The Messiah Foretold
“I will put hostility between you and the woman,and between your seed and her seed.He will strike your head,and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15
The Scriptures begin by describing the grandeur of God’s creative work. Having brought planets, light, vegetation, and animal life into existence, the Lord then brought into being that which He deemed “very good”—humankind. Made in the image of God, humans unique among all of God’s creation. Tragically though, our first parents marred that image through disobedience.
When Adam and Eve faced temptation, they chose to believe a lie rather than God’s truth. They trusted in their own potential and did not hold God as trustworthy for their future. Because of their choice, sin entered the world and humanity’s pure relationship with the Heavenly Father became broken. Goaded along by the cunning of our enemy—the fallen angel Lucifer in the form of a serpent—humanity seemed to have met its end right at its beginning. Ashamed of their unclothed state, Adam and Eve hid from God and covered themselves from one another’s sight.
It is, however, for His glory and our benefit that God is by nature on mission. This is seen first in the fact that God sought out the shamed and sinful pair. He sought reconciliation with Adam and Eve even though it would be at great cost to Him. He confronted their sinful state and the deceitful serpent who had coaxed them into ruin. Adam and Eve had excuses and accusations on their lips, but God was undaunted. He was committed to the mission to reconcile humanity to Himself by being the One who does the seeking. Though Adam and Eve hid because of their shame, God sought them out for their benefit. He is committed to more than just scolding them for their sin. In Genesis 3:14-15, the Lord pronounces judgment on the enemy and promises to send a Messiah. He said to the serpent, “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head and you will strike his heel” (v. 15). God said life would be difficult due to the curse, but He also said that the “seed” of the woman would strike the head of our enemy and prevail against Satan.
This statement about the One to come is the first prophecy of the Christ. As inheritors of a sin nature that opposes God, it should amaze us that God so quickly moved from His role as Creator to that of Redeemer. We expect wrath and judgment, not grace and a promise of a coming Savior. But God shatters our expectations. His love for humanity drove Him to provide the Savior who can make all things new.
From the beginning, God has done every work necessary so that we might know Him and abide with Him. He sought us when we did not want to be found. And at just the right time, God sent the Christ to die as a ransom for sin and rise in victory over hell itself. Our God is a God who sends, redeems, and restores.
(from my essay in The Mission of God Study Bible)