Today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 3:14-15 which reads: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Allow me to share with you some further commentary on this passage from the Reformation Study Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul::
The curse denotes a breaking of the serpent’s powers. Dust is the symbol of abject humiliation, an indignity lasting forever. Satan’s final defeat under the heel of the Messiah is delayed so that God’s program of redemption through the promised Seed of the woman may be accomplished.
Humanity is now divided into two communities: the redeemed, who love God, and the reprobate, who love self. The division finds immediate expression in the hostility of Cain against Abel. This prophecy finds ultimate fulfillment in the triumph of the Second Adam, and the community united with Him, over the forces of sin, death, and the devil.
Before His glorious victory, the woman’s Seed must suffer to win the new community from the serpent’s dominion. The suffering Christ is victorious. He has already won the victory at the Cross by providing an atonement for the saints and will consummate it at His Second Coming.
Today’s quote about the Bible is from James McCosh. He said: “The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.”
In our discussions about the Fall, we have to this point neglected the serpent. Any way we look at it, this is a difficult issue. Exactly what creature is involved? Why did Eve not express surprise when it spoke? How is Satan related to it? With regard to these and other questions, the biblical writer has not seen fit to give us the information. At the end of the Bible, however, we are given some insight when Revelation 12:9 identifies Satan as the serpent who deceives.
Our concern at this point is that the serpent is also cursed, but there is an interesting detail here that we must note and keep in mind. God gives an anticipation of a later judgment on the serpent in the form of the first prophecy of a coming redeemer or messiah. In Genesis 3:15, God tells the serpent, “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.” This prophecy is known as the protoevangelium, meaning, “the first [announcement of the] gospel.” The immediate manifestation of this prediction is a perpetual battle between good and evil in this world. However, it is anticipated that the ultimate outcome will be the victory of the Messiah.