“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things. When God designed the world and everything in it, to a certain extent it all reflected His image. It was all good. All of it. So good. As Moses describes God creating one thing after another, you can almost hear Him whistling while He worked He was so tickled at the goodness of it all. It’s like you felt when you were working on a big project and every single detail was falling exactly into place only on a much, much grander scale. It was all so good. And then it wasn’t. But brokenness was never supposed to be the state of things.
The story of the brokenness is really a tragic one too. The woman and then the man are successfully duped into believing that God had somehow withheld something from them to which they were entitled when He told them to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, they were duped into doubting His goodness. This was nothing less than an attempt to drive a dagger into the very heart of creation. It was pristinely good and there was no doubt about that. Its own creator had declared it so over and over and now they were doubting Him.
The man and the woman reached out to take what God said rather explicitly they were not to have because they wanted more than He had already given them because they didn’t trust He’d given them His best the first time.
So then, what was God to do? The crown jewel of His creation was not simply tarnished, it was shattered into a million pieces. The man and woman had turned from Him in order to go their own way, and now that they had tasted that fruit, there was to be no going back. They were hooked and things would never be the same again.
Again, what was He to do? Smite them both and start over? Simply let it go? Pretend it didn’t really happen and go on as normal? Because He is a just God, He couldn’t simply ignore it or otherwise try and sweep it under the rug. This gross offense against His character and reputation demanded a response. But, because He is a loving God, the thought of simply throwing away the creation into which He had invested so much of His goodness was anathema to Him.
What Moses actually describes for us is amazing. It is a stunning display of the full just and loving character of our God. After the man blames the woman and the woman the serpent in this embarrassing display of blame-shifting (the effects of the fall were already coming to bear), God takes them on their terms (an incredible act of graciousness on His part) and starts with the serpent.
This is where things get really cool. Keep in mind He has yet to hand out punishments for the gross disobedience of the man and the woman. Those would come in due time. But look again here at where God starts. He assures the serpent, the one who started this whole mess, that his end will eventually come. The man and the woman would eventually have children. They would indeed still be fruitful and multiply—that is, the original mandate God gave us had not been taken or altered even in spite of our sin—and one day, one of those children would destroy the serpent entirely.
There was still much we didn’t know about the future and God’s plans for us—in fact, we didn’t know anything about them at all. We didn’t know anything save this one thing: He was going to fix it. He was going to stomp it out at its source and make things once again the way they had always been intended.
With the benefit of hindsight, we now know how He planned to do this. This seed of the woman would be none other than Him. God the Father would come as God the Son, born of a woman when the time was just right.
Do you see it? Here when the dust of the fall was still up in the air, before even God handed out the punishments we were justly due, He promised to set things right. In other words: He promised Christmas. He inaugurated the first season of Advent—one that would, for us, last a long, long time—immediately in the wake of the fall. When the pain of His broken heart was still at its very freshest, our relationship with Him newly shattered, He promised a way to restoration.
As you enter into this season of Advent, know well that God’s heart has always beat with the pulse of restoration and reconciliation. He started planning this season when our backs were turned and we were walking away. Enjoy it to the fullest because it reflects God’s sweetest plans for you. It always has.