We covered their life in the Garden in fellowship with God in the earlier post “The Dawn of Time” and then covered their Fall in “What Happened Next in the Garden?”. Now we cover the rest of the Garden story.
We covered the curse that God put upon the man and the woman for their rebellion against Him in Genesis 3:16-19, but God also had something to say to the serpent who had tempted them into rebellion:
‘So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
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)
The serpent was actually the first to be condemned, and the condemnation pronounced is direct and without mercy. He would be cursed above all other creatures, even the lowliest of creatures.
To ‘eat dust’ in the ancient Hebrew is an idiom (sorry for the grammar bit here but it’s necessary). The idiom means to be reduced to the most despicable level, utterly beneath contempt. (cf. Mic. 7:17; Isa. 65:25) Consider the plight of the great Lucifer, the most beautiful and powerful of the angelic beings of Heaven who thought he would be like the Most High, being reduced to utter garbage before all of Creation: A fitting punishment, indeed! Following his period of debasement, the serpent will be crushed by the woman’s offspring.
The woman’s offspring!
For the Jew, history began with Abraham, and the covenant that God made with him. (Gen, 15, 17) This is because it established the “seed” or descendants of Abraham as God’s people. From this “seed” came Israel, God’s Nation, and out from Israel came the Messiah, Jesus. Jesus, by His work on the cross, and the establishment of a New Covenant changed the nature of things from the physical to the spiritual, thus all Peoples who are in Christ are “Abraham’s seed”. (Gal. 3:29 context: Gal. 3:26-4:7).
Jesus is the “he” who crushed the head of the serpent (Satan) in His death, burial and resurrection.
So how do we end this sad tale of the dawn of time? The man and the woman who God made, who lived with Him in perfect fellowship chose to rebel against God. God’s reaction was swift: there were consequences. But even before He pronounced His judgement, God gave the first prophetic announcement that in the end there would be a “second Adam” who would destroy the work of Satan and set Mankind free to live in fellowship with God once again.