“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
Enmity – it may not be a commonly used word in the English language, but it carries tremendous weight in the gospel story. To have enmity means to be hostile or have intense hatred toward another. Enmity implies conflict … war.
One of the primary threads throughout the Biblical narrative is that of enmity between the offspring (seed) of God and the seed of satan. Adam was called the son of God and Eve the mother of all the living. Man was created in God’s image and likeness – the offspring of God. Man’s purpose was to represent God and rule the earth for God’s glory. But satan stepped in, usurped, and stole dominion of the earth from man.
At the moment Adam sinned against the LORD, he effectively relinquished his kingdom to the adversary – that ancient serpent – and the war of enmity on earth exploded in full force.
The serpent, the devil, is the father of lies, and also has been a murderer from the beginning. He will stop at nothing to steal, kill and destroy God’s people – God’s offspring. Two kingdoms have collided and the losses are real. Souls are at stake and eternity hangs in the balance.
Today, this enmity is intensifying by the minute. As the invisible, spiritual battle rages around us, it also is materializing in real time among the people and nations on the earth. The battle lines have been drawn, and the sides are being chosen.
Granted, God has already told us the end of the story. God’s word has already revealed how the battle is won. But that doesn’t negate the fact that what plays out in the here and now matters. It matters more than we could possibly imagine.
So before I decide to dive into all the implications and applications of this “seed” motif in the Scriptures, I will introduce the essential gospel message to set the stage.
The Seed of the Woman
Seed is synonymous with the genetic material implanted from a husband into his wife, producing offspring. From this biological perspective, the “seed of the woman” is seemingly a contradiction in terms. In the Biblical narrative, the seed always corresponds to the man. So when the LORD used the phrase, “seed of the woman,” He was drawing a very intentional prophetic picture. The One who was to come and crush the head of the serpent would not come from the seed of man.
The Prophet Isaiah later would predict the coming of this skull-crushing King, as being born of a virgin. The Apostle Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ was born of woman in the fullness of time. The angel comforted Mary and told her that the child to be born to her would be conceived of the Holy Spirit. It is imperative that we understand Jesus was not conceived of the seed of sinful man. He was conceived divine DNA. God in the flesh.
“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
It is by faith in Christ alone that we are able to become the offspring of God. Sons and daughters of our Father in heaven. Jesus is the promised seed of the woman, which means that everyone who is not in Christ remains at enmity with him.