I used to meet with a group of men twice each week. One group met at a church, and there we had a leader and an established Bible study pattern, even though the leader persisted in preaching his opinion over the Word of God. Because of this, several of us would regroup a second time during the week but without a set Bible study plan. What we did do was open our Bibles each time we meet. If it were a study, there would have been some detectable pattern in our methods, such as an intense look at a particular book of the Bible or some passage that one of us was focused on. What did happen, almost without hesitation, is that we would talk about life, and that is a good thing. At least I found the personal discussions beneficial. Paul tells us to confess our faults to one another, and I have many. Doing this allows me to keep my mind free because we always integrate the Word of God into the conversation.
I am regularly challenged by the lack of understanding most so-called Christians seem to have, but one brother in particular always seemed to have the most peculiar questions. Interactions like these only convince me that we desperately need legitimate Bible study in our church bodies. Should you be wondering what a legitimate Bible study looks like, it would be one in which you walk away with a fairly permanent and correct understanding of God’s word. If you are like me and have endured the book studies most church small group leaders offer, then you should also know that these books are written to promote an author’s way of thinking or an organized church’s point of view – even if it is wrong. I think the leaders of these groups should encourage God’s point of view. So let’s see if we can find God’s point of view on a couple of subjects.
Here are a few of the questions that are presented to the group by this brother.
Having read Genesis 3:15, he asks,
Who is the “you” that is giving the woman trouble, and who is “his” seed?
Perhaps it will help if post the passage here.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 KJV)
He initially presented his question to the group but then focused on me as the group could not or would not answer his question.
I could attempt to answer his question without applying much thought, but it is so much more convincing when you have scripture to back your assertions. We answered this very question on a previous occasion, and, as you can see below, I have included verse fourteen also as it conveys that the context involves the serpent, Satan. (Knowing the context is half the answer to this man’s question.)
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15 KJV)
He understood that the woman and Satan would spend their lives at war. Enmity is the Greek word ‘êybâh and also means hostility and hatred. The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature tells us that this can mean a deep-rooted, irreconcilable hatred.
If I take a narrow view, looking only at Jesus as the woman’s seed, can I see evidence of that hostility?
You can visualize this hostility toward Jesus, with the purpose of killing Him, by merely reading the gospels, culminating in the brutality of the Jewish leadership bestowed upon Jesus. Their questioning and beating of Jesus evidence this uncalled-for violence at the home of Annas and then Caiphas as they were both high priests (Luke 3; John 18). These so-called representatives of God’s Holy Word handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilot, who had the Roman guards beat Him with thirty-nine lashes of a cattail, a torture that was expected to take His life. All the while, the Jewish leadership angrily shouted for Pilot to hang Him on the cross. While this may sound like the trouble was coming through the Jews, they, like the serpent, were merely used by Satan.
If I take the broader view of Eve’s seed, I am looking at the human race. Some seem to have less hostility focused against them, while, as the recent news conveyed, the Christian church in Nigeria is suffering from deadly violence. Nevertheless, the church suffers as Satan tries to badger or belittle us into not acting and walking in the excellence and beauty that Christ established for us.
“Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12 KJV modified for readability.)
Bluntly said, Satan is trying to take us out of the way as we followers of Christ represent the thing he hates more than himself, Jesus.
The NASB uses the word seed instead of offspring. Both terms convey the idea of a product of interaction, but the term seed has intimacy as a part of its definition.
Seed is the Greek word zera’ and means offspring, descendants, posterity, and children. However, it also speaks to us of moral quality or a practitioner of righteousness. Indeed, if we consider this verse, we can visualize the idea of a practitioner of unrighteousness as being an offspring of Satan.
The “you” is Satan, who had put himself inside the serpent, which happened to come off like a dragon, but that is another study for another time.
His seed is also Satan’s seed; by definition, it is his offspring, posterity, or children. These people can take the form of individuals, groups, or nations. While Genesis six informs us that fallen angels had sex with the women of earth, we have NOTHING that indicates that Satan did the same, so we will leave that alone. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Satan’s offspring are spiritual dropouts that choose to follow his lead.
Why talk about wrath, and who is dishing it out?
Because in just a matter of days, the rapture will come, and the church will be taken back to be with the Father. Those who remain will go through hell on earth (I covered the details of the seven years in my previous posts on Revelation.) God, through the snatching away of the church, is removing the followers of Christ from the outpouring of God’s wrath on the earth. You can partake in this if you will make Jesus the Lord of your life.