Q&A: Mercy to Adam and Eve

Mercy to Adam and Eve

How did God show mercy to Adam and Eve even when giving the curse of Genesis 3?

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Answer

The grace of the Lord is that he comes to Adam and Eve immediately after the sin, immediately after the Fall, and he comes to them in his mercy, in his grace. He speaks to them, first speaking to the serpent. And actually, as he speaks to the serpent — and in speaking to the serpent he's speaking to Satan — he gives a promise, he gives a testimony of God's grace. And what he says is that there will be enmity between the serpent's seed and the woman's seed, but then he makes a promise when he uses the word "her seed" because it's the only place in Scripture where "her seed" is used. Usually it refers to his seed. But here, in the very beginning of the book of Genesis, you have a reference to one who is going to be born of the line of the woman, which would be the virgin birth. It's an incredible way that the Scripture fits together. And in doing that, he also says that, "of her seed, this one will crush the head of the serpent, and the serpent will strike him on the heel." And so, he is speaking about the coming of one of the line of the woman, this one who will be uniquely born, and that he will mortally wound the serpent — he will mortally wound Satan. And that promise, which is really the unfolding of the rest of Scripture as it brings about the truth, that God is going to send a Redeemer, that he's going to send a Messiah who will come through the line of the woman and who will redeem his people, we also see in that promise the fact that the serpent will strike the seed of the woman on the heel, but it's interesting that through that striking, that through the cross itself, the serpent head is crushed and God's people are redeemed.

Answer by Dr. Jeff Lowman

Dr. Jeff Lowman is Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology at Birmingham Theological Seminary and pastor at Evangel Presbyterian Church in Helena, Alabama