Series on Genesis, I God's Creation, K The Consummation of Creation, Text: 3:15 Title: The Seed Promised, and the Promised Seed.


We come today to the key verse in this chapter; indeed this verse is essential to our understanding the whole Bible, Genesis 3:15. Ephesians 1:4 says that God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world, before Eden, before the fall. It is a word spoken before creation, before Eden, before the fall. Max Lucado pictures God in the garden, with an angel at his side. From the dust of the ground God fashions the lifeless form. With a gasp the angel says “What if he chooses not to love?” God says, “Come, I will show you.” And so they walk through centuries of filth, rotten hearts, ruptured promises, and then they stand by a tree that would be fashioned into a cradle-like manger, and then another tree on Calvary. The angel says “Wouldn’t it be easier not to plant the seed?” And God answers, “Yes, but to remove that choice would be to remove my love.” And then they were in the garden again, and God bent over the lifeless form, and breathed. Genesis 3:15 permeates every page of the Bible because it tells us at the beginning of history how God will bring to pass his choice to love. The seed was planted because one day Jesus Christ, the son of Adam, the Son of God would be the seed that returned to the father every spark, every nuance, every iota of the love shown to man, and the last Adam became the new man and the hope of all who trust in him. This verse is the covenant of grace. Adam and Eve did absolutely nothing to merit God’s favor after they sinned but among the first words from God is this promise, because this is the only reason the seed was planted. Consider  God's grace revealed in the co-existence of two seeds, in the conflict between the two seeds, and in the conquering of one seed by the other.

I The Co-existence of Two Seeds

The expected result of Adam and Eve's sin would be immediate death, not only spiritually but physically.  But, what we see is instant shame, guilt, and fear indicative of their spiritual death. Physical death will ultimately take its toll, but slowly. The first men live nine hundred years. This has nothing to do with a variation in the calendar. It has everything to do with the fact that man was made to live forever. The physical penalty of death slowly tightens like a vise. The umbilical cord of birth may be cut, but not the one that binds us to the grave. When John Owen, the great Puritan, lay on his deathbed his secretary wrote (in his name) to a friend, “I am still in the land of the living.” “stop,” said Owen. “change that and say, I am yet in the land of the dying, but I hope soon to be in the land of the living.”  Yet the vise never fully closes so that the race may go on and the two seeds may develop, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

A Plural

The seed is plural. The seed of the serpent are all who reject God; those who serve the devil live constantly under death’s dominion. They pass from one form of death to another and their physical demise is called the second death. Their doom magnifies the justice of God. The seed of the woman is the seed of God who receive new life from above, fulfilling God’s purpose in creating man. And so these two groups, or seeds, are seen throughout history. I John 3 tells us that Cain was of the evil one, the seed of the serpent, and that he slew his brother Abel because he was righteous, the seed of the woman. After this there's an unending distinction made between the sons of God and the daughters of men, the children of God and the children of Satan, the wise and the foolish, the good and the evil, the righteous and the wicked. This is the subject of the entire book of Psalms, and we are introduced to it in Psalm I when it compares the man who meditates in God’s Word to the man who sits in the seat of scorners.  Do I know that I am of the seed of God because i have been born again?

B Singular

But the seed is also singular because the ultimate battle, the final engagement, is between the prince of darkness and the Prince of Life. In Galatians 3:7-9 Paul reminds us that God’s promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed in his seed was referring to the children of God but especially to one seed and that seed is Christ. So the triumphant seed carries with him a host of the faithful whose lives are hid with Christ in God. They are baptized into his death through faith and rise to newness of life, and when they depart this world, death has no dominion over them. In their physical death, in a sense, they are just catching up on their baptism.

II The Conflict between the Two Seeds

This first gospel promise was all the revelation that Adam had and all that he passed on to Abel. One lone star shone in Abel’s sky, he looked up to it and believed and by its light he spelled out sacrifice. And so he brought the firstlings of his flock to the altar and proved how the seed of the serpent hated the seed of the woman because thereby he was murdered and martyred by his brother Cain. How could he know God would  be pleased with him and not his older brother? Such is the subtlety of the serpent, like a snake in the grass hidden, unseen he waits for the unsuspecting to strike with his venom. This subtlety is what makes compromise so dangerous. The intermarriage of the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent in Genesis leads to such great wickedness that God destroyed the whole family of man except for Noah and his family. Lot compromised and was only saved because of Abraham. Joshua and the leaders of Israel compromised with the Gibeonites, the con men of the Old Testament. They were about to lose their cities to Joshua's armies, so they pretended to have come from afar off and pretended faith in Jehovah, and offered to be servants and after Joshua made a treaty of peace, he discovered they only lived three days journey away. And it was a thorn in their side forever because God had commanded them to destroy all the inhabitants of the land. Mighty Samson was bitten in the heel by the serpent, but in his death, he trampled upon its head. Refer to Psalm 1 again and see  that the existence of the two seeds leads in Psalm 2 to the conflict between the kings of the earth and God’s anointed. Do I see the spiritual conflict I am in? Do I recognize who my real enemies are?   

III  The Conquering of One Seed by the Other.

The bruising or literally crushing is two way, but the seed of the woman administers a fatal blow to the seed of the serpent while the best the seed of the serpent can do is to injure his heel. What death did to Jesus is nothing compared to what Jesus did to death. This verse assures us of two things. First, the enemies of God's people will succeed in wounding them in this life, but they will not be finally defeated. Satan, who deceives the whole world, like a snake insinuates himself where you are not expecting it. As Spurgeon writes, “As he entered paradise, so he penetrates the most secret and sacred places. He creeps into the church, he creeps into homes sanctified by devotion. Have you ever found him intruding into your prayer closet? Has he not wound himself into your families? We watch against his attacks from without, but behold, he has found a lodging place within.” Secondly, although we are wounded, we are assured that Satan in the end will be completely beaten. We see this in the life of Abraham and Job who triumph through many trials; in the life of Jacob who is finally blessed over his brother Esau; in the Egyptians enslavement of Moses’ people, but their final deliverance; in David being surrounded by his enemies and falling to the temptations he relates in the Psalms, but in the end it is David’s throne which stands forever; in Jeremiah's sufferings, in Daniel delivered from the Babylonian lion's den, and in wicked Haman failing to exterminate the Jews in the book of Esther. We see it in the New Testament in the persecution and crucifixion of our lord who rises victorious; in the shameful treatment of the Apostles who are the foundation of the church; in the catalog of Paul's sufferings in II Corinthians 7 and 11 of which he himself says he was dying but living on, sorrowing but always rejoicing, poor but making many rich. Hebrews 11 sums it up. it records how their heels were bruised, but it always holds before us the fact that in the end they are victorious. Hebrews 11:13, says, All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. And verse 39 says, These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. Am I discouraged by the indifference to the gospel today? By the forsaking of the old ways? By the apparent success of Satan, or do I live with my hope fixed on the final outcome as in Romans 16:20, The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. In the eighth chapter of that same letter Paul wrote that nothing could separate us from the love of God, and immediately names death. Not death he writes, for standing in the roaring Jordan, cold with its dreadful chill and, conscious of its terror, of its rushing, others like Hopeful, in Pilgrim's Progress, can call back to you who one day in your turn will have to cross it, "be of good cheer, my brother, for I feel the bottom and it is sound."