Imagine being in a totally dark room, unable to see your hand in front of your face. Now imagine if someone were to light a candle in that room. Although the candle’s flame would not be very bright, you would be able to see it from anywhere in that dark room.
The passage we read yesterday, Genesis 3, recounts the entrance of evil into God’s creation. The world and its inhabitants, initially pronounced good by our Creator, are now broken. But, just like a candle in a dark room, God has provided a glimmer of hope in this otherwise dark narrative.
Notice what God says when He curses the serpent.
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Genesis 3:14-15 (NIV)
On the surface God is saying that snakes and people won’t get along too well, and that’s certainly true for most people and most snakes. However, when we look back at this passage from the perspective of the rest of the Bible, we can see that God has in mind more than reptiles and humans.
God is not simply speaking of the serpent, but also of the one behind the serpent—Satan (see Revelation 12:9). When He refers to Eve’s offspring, God has in mind not only the human race, but also the One whom the Bible describes as Adam and Eve’s ultimate descendant—Jesus (see Romans 5:12-21). So, at this deeper level, God is promising to provide a Savior who will destroy the one who introduced evil into the world (see Hebrews 2:14-15).
This is the first promise, or prophecy, in the Bible; and it gives us a ray of hope. Yes, the world is broken, and so are we. But God is going to do something about it. Though we can’t yet make out the details, God is starting to reveal a plan to rescue us from this broken world. Jesus’ arrival at Christmas was a major step in the execution of that plan.
Reflection and Discussion
- What other promises that God has made come to your mind?
- Which one gives you the greatest hope or encouragement today?
We marvel at Your awesome love. In the midst of what can be a very dark world, Your promises give us hope. We know You never fail to keep Your promises, yet sometimes we don’t act like it. Please help us to trust You and to encourage others to do the same.