The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 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 3:14-15)
What is amazing about this passage is that immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve, immediately after they had engaged in cosmic treason against their Creator, rather than God turn them into greasy spots, which is what they deserved, amid cursing the serpent, and then cursing Adam and Eve, he promises to someday send a Redeemer to fix what man had ruined.
Now there is some debate as to the meaning of v.14 when God says, “cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” Some believe the serpent once had legs and walked upright. Others believe that when God curses the serpent “above all livestock”, he is simply stating a fact that the serpent will be the most despised of all the land animals. It is more likely, however, that when God says, “on your belly you shall go” that this is likely a change in significance, rather than a change in existence (e.g., the rainbow).
However, the central point of this passage is in v.15. At first it seems God is going to put enmity between snakes and humans, but it becomes clear what is meant when we notice that the text suddenly shifts to singular pronouns in the second half: “he” and “you.” God is communicating two important truths. First, from this day forward there will be two spiritual lines of humanity (1) the spiritual offspring of Satan and (2) the spiritual offspring of the woman; i.e., the people of God. These two lines will be at enmity against each other, beginning with Cain and Abel. Second, from the offspring of the woman will come one who will bruise/strike the head of the serpent, while the serpent will merely strike his heal (Rom 16:20; Rev 12:9). From Genesis 3 forward, the story of the Bible is about tracing the seed of the woman through history until the promise is fulfilled in Christ (Gen 12:2; 15:18; Gal 3:16; 4:4-5).
Advent is about celebrating the fulfillment of that promise given to Adam and Eve so many thousands of years ago. That although humanity ruined what God had made, God sent his Son into the world, to be born in Bethlehem, and to die on the cross, to fix what man had ruined and to redeem a people to be his own. Advent is the celebration of God fulfilling his promise to humanity way back in Genesis 3:15.
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