14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
Because you have done this,
you are cursed more than any livestock
and more than any wild animal.
You will move on your belly
and eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.
Hey guys! Welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast. So today we're talking about Genesis 3—the infamous Chapter 3 of Genesis. It is the fall of mankind. And I feel like so much was missing, in terms of the details when I was taught the story as a child, and even as I read it as a teenager—and even some probably in college. I feel like I was so much older when I realized how significant this story is. More importantly, how beautiful this story is. Yeah you heard that right: I said this story is beautiful.
So just some context for those who are a little fuzzy on exactly how the fall happened: Adam and Eve were in the garden. Everything is perfect but there is one tree they're not supposed to eat from—they can eat anything else. They have all of the great fruits; everything is delicious, everything is perfect, and it's free, more importantly, but they just can't eat from this one tree. So the serpent convinces Eve that she should eat from it and that it will make her like God. So then Eve further goes on and convinces her husband that they should both eat from it. And they do. And then they become ashamed and they realize that they are naked. They hide from God, but eventually they come out and God confronts them about what has happened. Adam is the first to speak: he blamed Eve. Eve blames the serpent, and then starting in verse 14 God starts divvying out punishments.
And this is where it gets really interesting. We focus so much on the fact that mankind fell. We focus in on the fact that we were punished, that we were banished from Eden, and that that is, you know, why we are in the state that we're in. People focus on the fact that the woman was made submissive to her husband or to have a desire for her husband, and that the man was placed in charge. And we could do a whole 'nother podcast, probably several podcasts, on the ramifications of that and the misinterpretations and misuses of that, but we're not going to get into that.
Messianic Prophecy (00:03:59)
What I want to get into is the fact that before God ever punished mankind, before God curses us, before He curses the ground, before anything bad really starts taking place... God first punishes the serpent, who is the devil. The first thing that he does is ensure that there is a way out for us! What people don't often teach, at least in my experience growing up in a Baptist church and popping around from Methodist and Baptist and AME churches, no one stopped to talk about how Genesis 3:15 is the first Messianic Prophecy in the Bible. It's, I guess, the first prophecy, period—but it's about Jesus. The seed that's spoken of, the offspring of the woman is Jesus.
So when you look at symbolism in the Bible, obviously we know the serpent is the devil, the woman is Eve, but the woman could also be a church. Throughout the Bible when they start talking about women, they're often talking about the church, or they were talking about the bride of Christ. And it's interesting, because if you flip all the way to the end of the Bible and you go to Revelation, if you go to chapter 12 and you start reading just from verse 1, it says " A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven crowns. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth it might devour her child. She gave birth to a Son, a male who is going to rule all nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be nourished there for 1,260 days." (Revelation 12:1-6 CSB)
I probably didn't need to read the entire passage, but I just kind of got carried away, sorry guys. But the point is this is a prophecy given in Revelation and is talking about the woman giving birth to this child that will rule the nations, that child being Jesus and the woman is not Mary, but it's about the church. It's about just the entire concept. This whole thing is tied together. The whole point—once again we have the dragon/serpent/Satan—It's the same narrative all the way through. It's all boiling down to this war in heaven where Satan has lost his mind and is trying to become God, and started stirring up discord. But from the beginning, from the very beginning, God specifies that this seed is going to come. This child, this person, the Messiah, Jesus the King of Kings, He is going to come and He's going to defeat the serpent. The serpent will try to defeat Him but he will fail. So we get in Genesis 3 that the serpent would bruise the heel the seed of the woman, but the woman's seed will crush the head of the serpent. And that is exactly what happens.
So Satan has Jesus crucified which is bruising the heel. He thinks he's going to have a victory, but really all he did was set up the grand finale. This gives Jesus the ability to pay for our sins and that's exactly how it was supposed to play out. And now Jesus has the victory, and He's going to come back and deal the final blow to crush the serpent's head once and for all. I think it's beautiful, because God is speaking salvation before He ever punishes us, and there's something very, very parental and very, very reassuring about that. It's almost like, it's like I have to give you the good news before I give you the bad news. The good news is you're going to live forever and I love you and I'm going to take care of you and I'm going to get you out of this. The bad news is, you know, you're going to have to struggle a little bit until we can work all this out and I got to punish you, but don't worry. Remember the good news I told you five seconds ago.
I think that's so amazing, because even though throughout all of our trials and tribulations we don't necessarily understand God's plan, a lot of times we get impatient. We want what we want now. We want the benefits now. We feel like He's abandoning us. From the very beginning, from the inception of our creation, before anything was ever wrong in this earth, God gave us hope. He spoke our salvation before He spoke our downfall, and He gave us His word all throughout the Old Testament, all throughout the New Testament. So even today, as we struggle, He has given us hope first. He has told us that He will make a way out of no way, every single time. So anytime we get ourselves into some mess, there is always a way out. And He always provides us a way out, before we even dig ourselves in the hole. Before He wants to lower the hammer on us, He wants to save us first and foremost.
I think that's a beautiful thing and an important thing to take away from Genesis 3. Instead of focusing on our shortcomings and our failures but to see how God uplifted us and how He provided hope in such a desperate situation. So that's what I wanted to leave you guys with today. I hope that as you continue your day-to-day life, that will meditate on that. Don't be so hard on yourself If you mess up, and remember that God already promised us the victory, and that even if you have to go through something because of a decision you made or because of decisions other people made, God is going to give you hope. He already gave you hope, and He will bring you through it. It will be great and grand and beautiful.
Wrap Up (00:11:37)
Thanks for tuning in. I will see you guys on Monday. In the meantime, don't forget to subscribe, like, suggest this podcast to your friend, whatever the Spirit moves you to do. You can find a transcript for this particular episode at www.psalmstogod.com/TheWomanAndTheSerpent.
References and Footnotes
- Revelation 12:9; 20:2
- Galatians 3:16
- Jeremiah 6:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-8
- On playback, this isn't as clear as I thought it was. What I was trying to point out is that in both cases the woman is a stand in for us, the Church. So before God punishes the Church (us), He gives hope. I was also trying to illustrate how this theme of Satan attacking this hope is also connected to this initial event.