This Week's Focus Passage

‘And Jehovah God said unto the serpent.’

Focus Passage: Genesis 3:14

‘And Jehovah God said unto the serpent.’

How often have we considered that the most blessed words ever spoken—among the most glorious pronouncements ever made by God, are to be found in a monologue spoken to a serpent? Have we ever considered that at all? How, indeed, did this ever come about? We know, of course, that the serpent was the instrument of Satan in beguiling Eve who in turn drew Adam into sinful disobedience with herself. We are further informed in the history that upon the commission of their transgression, the man and the woman then knew that they were naked. Therefore they attempted to cover their nakedness with fig leaves and hide themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden. Subsequently, the Lord called unto them, asking if they had eaten of the tree, whereof He had told them that they should not eat.

One of the first evidences of sinfulness is the refusal to acknowledge the sin; we come forth from our mother’s womb speaking lies and trying to mitigate, or excuse our folly. Adam’s response to the inquiry of God amounted to placing the blame upon God Himself. He said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ Adam pointed the finger at the woman as well as God who had given her to him. Eve evidently picked up on this useful ploy and used it herself when God asked her, ‘What is this thou hast done?’ Her response, exactly like her husbands, was to point the finger at another. Mankind has been doing this very thing ever since; shirking responsibility and seeking to lay it anywhere else that they possibly can. Witness the effect of this mentality in our society as the ‘no fault’ mentality became more and more imbedded in more and more areas of our lives. One of the first of these areas—at least to this writer’s awareness of history—where this sort of policy became established by law, was in the matter of divorce. There was a time in our country when it was required that ‘grounds for divorce’ be proven before any divorce was granted. This was the age when Hollywood celebrities scampered across the border to obtain divorces in Mexico. But in this country, somewhere in the early 1960s, ‘no fault’ divorce was established in our legal systems. Swiftly upon the heels of that aberration, we soon had ‘no fault’ automobile insurance, until now virtually everything in ‘no fault.’ Zero accountability has reached epic proportions in our present society. Time was we were told that if we pointed our finger at someone else, three were pointed back at ourselves. In our day it is more often the case that four fingers are pointed away from us. Harry Truman said once famously about the White House and the presidency of the United States, ‘The buck stops here.’ Of necessity, the buck must stop somewhere. In Genesis 3, it may seem to have stopped at the serpent as God pronounced a curse upon the beast. And yet the curse did not stop with the serpent for curses were pronounced also upon the woman and the man, and even the ground for their sakes, even as Paul reminds us in Romans 8:20-21, ‘For the creation was subjected to vanity……in the bondage of corruption.’ But, all praise to our God, this is not where the buck stopped. God’s continued response to the disobedience of Adam and Eve contains words of grace, unimaginable to man. In His omniscience, He has provided for this eventuality, and He announces it here.

Speaking further to the serpent, Jehovah says, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.’ This is that gracious news that has become known as the ‘proto-evangelium,’ the first revelation of God’s design to provide the One born of a woman who would save His people from their sins. From the point of this revelation, the Old Testament history is all about the continuance and the preservation of the ‘seed of the woman.’

In many ways the real ‘in the beginning’ of Genesis and the Word of God is found here in Genesis 3:15. The fulfillment of this promise is discoverable in many instances throughout the biblical record. There is fulfillment in the birth of Seth to satisfy the loss of Abel. There is even more conspicuous fulfillment in the preservation of Noah and his family through the flood. These manifold and marvelous instances of God’s power and grace are instances of His preserving the remnant seed belonging to Christ, but they are also occasions of the preservation of the lineage of the Seed, and thus in that respect, the preservation of the Seed. As Paul has reminded us that when he expressed that reality in his epistle to the church at Galatia, saying:

Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed, He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

How often in our meditation do we relate, as we ought, the angel’s pronouncement of the birth of the Savior in Beth-lehem to the ‘in the beginning’ that is found in the first verse of the gospel of John? We read in that passage that:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

How often, when reflecting upon the incarnation of the Christ, do we recall that at that incarnation is the fulfillment of the promise made in Genesis 3:15? Does it come to our minds and hearts that the words spoken by Jehovah to the serpent in the garden were the very words of his doom? As we rightly and exuberantly rejoice in the incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, may we remember the faithfulness of our God to fulfill that promise, and that through that blessed fulfillment of those words to the serpent we may rejoice to know that ‘the end began when the beginning came.’

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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