The Hero Born of Woman

Daily Reading – Genesis 3:6-15

There are several major themes at play in the story of the Fall.

I. We see man’s first attempt at “religion” as Adam and Eve try to cover their shame with fig leaves.

II. There is a beautiful picture of God’s pursuit of unrepentant sinners as He comes to them and initiates a conversation.

III. Finally there is the curse, for the wages of sin is death. But with the curse comes a promise.

In the devil’s temptation of Adam and Eve, the words of God are twisted and Satan lures them into thinking that they could become equal with God. Like all men after them, Adam and Eve become victims of their greatest enemy, themselves.

Since the time of Adam and Eve, Man has invented ways to reconcile the guilt of sin and claim the benefits of God while bypassing faith and repentance. Pride is the driving factor in these pursuits. Everyone wants the good gifts that come from God but no one will choose to humble himself before the Lord.

Romans 1:21-23

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

In pride, man constantly shifts the glory due to God to lesser gods resembling mortal men. The idols in our culture are rampant with the exultation and worship of the human body being dominant. In other cultures, we see this same shift to physical idols and images resembling birds and animals.

Sometimes our pride is most clearly seen in religion. Man invents ways to reconcile himself to God that allow him to avoid the humility that repentance demands. These “religions” will often invoke the name of Jesus and even use some form of the Bible, but they are built on penance, works, and human effort rather than the free gift of grace. In every instance, man elevates himself toward the position of God and tries to bring God down closer to the position of man.

Adam and Eve were guilty of this mentality as they tried to hide from God and create an insufficient fix to their sin by sewing some leaves together. This prideful cover up is almost comical in comparison to the gravity of the consequence of their sin. However, it is far easier to point out the foolishness of pride in other peoples’ lives than it is in our own.

A right relationship with God requires letting go of pride and coming to God in humility and repentance.

In what ways might you be exchanging the truth of God for a lie? Are you trying to earn God’s love or believing that your relationship with him is based on your performance? Are you punishing yourself with guilt and believing your sin is somehow outside the reach of God’s grace?

Thankfully God does not leave Adam and Eve to their own devices. He approaches them and initiates a relationship.

John 6:44

No one can come to me (Jesus) unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Romans 2:4

the kindness of God leads you to repentance. 

While Adam and Eve were still in sin, in love, God went looking for them. He showed them kindness that led them to repentance. God sets a great example for us by asking good questions that force Adam and Eve to be honest. Confession is a great tool God has given us to breed humility.

If your pride is causing you to run from God in rebellion or to punish yourself with the guilt of sin, honest confession will help you let go of that pride and rest humble at the foot of the cross.

James 5:16

 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Confession of sin does not bring salvation. It is a tool that God has given us to destroy pride. It is hard to be prideful when you honestly acknowledge who you are as a sinner. The humility that ensues allows you to freely accept the free gift of grace in Jesus Christ which brings life and healing.

Who do you have in your life that knows everything about you? What prideful footholds does Satan have in your life that could be destroyed with confession?

Finally, after God leads Adam and Eve to humbly confess their sin, he gives them a life giving promise. Some call this the first gospel. God curses the serpent (representing the devil) and says there will be hatred between the “offspring” of the devil and the “offspring” of Eve. Ultimately the children of the devil will strike the heel of the “offspring” of Eve, but “HE” will crush the head of the serpent.

herosquareGenesis 3:15

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.

From this promise, Adam and Eve left with the hope that one day a child of Eve would crush the head of Satan. Though they did not know his name, this child would break the back of the power of the enemy. They also learned that this child would be struck by the devil.

Christ is struck by the children of the devil at Calvary.

Acts 2:23

This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge;and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

But Christ, who shared in our flesh and blood as an offspring of Eve, crushed the head of Satan by detroying his hold on the power of death.

Hebrews 2:14

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—

Colossians 2:15

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Christ crushed the head of Satan on the cross, but a venomous snake can still bite hours after his head has been severed.

There remains a day when death and crying and pain will be no more. Satan will be cast into the lake of fire. And we shall be like Jesus when we see him face to face.

Revelation 1:7

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
    and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
    and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.

BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my condemners, so with you my grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

– Julia Ward Howe

The Emmaus Trail is a weekly devotional study that explores the theme of God reconciling himself to the world through the redemption of his Son. 

Luke 24

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 

 

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