. Maybe it’s an overstatement of something simplistic, but I want you to see that even though Eve failed royally, she was still used by God to set the whole plan of redemption into motion as she became a mother.
God always gets the last word about how our stories will end, my friends. Eve’s story didn’t end with her failure. She went on to be named by Adam. He called her Eve, the Mother of all of the Living. What Eve chose was sin and death, but what God gave her was the opportunity to become a participant in the creation of life. Redemption was front and center in Genesis 3, friends. God can redeem your failures in an instant just like He did for Eve.
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. How many of you know that the phrase, “You are your own worst enemy” is true? 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 IT WAS ON. The war was on. God was letting Satan know that Satan would not win. God wasn’t going to sit idly by and allow Satan to simply have his way. He was telling Satan, “Hey, Devil, you and I are going to have trouble.” God was saying, “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.
We understand from the whole of Scripture that Satan isn’t a person in the flesh like Jesus was. Oh, I believe Satan infiltrates the hearts and minds of people in the flesh, but he wasn’t flesh like Jesus was. He is pictured here in Genesis in the Garden as a serpent. Scripture teaches that he has a supernatural characteristics which enable him to pose even as an angel of light. Who knows in what ways he cloaks himself to conceal his deceptive and malicious nature? The promise given by God here in Genesis 3 says that the seed of the woman who would be born would be greater than Satan, for it would be God, Himself. For we read in John 1, the Jesus, the Logos, the Word of God, became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
So we have this Person in the flesh who is also God Himself. This Promised Person was a God-man, unlike anyone else who had ever entered into the human experience. There is no one like Jesus. He is extraordinarily unique! That first Old Testament Promise about this Person to come was one of many. Micah 5:2 predicted the place in which He would be born. Isaiah 7:14 predicted how He would be born of a virgin. The Virgin birth is a Divine miracle in a class by itself. It was prophesied that he would descend from the Tribe of Judah in Genesis 49:10 and that he would also be a son of David in II Samuel 7:12. Hundreds and hundreds of years before His birth, His death, burial and resurrection and the reason for it all were foretold. He is unique in that He fulfilled every prophecy spoken about Him. Is anyone else’s mind blown? No other leader, no matter how dynamic, no matter how powerful the dynasty he or she sprang from, no matter what they accomplished in life, no matter what prestige they claimed or qualifications they possessed, no one had this kind of stuff said about them hundreds and thousands of years before their birth and had it come true.
Only Jesus lived a life marked by miracles. These weren’t coincidences. He didn’t just meet up with people who were already in the process of being healed from something and then claim to have helped them. These weren’t actors paid to pull of some publicity stunt. These were credible, witnessed miracles. Water was turned to wine. Blind eyes were opened. Lame feet grew strong. People were raised from the dead. Jesus walked on water. He talked to storms and the storms shut up. A few loaves of bread and some fish were multiplied to feed thousands of people. Demonic spirits shrieked and came out of people. Even the fact that the Promised Person would perform miracles was prophesied in Isaiah 35:5-6. No one else, not David Copperfield, not Houdini or Shin Lim, no one could do what Jesus has done.
Think about the events that surrounded His death. All of the universe seemed to be gathered at the cross as darkness suddenly fell over the land from noon to 3 pm. Do we think this was just a coincidental eclipse? What about an earthquake that took place when Jesus breathed His last breath on that cross? It shook the earth convulsively to the point that tombs were opened and people were resurrected. That’s crazy, rigt? It’s true. Look at Matthew 27. At the same time, the thick veil that kept people from entering into the Holy of Holies to commune with the presence of God was torn in two.
There has never been anyone like Jesus. He was so calm, cool and collected when He was being betrayed, mocked, tortured, and crucified. He was extending forgiveness even with His last breaths to the people who had driven the nails into His feet and hands. This is the portrait of an incredible Person.
And how about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? Psalms 2 and 16 predicted it. Jesus predicted it Himself in John 2 and Matthew 12. Over 500 people saw Him after He came back to life. I’m telling you He’s the Man, He’s the Guy, He’s the Promised One. You can trust Him with your life and with your own passing from this life.
His departure was as miraculous as His arrival. He floated up in clouds of glory through the sky in plain view of His disciples. Acts 1:10 tells us so. Have you ever seen anyone else do something like that?
How about the fact that He lived a sinless life? Even though the religious leaders who trumped up charges against Him sounded compelling and convincing, Pilate, someone who had nothing to gain and everything to lose from setting Jesus free said, “I find no fault in this man.” A soldier at the foot of the cross called Jesus a righteous man. His faultless character was able to be seen from those looking on. Hebrews confirms in chapter 4:15 that He was tempted but never sinned. Nobody else has lived a sinless and perfect life except Jesus.
Knowing that a Person, a deliverer, a Redeemer was promised by God in Genesis 3, 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.
Satan’s fate was determined through the triumph of the cross where sin was atoned for and through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. You see, sin makes us slaves to the Devil. He becomes our master. When Jesus paid sin’s penalty so we could have a relationship with God and when He defeated death so that we don’t have to fear eternity, Jesus destroyed any power the devil could have over us. Listen to me believers, the devil can only have the power over you that you give him. When you choose to walk with Jesus by faith and to live the life He lived, the devil is powerless over you. The devil must free his grip on and give up his claim to anyone who runs to Jesus and His shed blood for forgiveness. 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. 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.
Paul said in Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.” The word for “crush” is literally to rub together and so to shatter, to crush, to trample underfoot, break in pieces by crushing, “to grind,” “to crush,” “to smash,” “to break,” “to destroy.” Paul reminds believers to draw daily strength from the grace of God as we await the realization of that promised, final victory!
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! Oh, Satan may be trying to nip at our heals like he did with Jesus. He may be slithering around whispering lies and trying to stir up trouble, but we stand opposed to him and we stand in the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord. We can confront Satan as confidently as God did in Genesis 3:15. He is defeated.
Colossians 2:14-15 tells us that the spiritual forces of evil were “disarmed” and put to shame through Jesus’ triumph. Our victory as believers is celebrated all throughout the New Testament. We’re told the gates of Hell cannot prevail against God’s church. We are the blood-bought children of God.
So let’s sing the songs of Christmas. They are heartwarming. They are catchy. They put us in a joyful mood. They are tried to great sentimental memories, but please know they were only written because God kept His promise.
“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, til He appeared and the soul felt its worth!” Jesus was “born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth. Born to give us second birth.” Why? “To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray.” That is why we can experience tidings of comfort and joy.
Take in the Baby in the manger, but remember that the Baby grew up. The Baby came on purpose for a purpose and that was to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8) and to set you and I free.
You have a choice to make. I’m not talking about whether you will celebrate Christmas or not but whether you will accept the Promise of Jesus for yourself. The Promise wasn’t only for Satan to hear, but it is for you and I to receive. Right now, there is a war going on for some souls in this room. Right now, Satan is working to distract some people or to minimize their need to pay attention and respond to this message. Right now, Satan is trying to convince some people that what has been shared isn’t really of great importance or that it isn’t urgent to consider it. Right now, Satan is trying to get some people to think this message is for everyone else but them, that God couldn’t possibly have kept His promise for them because they have done too much, they have gone too far from God’s intended plan for their life.
Here’s what I know, the Promise made and kept is still yours to receive. Will you allow the Christ of Christmas, the Fulfillment of the Promise, to be yours this Christmas Season and into eternity?