“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."” Genesis 3:8-15 ESV.
As we enter the season of advent, I thought it would be good for the next 4 editions of Lamp & Light to have a Christmas theme. Advent, for those of us who don’t know is the season of the year leading up to Christmas. The word advent itself means “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place.” Christians often speak of Christ’s “first advent” and “second advent”; that is, His first and second comings to earth. His first advent being His incarnation - God becoming flesh and dwelling among us (John 1:14) and His second advent being when He returns to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1).
In today’s reading, we come across the earliest prophecy of Jesus’s first advent. Following Adam and Eve’s failure to follow God’s instruction to not eat from the tree of good and evil, we see them attempt to hide from God. Isn’t it fascinating, that their sin caused them to hide from God, rather than pull towards His presence? If you are anything like me, you can relate to Adam and Eve’s approach here, as rather than allowing their sin to lead them towards God for healing and deliverance, it steered them away from Him, into a hidden, lonely, exposed and desperate place. This is demonstrated by the fact that it was their nakedness that caused them to feel afraid. This is how the enemy wants us to feel. He wants our sin, mistakes and frailties to draw us away from God, rather than pull us closer to him. However, what is significant is that in Genesis 3:21, God covers Adam and Eve’s nakedness with a blood sacrifice, mirroring and foreshadowing, what He does for us through His Son on the Cross. What a privilege it is to know that we serve a God whose is always gracious to us, even though we do not deserve it.
Following a dialogue with Adam and the curse being placed on the snake, we see today’s key verse.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."”
Here we have God the Father prophesying the first advent of His Son, Jesus Christ. What is important here is the fact that the Son who is the offspring of Eve (Luke 3:38) is the same Son who by dying on the cross, bruised and defeated the head of the enemy (Genesis 3:15), the same enemy who is only able to do limited damage to us by only bruising our heel!
Today, my prayer is that you will be reminded that Advent and Christmas is a time to celebrate the coming of the One who descending to earth, bruised the head of the enemy and won the victory for us. Let us therefore, live our daily lives as people who are victoriously waiting on the second arrival, rather than as those who have no hope.
Advent gives us life, advent gives us hope, advent sets us free.
Let us live in the power of Christ’s first arrival.
In Jesus Name.