In Genesis 3:15, the context states that there would be a number of people who would be considered the offspring of the woman who would be opposed to the offspring of the Adversary. Both groups would have enmity toward each other in an ongoing war. The woman was to bring forth children, plural. While I have primarily focused, thus far, on the singularity of the Seed Promise, we need to pay attention to how Genesis 1-4 tells the tale of the war between the two offspring.
When Adam and Eve fell from grace, I believe they immediately repented. God did not restore all that was lost, but promised to do that sometime in the future. They had to believe in God and obey, which is opposed to what they had done by eating the fruit. When they ate the fruit, they disbelieved God and disobeyed Him. Now they had to reverse their ways.
God told them that the woman would bring forth children, one of which would be the Savior. Adam named his wife Eve because he knew that she would become the mother of all humanity. This was an act of faith since he did this just before being expelled from the garden. Eve hadn’t brought forth any children, yet Adam knew by faith that she would because God was telling them the truth. Adam and Eve together obeyed God by leaving the garden. They knew they could not return since they saw the angel with the flaming sword prohibiting them from returning. Adam and Eve also obeyed God by bringing forth children. Even though they knew their children would be sinful, they also knew that God had promised that one of them would be the Savior.
As their children grew, two of their sons became prominent. As I have stated, there were many in that first civilization. Adam and Eve obviously tried to follow God’s commands for their lives in anticipation of what He would do in the future through Eve’s children. They taught their children to wear clothes. They showed them how to bring offerings before the LORD. They taught them to recognize the LORD’s voice.
As time went on, Abel became the clear representative of those who belonged to Eve’s seed. Cain’s sin dominated his decisions allowing the Adversary to have dominion over him. Cain was of the seed of the enemy of Eve and the promises. In the beginning, there was one family living in the same community, yet two clear categories of offspring to which they belonged. One belonged to God, the other to the enemy of God.
When Cain left the first family, he took many with him. Those who did not really believe in the promises of God easily followed after him. After all, Abel was dead; what more was there to look forward to? Cain built a city, a new civilization for his followers to live in. Cain would make a name for himself through his son. Those who still believed in the Seed Promise stayed with Adam and Eve. Now there were two civilizations, one who followed Adam and Eve, the other who followed the enemy. Those who stayed with Adam and Eve eventually saw the second generation fulfillment of the Seed Promise through Enos. Then many began calling on the name of the LORD. God was fulfilling His promise for a generation of people who would belong to Him to come forth from the seed of the woman. They were two civilizations existing showing the two offspring at war with each other.
Beyond Genesis 1-4 we see this ongoing war between the two offspring. The flood of Noah is the next example. The Adversary’s seed multiplies while the godly offspring seems to dwindle. Yet God preserves a remnant of His people in order to continue the lineage to one day bring forth the Savior. Noah and family are spared while the rest of the earth perishes. With Sodom and Gomorrah it is the same story line. The wicked are shown to be children of the Adversary while the righteous are protected and preserved by God. God’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are designed to further the covenant made in the garden of Eden. God still is operating under the premise that there will be a group of mankind in the midst of sinfulness who will belong to Him. Israel will be that nation who belongs to Him as a peculiar treasure. Without the Seed Promise, God’s dealings with the nation of Israel seem quite erratic. Why show favoritism?
Without this foundation of two seeds at war with each other, the Bible fails to yield a consistent hermeneutic. If you don’t start right, you won’t end right. There will be some of mankind who belong to the Adversary, but there will be some who belong to the seed of the woman who will one day experience the deliverance promised.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman