“He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).
So much has happened in just a short time. God wonderfully made the world and all things in it. Then, He blessed it and gave it purpose. Adam and Eve bore His image and were meant to glorify Him in the way they ruled His creation. The serpent interfered with this design and tempted the couple. They fell into sin, and the entire world felt the effects. But make no mistake: This was not a war waged against Adam. It was against God. The serpent attacked God by tempting His image-bearers.
After speaking with Adam and Eve, God directs His attention to the serpent. He gives it no opportunity for repentance. He immediately judges: “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.” It was the most humiliating curse of all.
Further judgment came in the form of a promise. God put unending hostility between the serpent and mankind. He describes this hostility in a vivid picture. The son of a certain woman would be born, and he would rise up against the serpent. As the serpent is licking the dust of defeat, the son would crush its head with a fatal blow.
However, the serpent would not go down without a fight. It would bite his heel as he stomped. The poisonous venom would lead to the death of the son. He would be victorious over his enemy, but it would cost him his life.
This is what we call the proto-evangelium — the first gospel. It was a promise that God’s people would triumph over the serpent in the end because God would send His Son to pay the death sentence for the sin they committed: “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17).
- How would you relate the story of the son who kills the snake to the story of the gospel? What does the story teach us?
- What does the snake bite and the crushed head tell us about God? What does it teach us about the depth of His love?
- In what ways does this story help you understand the gospel better and communicate it to your friends? Who do you know that needs to hear about this?