In our first post, we referenced the deception of Eve at the hands of the serpent, and her subsequent complication of God’s commands. Here, in Genesis 3:15, God informs 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” (New International Version).
There is a tremendous amount to be unpacked from this one verse. The word enmity seems to refer to more than just a quarrel with a neighbor over property lines or bickering with the wife over where to eat dinner. This seems to insinuate a blood feud in the realm of Hatfield vs. McCoy or McPoyle vs. Paddy’s Pub. The seed of Eve that God refers to is initially a vague reference to a future people, but is articulated further in the culmination of bruised heels and crushed heads. (The heel of Christ is bruised, the head of Satan is crushed). The seed of Satan that is referred to likely does not indicate Satan had any actual offspring, but more likely references a spiritual offspring of either an unredeemed, fallen humanity or the legions of demons and angels that have followed Satan. There are a lot of nuances that could be argued and articulated through this passage, but I want to focus on a central theme that permeates the passage.
As soon as God asks Eve,”What is this you have done?” and as soon as he declares, “Because you have done this,” I imagine an element of fear flooding into the hearts of both Eve and the serpent. It’s almost as if God is the parent returning home from work and the kids are scrambling to clean up the mess they made. No matter what excuse the kids have, God is astute enough to know exactly what has happened without asking. “What have you done?” is asked in a rhetorical, condemning kind of way. God is telling Eve to explain herself, even though there ultimately is no explanation. And she immediately says the equivalent of, “It’s not my fault, he told me to do it!”
So should we fear God?
But that fear isn’t without cause, and comes with the knowledge that he knows what is best for us. This account of the fall is so beautiful in all its simplicity but utterly tragic in all its complexity – much like an episode of Sunny. Fear is a complex thing and encompasses myriad small aspects of our lives. But we can rest comfortably knowing that fear isn’t the sum of this equation. Triumph is. So while we clearly have things we need to fear, we know that God, even in His righteous anger, is ultimately going to do what is necessary to ensure victory.