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Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 3: The Seed of a Woman

"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

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." 
- Galatians 4:4-5, ESV

"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." - Romans 16:20, ESV

The Miraculous Seed Who Crushes the Serpent

In the very best stories, important details are revealed early. If you're not paying close attention, it's easy to miss them. That's one reason why the very best stories should always be read over and over again. 

Of course, God's story is the very best story of all. Like the Master Storyteller He is, God gives clues, hints and details that foreshadow the story's climax from the very beginning. Some are more obvious and others are quite subtle. Just like other masterful stories, the clues God gave His people along the way didn't prevent them from being shocked when the climactic moment finally arrived. The key difference between God and a novelist is that God wrote His story in the very real history of His people- not in the space of a few hundred pages, but over the unfolding course of hundreds and hundreds of years. 

The first significant clue God gives comes just three chapters into the story. There would be 926 more chapters before the main character would finally appear in the flesh, in the womb of a virgin. In just a few short lines in Genesis 3:15, God shines a ray of light into the darkest chapter in human history. Just as sin was entering the world, as the forbidden fruit was still digesting in their stomachs, sitting heavy with guilt, God gave the promise of redemption: the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent's seed, even as His heels would be crushed by the serpent's deadly bite. 

It is very significant that God addresses this promise to the serpent and makes reference not to the offspring of the man, but to the offspring of the woman. The lineage of offspring is traced through the father's line, not the mother's. Even more, the word God uses here is often translated as "seed," commonly refering specifically to the man's contribution toward offspring. But here God says not "the offspring of the man," but "her offspring." 

When this promise would finally be fulfilled many centuries later, the One who came as the crusher of the serpent would be born of a woman but not the offspring of any man. Jesus came into the world "born of a woman." He may have been the Son of Man, but He was not the son of any man. His Father was God Himself, and His conception and birth would be as miraculous as His life, His death and His resurrection. 

The promise would be fulfilled when the deadly sting of the serpent's fangs would drive nails through the heels of the woman's offpring. The woman's seed would indeed be crushed and would forever bear the scars of that crushing. But in striking the heel of the offspring of the woman, the deadly serpent fulfilled this promise and sealed his own doom. His greatest power was removed. The deadly serpent was de-fanged, as our sins were forgiven, our accusations settled, our guilt removed and our ransom secured.     

Not the offspring of the woman is risen and exalted and he extends His victory to us in this promise: Our heels will crush the head of our deadly lifelong adversary. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under our feet because the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is with us to see His victory through to its final end.

Lord Jesus, You are the Promised One in every way! Every promise of God finds its fulfillment in You. You have crushed the vile serpent under Your feet, though it cost You Your life to do so. You have freed us from His tyranny and have given us the promise that one day, we will step on his evil head. May that day come quickly! Amen. 

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