The Parties Arraigned and Sentenced: Page 5 of 9 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
Notice that God is not addressing Adam and Eve, but Eve alone; the promise of the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent was fulfilled by Jesus Christ being born of a virgin, so he speaks to her alone because a man was not involved in His birth. Jesus Christ died to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and to destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Thus he bruises his head—destroys his power and lordship over mankind, turning them from the power of Satan unto God—“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18; KJV).soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you” (Rom. 16:20; NIV)., and will shortly cast him into the lake of fire “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev. 20:10; NIV)..
and between thy seed and her seed;
The woman plays a key role not only because she was approached and entrapped by Satan but also because she is “the mother of all living” (v. 20), since the Savior would come through her—“But when the fulness of the time was come , God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). He came directly from God, and was sent by Him, and He was made of a woman, according to the promise given in Genesis 3:15; produced by the power of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary without any intervention by man; hence he was called the Son of God.
The seed of the woman is a clear reference to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, who came “to destroy the works of the devil”—“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I Jn 3:8; KJV). The prophesy here is that Christ would deliver a death blow to Satan but in the process of doing so He would suffer death himself. The Hebrew word for “seed” is a collective noun in the singular sense, therefore it may refer to only one person or to many individuals. But, to whom was this promise made? It was made to Christ and all who are in Him. This is born out in a similar promise made to Abraham—“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator” (Gal 3:16, 19; KJV). The seed to whom this promise is given is a seed that comprises many, but is one. That seed is Christ (the head), and all who are in Christ (See 1 Cor. 12:12). The whole spiritual seed of Abraham is concentrated in Christ. The promise is to Christ and all who are in Christ. All of this should be understood in the light of the New Testament’s total revelation of the ramifications of this prophecy. Certainly, Adam and Eve were not aware of any of this future revelation.
Notice that it says “her seed.” It does not say the man’s seed. Here is at least the suggestion of the virgin birth of Christ. When God went into that garden looking for man, He said, “Where art thou?” Any anthology of religion tells the story of man’s search for God. Dear reader that is not the way God tells it. Let’s tell it like it is: Salvation is God’s search for man. Man ran away from Him, and God called to him, “Where art thou?” Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas in his book, Genesis, A Devotional Commentary, makes the comment that “it is the call of Divine justice, which cannot overlook sin. It is the call of Divine sorrow, which grieves over the sinner. It is the call of Divine love, which offers redemption for sin.” We have all of that in the verse before us—the promise of the coming of the Savior.
it shall bruise thy head,
The serpent's poison is lodged in its head; and a bruise on that part is fatal. Likewise, the blow which Satan shall receive from Christ will be fatal to him, although, at that time, he probably did not understand the nature and extent of his doom. By his death, our Lord gave a fatal and incurable blow to the devil’s kingdom, and the wound He made to the head of this beast can never be healed. As His gospel spreads, Satan falls “He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lu. 10:18; NIV)., and is bound “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:2; NIV).. By his grace, he treads Satan under his people’s feet “The God of peace will
Satan had trampled upon the woman and insulted her; but the seed of the woman would be raised up in the fullness of time to avenge her for the harm he had done to her and her posterity, and to trample upon him, to abuse him, to lead him captive, and to triumph over him [“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15; KJV). Perhaps Satan, for a moment, thought that he had won at the cross. But Hell’s imagined victory was turned into a defeat that disarmed every spiritual enemy who fights against those living under the light and power of the cross. The death of Christ was not only a pardon; it also revealed power. It not only canceled a debt; it was a glorious triumph. Christ bruised his head, that is, he destroyed all his strategies and all his powers, and totally overthrew his kingdom and pursuits. Christ blasted Satan’s temptations, rescued souls out of his hands, and cast him out of the bodies of people.
and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Here is a gracious promise regarding Jesus Christ operating as the deliverer of fallen man from the control of Satan. Although what was said was spoken to the serpent, yet it was said within the hearing of our first parents, who, no doubt, could glimpse a little of the grace that was given them, and saw a door of hope opened to them, because if they did not, they would have been crushed by what the Lord said next. What we have here was the dawning of the gospel day. No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. Here, in the beginning of the Bible, it is said of Christ, that he would do the will of God “Then I said, 'Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God” (Heb 10.7; NIV). God did not will the sacrifices under the law, but he did will that a human victim of infinite goodness should be offered for the redemption of mankind. In order that there might be such a victim, a body was prepared for the eternal Son of God; and in that body he came to do the will of God, that is, to suffer and die for the sins of the world.. We have reason to think that it was by faith in this promise that our first parents, and the patriarchs before the flood, were justified and saved.
Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness in an attempt to draw Him into sin; and some think it was Satan that caused his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and drove Him to despair. It was the devil that put it into the heart of Judas to betray Christ, of Peter to deny Him, of the chief priests to prosecute Him, of the false witnesses to accuse Him, and of Pilate to condemn Him; by all this Satan aimed to destroy the Savior and ruin our salvation; but, on the contrary, it was the death of Christ that destroyed him that had the power of death “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is , the devil” (Heb. 2:14; KJV). Christ’s heel was bruised when his feet were pierced and nailed to the cross. Bruising the head was a fatal blow, but the bruising of the ’heel’ is not fatal; it is a reference to the Savior’s sufferings, which only served to prepare Him for His victorious resurrection “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (see Is. 53:5). But He was wounded for our transgressions; for the crimes by which we had become guilty in the sight of God. He was bruised for our iniquities; for the debts which we had incurred.
By his death he gave a fatal blow to the devil's kingdom, a wound to the head of this serpent that cannot be healed. As the gospel gains ground, Satan falls. And Satan bruises his heel—God had commanded it, that the salvation of man could only be brought about by the death of Christ; and even the spiritual seed of our blessed Lord have the heel often bruised, as they suffer persecution, temptation, etc., which may be all that is intended by this part of the prophecy.