PARADISE LOST – "IT'S FRIDAY BUT SUNDAY IS-A-COMING" – "HE (JESUS) WILL CRUSH YOUR (SATAN'S) HEAD."
"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, (I see this as the intimacy they had with God before the Fall) and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"The Fall brought alienation: 1) from God; 2) from self; 3) from others; 4) from nature. God forgives our sins but doesn't take away all the consequences. "Man went from life to death; pleasure to pain; abundance to meager subsistence through toil; and perfect fellowship to alienation and conflict." (Walvord and Zuck – The Bible Knowledge Commentary) Here we see God's justice, mercy and grace; attributes of Him revealed through the Fall.
God's Justice- Alienation: 1) from God – "they hid from the LORD God." 2) from self – "I was afraid because I was naked"; from innocence to shame and guilt; from integrity to dis-integrity -"Woe is me, for I am undone!" (Isa. 6: See Rom 2:15); 3) from others – "The woman you put here with me." "The serpent deceived me." The blame game began; "To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing (the Hebrew word here is "conception") with pain you will give birth to children." This means more than physical pain but includes the anguish and concern for the health of the baby through the entire birth process. "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." The Battle of the Sexes began and can only be resolved as man and woman submit to Christ. (Eph. 5: 21-33); 4) from nature – "Cursed is the ground because of you; It will produce thorns and thistles for you." The blessing of work now has its difficulties as do many other blessings of life in a fallen world. This represents retaliatory justice. They sinned by eating and now would suffer in order to eat. Eve manipulated Adam and would be wrongly dominated by Adam; the serpent destroyed the human race and he was judged and will be destroyed. God allows the sin of others towards us to get our attention to see the same sin in ourselves; a la Jacob and Laban. "When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things."(Rom 2:1 NLT)
God's Mercy and Grace – "but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." Here we see God's mercy and grace; (Mercy is not getting what we deserve and grace is getting more than we deserve) the first blood sacrifice (God killed an animal) which points to the animal sacrifices for Israel until Christ came and shed His blood "once for all." (1 Peter 3:18) "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."(Heb 9:22) Although they did die spiritually at that point they did not die physically and lived to have children through whom Jesus Christ would come forth as our Savior from sin. "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." We deserve death and eternal separation from God but we receive forgiveness and the promise of heaven through God's costly sacrifice of His Son is SoHis for our sin. We also see how Christ became the curse for us: He sweat drops of blood; wore the crown of thorns; hung on a tree and was placed in the dust of death. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." (Gal. 3:13)
More of God's grace – "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." Praise God we don't have to live in this fallen world in our fallen state forever. This fallen world is not our home. The aging process is a grace as we may have time to make midcourse adjustments or last minute confessions. Paul groaned for heaven yet was willing to remain to minister to others and Scripture calls us to have the same perspective. "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live."(Phil. 1:21-2 NLT) "And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)"(Rom. 8:23-25 NLT)
"Heel strikes" (Satan – sin and evil) vs. "Head strikes" (Jesus' love and righteousness) (Walton – NIV Application Commentary) In Christ, as ones redeemed from the curse, we now have His power to choose Head strikes over Heel strikes. "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."(Rom 16:20) We can "crush" Satan's head now every time we choose to die to self and humbly serve the Lord and His people in our homes, businesses, churches and wherever we go. "We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." (2 Cor 4:10-11) "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."(Acts 1:8) As believers we have already received Holy Spirit's power. Let's go use it and crush Satan's head.
Discussion Questions FOR APPLICATION OF GOD'S WORD
paradise lost- "It's friday but sunday is-a-coming" – "he (jesus) will crush your (Satan's) head." gENESIS 3:8-24 9/7/07
Scripture memory verse: "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."
"Heel strikes" (Satan – sin and evil) vs. "Head strikes" (Jesus' love and righteousness)
Where do you see some of Satan's "Heel strikes" in the world, and which ones really make you angry, sad, etc.? How about in your own life?
"Head strikes" – "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."(Rom 16:20) We can "crush" Satan's head now every time we choose to die to self and humbly serve the Lord and His people in our homes, businesses, churches and wherever we go. Where do you see some of Jesus' "Head strikes" in the world and which ones really get you excited, etc.? How about in your own life?