Rev. Heys is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
In the mother promise of Genesis 3:15 the word translated as bruise is more correctly translated as crushed. The seed of the serpent’s head is going to be crushed and not merely bruised. The heel of the seed of the woman is going to be crushed and not merely suffer a bruise. Therefore take note of the fact that there is an amazing difference as to what happens to the seed of the serpent, and what happens to the seed of the woman. The head of one and the heel of the other are crushed.
Now although we must take that word crush figuratively and not literally, there is a tremendous difference in what happens to these two seeds. The crushing of the heel will bring great pain, and will limit the person’s walk severely. But the crushing of the head of the serpent’s seed will bring death. One whose heel is crushed will still dwell on this earth. He whose head is crushed is removed from this earth.
Although the cross of Christ, and His death through it, is what the seed of the serpent brought upon Christ, Satan did not make it impossible for Him to reign upon this earth as the King in the kingdom of heaven. Rather it served God’s decree and was a work that served our good. Satan’s death, and the death of the seed of the serpent, however, bring them where they will have nothing but everlasting pain and suffering. The believer is crippled in this life, severely limited, and he may have his life taken from him by the seed of the serpent. But this will not keep him from living everlastingly in the new Jerusalem, when Christ, The Seed of the Woman, returns. The mother promise teaches a limited and temporary suffering for the seed of the woman. It predicts an endless woe and misery for the seed of the serpent.
Therefore when Cain killed Abel, this seed of the woman was cut off from this present earth and its pleasures. But his soul went to heavenly glory. It was limited then in that it did not have the body wherein it was born. But when Cain died, his soul went into an everlasting torment from which there is no escape. Abel’s wound will be healed when Christ returns. Cain’s misery will be intensified. Abel will walk once again on this earth when it is changed and glorified. Cain will never take one small step in that blessed realm where Christ will be king.
What is more, after Cain killed Abel, God presents to us a rapid and inevitable spiritual difference between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The seed of the serpent, having its head crushed, is spiritually dead! And out of that death it will never come. The seed of the woman has flesh which has spiritual death in it; and they all cripple through this life. They stumble and fall into sin; and they will cry out with Paul: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). But that new spiritual life that caused the seed of the woman to be born again can never be taken from them. That promise we have from God. The seed of the serpent can never get spiritual life. The reborn seed of the woman can never have it taken from them.
Yes, the seed of the woman are going to suffer. They will know all the aches and pains that the seed of the serpent know. They will die as surely, and often as violently, as the seed of the serpent. Satan, and that seed of the serpent will also affect their spiritual walk. We will fall into temptation. We will sin, even though our heads have the knowledge of God and our hearts have love for God. But that new man in Christ in us, which makes us the seed of the woman, will not walk in even one sin after by the rebirth we have ,been given that life. In I John 3:9 we read: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
Abel’s revealing that holy spiritual life before Cain is what brought upon him the works of the corrupt spiritual life of Cain. That enmity, of which the mother promise speaks, brought violence upon Abel’s body by Cain who hated Abel, because he saw the spiritual difference. He saw God in Abel, the God Who had spoken to him and called his attention to his sin. We are not told what Abel said to Cain. We simply read that they talked together. But we can be sure that it was the spiritual enmity of which the mother promise speaks that moved Cain to strike and kill Abel. It was not because Abel broke one of the commandments in the second table of the law. It was because Abel revealed himself as one who was walking in the way of the first table of the law. And because Cain was not keeping the first table of the law, he also broke the second table when he killed Abel.
What our covenant God presents to us, after Cain brought murder into the history of the human race, is the rapid and inevitable spiritual difference between the two seeds that dwelt on the earth. Out of Cain comes the seed of the serpent that brings a rapid and awesome growth of sin. Adam and Eve broke the first table of God’s law. They wanted another god, and in their sin they revealed a hatred against the God Who made them, and Who is God alone. That hatred of God always produces hatred toward man who is made in His image. He who breaks the first table of the law will always break the second table as well. Hating God he will not want to serve and honor God. And he surely will hate anyone who manifests love and faith in God.
For a time Adam and Eve could not commit some of the sins mentioned in the second table of Gods law. They could wound and kill each other or a son or daughter. Eve could dishonor her husband and lie to him. In a measure they could steal from each other items such as food, which was very scarce at that time. They could covet what the other human being had. But adultery was impossible until another male or female was born and developed to the point when they could be taken into sin. Nevertheless all this was not simply there, but could be expected to grow, as it did. The very first child born to them committed that murder that the human race fears more than theft, adultery, and falsehood, as well as rebellion against authorities.
