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By: Larry Shaffer
These two books had an immense impact on the development of my spiritual life in college!
We have come to the curses of God. This sounds ominous, which it is, but it also carries much hope and provides the first picture of God’s plan for salvation. Our God is a God of salvation. Immediately after Adam and Eve sin, God provides hope!
The Symbol of Degradation
The sequence of the curses is first the serpent, then Satan, then woman and finally man. First, why did God curse an innocent animal. He sentenced the serpent to be more cursed than any other animal. The snake will crawl on his belly and eat dust for all their existence. Satan is the bad guy here, not the serpent. Satan embodied the serpent, who I suppose had legs before the curse, so why is the innocent animal cursed? To me the best explanation is that the serpent is mankind’s eternal reminder of the degradation of Satan. Satan chose a crafty beast (3:1) and probably a beautiful creature as well. But God turned the serpent into the most despised creature in history. It is a constant reminder of Satan who once was a beautiful angel and now is utterly denigrated and no better than a cursed snake that eats dust. Personally, I despise snakes. I suppose my feelings are the direct result of this curse. Consequently, I despise Satan as well.
Next curse please
The next verse, verse 15, is a curse toward the actual Satan. Within this curse on Satan, God is abundantly gracious in that He immediately gave a prophetic word of the gospel and forgiveness. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel.” The seed of Satan are those who reject Christ and and the seed of the woman is the nation of Israel and the Messiah, Jesus. This struggle between Christians and non-Christians exists from the timespan of Genesis to Revelation and the enmity between Satan and Christ will stretch throughout the same time. The extent of the enmity toward Christians always surprises me because we are such loving and caring people. But it does exist toward Christianity just as anti-Semitism toward the Jews. The enmity between Christ and Satan is a foundational reality throughout the Bible. Satan will only bruise His heel, such as the crucifixion, but Jesus will ultimately crush his head with an eternally fatal blow.
Note: there is a prophetic word of the virgin birth in the curse. God said, “between your seed and her seed.” We all know man provides the seed, it is not her seed that reproduces. Unless, one is born of a virgin.
Victory is sure!
Lord, we feel the curse of sin every single day. But the righteous will live by their faith and we cling to our hope in You to deliver us from this curse of the flesh and live forever with you in glory! The victory is sure in You. You will crush his head. Amen!