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  • Chad Werkhoven

Genesis 3:10-15 - Protoevangelion

God brings the gospel even in the midst of curses.


Genesis 3:7-10 (NIV)

CONTEXT: We began this passage earlier this week. Adam and his wife have just eaten the forbidden fruit.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock

and all wild animals!

You will crawl on your belly

and you will eat dust

all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity

between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will crush your head,

and you will strike his heel.”


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Man

We believe that our good God,

by his marvelous wisdom and goodness,

seeing that man had plunged himself in this manner

into both physical and spiritual death

and made himself completely miserable,

set out to find him,

though man,

trembling all over,

was fleeing from him.

And he comforted him,

promising to give him his Son,

“born of a woman,”

to crush the head of the serpent,

and to make him blessed.



Adam and his wife heard the familiar sound and knew just what it was. Their God and Father, the One who had created them in His image to have dominion over all of creation, had come down to walk in the garden and enjoy the cool of the day in and with His perfect creation. Only things were different now, and the very ones He came to enjoy the day with were hiding from Him, naked and afraid.

Notice that as he blurts out to God, Adam only confesses the reason for his fear, not his sin. So God asked Adam point blank if he had eaten from the tree that God had said not to. Understand that God here wasn't trying to get His facts straight or get Adam's side of the story. Yet instead of taking the opportunity to fully confess and repent, Adam initiated the blame game, blaming his wife, and even God in a sense, since God had put the woman there with him. The woman then passed the buck to the deceptive serpent.

The ramifications of their rebellion were both immediate and profound. Although we only read of the curse upon the serpent today, God goes on to curse the woman and Adam, doing so in the opposite order that the blame had been placed.

Dig Deeper

Although the curses are severe and life altering, they are not our focus today. We're going to hone in on the tiny sliver of good news that come as God condemns the serpent. Theologians refer to verse 15 as the protoevangelion, a Latin word which literally means the 'first gospel.'

First, God mentions the "offspring" of both the serpent and the woman. Both would continue living and would multiply, filling the earth! That certainly fulfills one of God's purposes for man - to fill the earth - but the second half of God's intention, for man to have dominion over the earth, was now twisted into an ongoing enmity between the manifestations of evil and the children of the woman. The gospel (good news) here is that life will continue, but in perspective this is barely good news at all.

It's the second aspect of v15 that truly contains the gospel. The word offspring can be understood two ways. On one had, in a collective sense it includes every person who's been born of the woman, which of course is all of us. But the word used here, which can also be translated as seed, has a singular aspect as well. In other words, it doesn't just refer to all people, but it also refers to just one man.

We know that because of how God describes the conclusion of this ongoing enmity: He (the offspring) will crush your head, you (the serpent) will bruise his heel.

So praise God that you belong to the offspring of the woman: not just humanity in general, but Jesus Christ in particular, and remember that until Christ returns, you must live in enmity with the serpent.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who brings gospel even in the midst of curse;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will remember your identity as being in Christ as you navigate a life in enmity with the evil one;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Romans 8


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