Chapter 26 The Woman's Seed

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 (Genesis 3:15).

This is one of the most important chapters of the Bible. It shows how evil came into the world, from whom it came, and how God rescued man from it by the promise of the coming Redeemer. They are the first words of God’s grace to sinful men. They were spoken immediately after the first man and woman lost, through the subtle work of Satan, the divine image and likeness in which they were created. Satan had deceived Eve by questioning the Word of God, then denying the Word of God, then impugning the character of God—hinting that God was withholding some knowledge they ought to have. All this was vast offense and utter contempt, disregard, and distrust of God’s holy Word.

The Scene in Eden

First, there was the guilty party. There they were—fallen sinners now—darkened in their minds, unclean in their affections, rebellious in their wills. So hardening was the influence of sin that there were neither tears of sorrow, nor confession of sin, nor any pleas for mercy. Nothing of that!

Secondly, the devil was there. No mercy was shown him nor was there given him any hope of redemption. Destruction was his doom. His head was to be crushed, and all he had brought in was to be swept out of God’s universe.

Thirdly, God Himself was in the garden. His first word of hope to man was concerning the woman’s Seed—the promise that His eternal Son would become incarnate and enter this arena to be man’s Saviour. He would come into our humanity, not by the activity of man, but by a way contrary to the principles of natural generation. Whereas all of Adam’s race would be the seed of man, God’s incarnate Son would be “the Seed of woman.” Through Him a numerous seed would be “born of God” and not “by the will of men.” Such was God’s grace to fallen men—such “the glad tidings of great joy.”

The Issue of the Promise

The promised Seed—Christ—would be bruised in this rescue work. “The wages of sin is death” was, and ever is, God’s judgment upon sin. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). It could not be otherwise since God is absolute in holiness. This death was not annihilation, but an eternal separation from God and an exposure to His wrath. But God came into the garden with a plan already made in the counsels of eternity. That plan involved His beloved Son in descending from Heaven, in assuming our human nature, and in laying down His life on man’s behalf.

This He could not do without becoming man, so Man He would become. Thus, having the same nature, He could offer Himself in man’s place. Our Lord thus became the Seed of the woman that He might have a life that could be laid down in death, and have blood to shed to pay the ransom price for man’s deliverance.

This offering would have to be “without blemish.” He therefore came with a new humanity, without any contamination from Adam’s life. His personal righteousness was lived out in every human condition. Thus as His death was to be reckoned to the Believer’s account in meeting all the demands of justice, so His righteousness was to be reckoned to him as a robe with which to clothe the believer before God.

The Conflict With Satan

The serpent is the devil as we read in Revelation 12:9, “That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.” But no devil was he when God created him, but was “Lucifer, son of the morning” (Isaiah 14:12)—a brilliantly shining one—the most beautiful and wise amidst all the host of Heaven. He must have come to Eve as “an angel of light” and, deceiving her, reached Adam. Thus he became “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). There is no place on earth where he and his fallen hosts have not been, no person left untouched by his evil influence.

We must not forget that the Lord came into the world to destroy (disarm) this ancient foe. “It [the Seed of the woman, Christ] shall bruise thy head.” And our Lord did! It may have seemed to natural eyes that when He hung on the cross the enemy had triumphed. But no! As all hell’s powers flung themselves at Him, He flung them off, “triumphing over them in it [the cross] “(Colossians 2:15).

The devil is a defeated foe. He lies forever under the feet of the Lord Jesus. He still retains power over those who serve him, but he has neither weapons nor powers to assault the Lord Jesus. The goliath of hell is a fallen foe. This battle was fought and won that we poor sinners could be rescued from Satan’s enslavement. Those who believe enter a stronghold of security. They are high above Satan’s reach. He may attack, threaten, terrify, but he can do nothing. What a joyful note, then, we ought to strike!

Thou Son of God! the woman’s Seed,
Who didst for us on Calv’ry bleed,
And bear sin’s heavy load:
Spoiler of all the powers of hell,
Who conquered death invincible,
Thou Holy One of God!

Thy blood we sing! By that alone,
With boldness, to th’ eternal throne,
Through Thee we now draw nigh;
It silences the voice of sin,
Washes the guilty conscience clean,
And makes the accuser fly!

Behold us, Lord a feeble band,
In conflict with the foe we stand,
The ransomed of Thy cross;
We sing the triumphs of Thy name;
All other glory count but shame,
All other gain but loss.

James G. Deck