“Genesis 3.15 is the key to the entire Bible,” I heard myself say again for the hundredth time (slight exaggeration) with a group that I’m taking through the book of Genesis. It’s become so much a part of my schtick that I find myself referring to it almost weekly in the two other books I’m taking groups through – Luke and Acts. It’s been amazing seeing the connections. After all, the Genesis 3.15 Seed of the woman is Jesus, so should I expect anything less?
Anyway, we spent time yesterday going through Genesis 4-6.9, focusing primarily on the genealogies and the sons of God/daughters of men reference at the beginning of 6. Seeing the fig leaves, garment of skins, Cain’s sacrifice of fruit, Abel’s sacrifice of meat, the line of Cain and the line of Seth, and the sons of God and the daughters of men through the prism of Genesis 3.15 brings both clarity and cohesion to what could be, and often is, interpreted as a disjointed section of Scripture.
God judges the serpent for his part in the fall. In the midst of his judgment, God says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you on the head, but you will bruise Him on the heel.” A couple of things to note: constant warfare between those who follow God and those who follow satan, and the death of the innocent in delivering the guilty.The heel crushing is more than a flesh wound…it’s a kill shot. Adam and Eve respond to their sin with fig leaves, while God illustrates Genesis 3.15 by providing animal skins – a sacrifice of blood (the innocent for the guilty). Cain follows in his parents’ example before the blood offering by bringing fruit. But Abel mirrors God’s example bringing firstlings of the flock and fat portions. Cain proves to be a seed of the serpent, while Abel represents the seed of the woman; and death is sadly an apt example of the enmity between the two.
Seth replaces Abel. In Cain’s genealogy, Moses highlights the very earthy accomplishments of his line. These guys are famous from a worldly perspective – lots of “first of’s”. But Seth’s progeny are distinguished by their calling on the name of the Lord. They have a heavenly focus. Like Cain, his line will represent the seed of the serpent, while Seth and his crew represent the seed of the woman. Which brings us to Genesis 6.
This passage presents quite a challenge for most Bible students. Who are the sons of God? And what does Moses mean by daughters of men? Where do the Nephilim fit in? And what about the mighty men of old, the men of renown? If we parachute into this passage without regard to the preceding context of Genesis 1-5, then we are left with word studies and ancient myths. And this becomes one more story in a string of stories that Moses is telling to the ancient Israelites rather than one story with different vignettes. Whatever conclusion you draw about the identities of the aforementioned groups, the balance of the chapter makes it clear that God holds man culpable. I believe it’s because those who call on the name of the Lord begin to disappear as they intermarry with those who don’t (no such thing as missionary dating!). And the result is increasing violence (Am I my brother’s keeper?) which leads to the destruction of the earth by the flood. But we have a potential Genesis 3.15 candidate in Noah…
I’m always aware of the danger of reading my own thoughts into Scripture. And having a text through which you evaluate the whole is dangerous, but if Genesis 3.15 is pointing us ultimately to Jesus, and He is the focus of Scripture…He’s the Word made flesh, then maybe I’m not too far off.
Until next time…stay salty.