3/6/2019 10:24:18 AM
Ash Wednesday - From Death to Life
Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between her offspring and yours; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel."
It all began in a garden, the Garden of Eden. God the Almighty broke into our world and announced the very first gospel promise. Without this promise there would be no Lent and no Easter. There would only be death and damnation for us. But the seeds of our salvation were first planted in this Garden of Promise.
The promise completely reversed what had just taken place. Satan had planted the seed of unbelief by tempting Adam and Eve to sin. They no longer believed God’s words. They ate the forbidden fruit. That single seed of unbelief immediately sprang to life and, reaching out like some horrible death-plant, wrapped its tendrils around this man and woman to squeeze the life out of them.
They felt the squeeze of God’s decree: “The day you eat of it, you will surely die!” They didn’t turn to God for mercy. They didn’t look to him for a second chance. They ran for cover and tried to hide from God.
The death-plant produced a foul fruit: enmity. They felt nothing but enmity—in other words, the opposite of peace. They shook their fists at God. They shook their fists at each other. They shook their fists at Satan. They were quick to blame God for their circumstances. They were willing to throw each other under the bus if it would save their own skin. What had seemed like such an inviting friendliness from Satan was now unmasked as a malicious trick to destroy them. In great irony they had become unwitting allies of this serpent who hated them and wanted them doomed like himself. Inside and out, they now felt the permeating, damning hatred that a holy God has for what they had become. It was sheer terror.
But God announced a reversal of that enmity. Speaking to the devil, God said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” God would change things! The woman wouldn’t be an ally to the devil anymore. God would create enmity between her and the devil. God would put her at odds with Satan.
That means she and God would have to be reconciled and be at peace with each other and be friends again. For to be an enemy of Satan is to be a friend of God. And this announcement of friendship was not offered to the woman only, but also to her husband and to all their descendants—that means you and me. God said to the snake, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.”
Notice how wonder-inspiring our God is. He did not advise Eve to redirect her hatred upon the serpent. He did not command her to hate the evil one. Nor did God urge her to reach up to heaven with her prayers to invite the change. The fact is, when God did give her the opportunity merely to fess up, she couldn’t do it. She utterly lacked the power to change her feelings about God and save herself.
So God would do it. He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” God cut off the tendrils of death at the roots and saved the man’s and woman’s lives by promising to send a Savior.