I am exposed to many differing perspectives on God. It is sad that many people are struggling with misguided bitterness. Yes, many of those angry with God have been hurt by a follower, not by God Himself. There are others that are upset that God did not do what they wanted when they wanted. There are also those that are running from God. What many fail to see is God’s love specifically for them.
This past Sunday in our series “A New You” we are drilling down into what it means to be saved. Let me get more specific. We will be exploring what actually happens when a person becomes a follower of Jesus. The one truth that bursts to the surface is God’s love for individuals. Now, if you know a little about the Bible, you know that there are many verses that shout this reality. This past Sunday we were exploring why salvation is necessary and what it means. If you are interested in the sermon, you can listen here. Our study took us back to what Bible students know as the “fall of man.” This was the proverbial Pandora’s Box was opened and evil was released by the first man’s and first woman’s disobedience to God.
It is a very sad account of paradise lost. Adam and Eve lost their innocence and the perfection. They were the perfect couple until they failed to take God’s admonition seriously. The consequences of their decision has impacted us and our world today. The Bible reminds us of those consequences in Genesis 3:14-19. What happened was the worst thing that could have happened, everything in our world is broken as a result. They not only suffered the loss of living in the garden, but would come to know the pain of sin that we experience today.
It is in the midst of God revealing the consequences to each party (Satan, Eve and Adam) that we see a glimmer of hope, a reminder the God loves us. We read in the curse upon Satan a verse known as the protoevangelium, ““I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”” (Genesis 3:15 ESV ) It is recognized as the first Biblical reference we have to the Gospel and the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. It is here that we learn that they are two opposing sides in the battle between good and evil. The term “enmity” means a deep seated ill-will or hostility between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman, a reference to Jesus Christ. And here we are reminded that these forces would oppose each other. And what Satan meant for evil God would use for Good. Satan, as we learn throughout Biblical history, would attempt to pollute the blood line of the Messiah. He would even work to destroy the Messiah by having his own people, Israel, and one of his closest disciples, Judas, betray Him. What was thought to be a victory for Satan was actually the triumph of God. Yes, Satan would “bruise his heel” but he would be defeated with a head wound, “he shall bruise your head.”
The significance of this passage is that God was not caught off guard with Satan’s antics or Adam’s and Eve’s failure. This glimmer of God’s plan of redemption and restoration reminds us of how much God loves, not only humanity, but you and I individually. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) So I challenge you to take a moment and ponder all the rights and privileges that are yours because of God’s love to you!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson