The Plan | Genesis 3:14-15
The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 | ESV
This is the original “buck-passing” exercise. Man shifts blame to Woman, and Woman to snake – and then God works right back up the line in order starting with the snake. For centuries this poetic curse on the serpent was taken as simple commentary explaining the natural revulsion of females for reptiles and the rather self-evident fact that while snakes can bite, people can and will stomp them to death. But if we look harder we just may see a bit more at work here, for beneath the surface of the curse actually resides the means of blessing – of not merely undoing the damage just done through the snake’s deception, but of turning what looked like a fatal misstep into the ultimate stepping-stone of grace. “Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded” (Romans 5:20). Humanity was still flossing the forbidden fruit from between their teeth, innocence was lost, the static of disconnection was crackling loudly, but the first words through the divine lips promised the great reversal of it all – the restoration, the rescue. The snake had suckered the woman in his temptation, and so God would use woman to bring the redemption. And so Jesus was “born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law that we might receive the full rights of sons and daughters” (Galatians 4:4-5). “Since the children share flesh and blood, he too shared their humanity so that through death (the bruised heal) he might destroy (the bruised head) him that holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Eastern Orthodox theologians believe that God’s intention all along had been for the Son to share our humanity and serve as the vital link between God and humanity for the simple reason that God is incarnational by nature and that the fall in the garden simply added the significant element of death and resurrection. Whatever the case, it’s clear that when God speaks here the course is prepared, and the plan is in place, with snake, angels, and humanity waiting to see how it would unfold.
“Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded.” What has been the clearest example of this that you have witnessed?
God, remind me today of the creative ways in which you can and do take the worst turns of life and transform them into unimaginable opportunities of grace. Give me eyes to see the grace today. Through Jesus.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.