While Tuesday’s verse from Isaiah and Wednesday’s verse from the Psalms are ancient prophecies indeed, this one is the oldest by far! In this, the account of the fall, the first glimmer of the coming Messiah is given. Now, I have read this before, and quite honestly, I thought they got the reference wrong! Where does it say anything about the Messiah in this passage? I didn’t get it.
That is what is so fascinating about digging deeper into the Scriptures. Often, we need to look at the original text to get the whole picture. I love that we have resources like YouVersion where we can go to look at lots of different translations to get a fuller, richer understanding of the texts, but sometimes we might have to go a bit deeper still. The Hebrew or Greek words used in the original texts are far more complex than many of our English words can exactly relay. Therefore, we need to delve a little further to see what is going on here, particularly in Genesis 3:15b.
This is where God is punishing the snake for talking Eve into eating the apple. In the first part of the verse, God says that the serpent’s offspring and the woman’s offspring will be hostile toward each other. Then God says, “He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.” This is what theologians call the “protevangelium.” That is a big fancy word for the very first gospel. The interpretation of the Hebrew pronouns for “He” refers to one particular man, Jesus, and the “you” of the serpent to Satan. So here God is saying that Satan will strike Jesus’ heel, meaning the crucifixion, but Jesus will strike Satan’s head, having the ultimate victory.
Whew! Ok, so what does that mean for us? It’s just another reminder of how God has had this plan in place from the very beginning. It’s the very first reminder! The first of many, as we have seen throughout this week. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, which we can now see was God’s plan all along, he has made a way for us to return to him, even from the moments directly after the fall. All through history, through the prophets, God has been telling us that Jesus will come to save us! Even though we turned away from him time and time again, he has always been right there saying “come back to me.” That is incredible, extravagant love. We can look at these passages and be reassured over and over that our God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. All we have to do is believe in his most precious gift that he foretold to us so many years ago.
14Then the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Take some time to look at a different translation in tandem with the one you usually use or read some commentary about the passage you’re reading. Download YouVersion for translations and look at several commentaries Here.
How does doing so make the meaning of the passage clearer?
How can having clarification and a deeper understanding of this passage bolster your faith?
Dear God, thank you for giving me so many ways in which to get to know you and your Word. Thank you for the various and incessant ways in which you have shown your love to me throughout time. Help me to always thirst for a deeper understanding and a richer relationship with you through your Son. Amen.
This post was written by Kelda Strasbourg, Kelda is a grateful member of the LivingItOut writing team. She has a love for Jesus and the desire to help others find that same love. She has her own business and a border collie named Emily.
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