Lamech, Cain’s grandson, introduced openly the sin of adultery and boldly committed Cain’s sin of murder. Then in the next generation appeared three males who opened the door to more sins, and to more ways in which hatred toward God could be and would be boldly displayed. Jabal, Jubal, and Tubalcain came as seed of the serpents and did not invent and explore God’s marvelous creation in order to walk in love to Him and serve Him with it. They opened the door for more sins and for more manifestations of hatred against God to be practiced. They got the human race ready for the punishment of the flood. About one thousand six hundred and fifty-seven years of sin had so threatened the life of the seed of the woman, that God came with the flood, crushing the head of the seed of the serpent.
Now, dwelling in tents and raising cattle, as Jabal did; handling harp and organ as Jubal did; and being artificers in brass and iron, as Tubalcain was, are not necessarily and automatically evidences of walking in sin. Did the seed of the woman not need cattle for the sacrifices that God commanded? Is it to be branded as sin that David used the harp, and that others used the organ to sing God’s praises? Did Moses not need tools of brass or iron to build the ark God commanded him to build? What about the building of the temple? What about the amazing means of transportation and of communication, the ships, trains, planes and automobiles we may use for missionary work? What about the radio and tape recordings, the printed page and’ the instruments used to write and print our Bible? All this is here because of what Jabal, Jubal, and Tubalcain wrought way back a few generations after the fall of man.
Jabal, Jubal, and Tubalcain were seeking the things of this world in order to satisfy the lust of their flesh. And the awesome truth is that Satan was working in and through them to bring forth the antichrist, who would seek to replace Christ. He was using the seed of the serpent in order to crush the head of the seed of the woman. No, he would never crush that head. He would be used so that the heel would be crushed; but his attempt and intention was to crush the head. And were it not for what Tubalcain discovered and produced, there would have been no iron nails to affix Christ to His cross for our salvation. Never mind Satan’s plans. Gods plans are what count; and we have comfort, and are assured that His plan will always be executed, exactly as He eternally decreed it would take place.
This information about these three grandsons of Cain is presented for our comfort, and not simply for our information. Things did not slip out of Gods hands. He did not have to send the flood, and destroy His first creation, because of what Satan succeeded in doing. No, all this is written for our instruction and comfort. When He told Satan that HE would put enmity between the unbelievers and the believers, and that the unbelievers were going to have their heads crushed, while the believers would only have their heels crushed; and when He said this before fallen Adam and Eve, we have a most comforting truth that will encourage us in the coming days of increased sins with their violence and pain.
We do well to consider that here we have a shadow of what will come in the days of the antichrist, days which are not far away. All this ought to open our eyes today when we see the violence and wickedness that are becoming greater and more widespread.
Satan was defeated by the flood, and for a time there was only the seed of the woman on this earth: Noah’s family. Of course, because we are all conceived and born in sin, there soon appeared the seed of the serpent again, and the sinful nature of the seed of the woman revealed itself. Noah became drunk, and Ham delighted in that sin. It was not long after the flood that God said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.” The spiritual contrast was there again on this earth.
In fact, Genesis 6:5 presents to us the true but sad picture that, “God saw that the wickedness of man was very great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Get those three words: every, only andcontinually! As far as the seed of the serpent is concerned, that is an accurate and undeniable truth concerning them. There is no good in them. For, as God told Adam, man would die spiritually if he ate of that forbidden fruit. Adam did; and all his descendants, except Christ, Who is the second Person of the Holy Trinity, and was born of a virgin, come into this world with every imagination of the thoughts of the heart being evil only and continually.
It is absolutely impossible then that any one who has Adam as his father can do anything that is pleasing in Gods sight, until and unless God causes him to be born again, and in that way becomes the seed of the woman. Living as we do in such a world, we too must expect sin to grow, and the world to become more wicked, trying to crush our heel. In the day of shadows already it became very clear that we need Christ, Who is The Seed of The Woman, to pay for our sins not only, but to give us a new spiritual life. There surely is no room for the seed of the woman to boast. But there is abundant reason for them to praise and thank God for His wonder-work of sending His Son, yea, of coming Himself to deliver us completely from Satan and the cruelty of the seed of the serpent.