In our last study we looked at the first test God gave humans.
“… but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” Genesis 3:6-7
It looks like a “fail” to me, but let’s see what God thought about the test.
God – “Where are you?” (Asking Adam)
Adam – “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
God – “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Adam – “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
God – “What is this you have done?” (Asking Eve)
Eve – “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
What doesn’t happen next is important – God does not ask the serpent (Satan) a question. Why not?
This is not Satan’s test. In fact, Satan is part of the test. Satan is the liar and deceiver. God told the truth. Satan told the lie.
There was no reason for God to ask Satan anything. Satan had played his role in the test.
Now it was time for God to reveal the heart of His eternal plan. The next words God spoke would tell Satan, Adam and Eve what life for them would be like from that moment on.
God spoke to Satan first. Remember, God did not ask Satan anything. God simply told Satan what was going to happen to him.
“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
Snakes we see today are a reminder of the curse God placed on Satan. Snakes are feared, hated, hunted and killed around the world.
I recently saw a rattlesnake sunning itself along a sidewalk where my wife and I walk near our house. My reaction? Quickly move my wife away from the snake and keep the stick I carry ready in my hand if it became necessary to protect us from the snake’s attack. I remembered the lessons of my father when I was a young child about how to recognize poisonous snakes and knew that a rattlesnake was not one I wanted to be near.
Satan is a snake – poisonous, treacherous, dangerous. As God said – “You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.”
If that’s all God said to Satan, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Okay, so snakes crawl on their bellies. However, God didn’t stop there. He also told Satan – “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
We have now entered into new territory. Satan had deceived the woman, so they knew each other; but who is this “Seed” of the woman who would bruise the “seed’ of Satan’s head one day?
Let’s remember what started this series months ago –
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:8-10
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:3-7
God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – decided in eternity – before time and space began – that God the Father would send God the Son to abolish death and bring life and immortality to light.”
How would the Son do that? “through His blood.”
God revealed how that would happen when He said to Satan – “you shall bruise His heel.”
“Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.” Luke 2:3-4
God revealed that the Son would abolish death and bring life and immorality to light when He said to Satan – “He shall bruise your head.”
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:14-17
“Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:46-48
“For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-23
“… the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:18-21
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10
That’s what Satan is dealing with now and what he faces in the future. God determined all of that in eternity – before the foundation of the world, before time began.
God spoke next to Eve –
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
Then, God spoke to Adam –
“Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19
Keep in mind that God had chosen His words to Adam and Eve “before time began.” God was not making stuff up on the spot. He wasn’t speaking before thinking. He didn’t lose His temper and say things that he wished later He could take back. Not at all. Everything God did and said was decided “before the foundation of the world.”
That means that everything God said to Satan, Eve and Adam was part of God’s Great Reveal.
In the next part of our study we will look at what changed for the human race in the brief exchange in the Garden of Eden and how it impacts us to this day.
[Read the first seven chapters of The Great Reveal in this free Ebook]
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.