Genesis 3:14-15 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
Not much of a promise as promises go. No wealth, no riches, no glory. It is nothing that would make it on anyoneís Christmas list. But thatís all there is. Everything had been perfect, man sinned, was sent from the garden, and that land and animals that had worked with man, now turned against him. And the promise is so distant that today, it is sometimes hard even for us to see that it is a promise.
Consider, how you would feel if God told you, a serpent is going to bite you, and the only consolation is that someday, one of your descendants would finally crush that serpentís head. I donít know anyone who would look forward to being bitten by a serpent. But that isnít the promise, thatís the fact, once man went down the road of sin, sin entered into the lives of all men, and sin does take a bite out of all our lives. Thatís a fact!
And thatís where we must begin, with the realization that we are no longer in the garden of Eden. Is that important? Sure! Sin no only ruined our relationship with God, but it also ruined our relationship with the rest of creation. We know that God created everything that is, before man fell into sin. So, lets take those things we call weeds, before sin, in the garden, they were there, but they didnít cause a problem, now, thanks to sin, weíre always fighting them. If it werenít for sin, we wouldnít have any trouble with weeds.
Or take the mosquito, there were from the beginning of creation, and good said they were good, along with a lot of other animals we donít like to well. But since sin, no one seems to like the mosquito, or fly or cockroach or mouse,Ö the list goes on and on. Sin made them turn against us.
And we begin small, because it is easier, but now thing how we sin against one another. Thatís not the way God created us to be. Children were not created to be brats, or troublemakers. Adults were not created to be rude, or selfish or heartless. But sin came in telling us that if we donít take care of ourselves, who will. And it was sin that said, no unto others before they do it unto you. Sin has made the world a pretty rotten place.
But sin is not just what someone else does, its what we do too. And for all this evil we all deserve punishment. Even for one lie, there is not enough we can do in a lifetime to save ourselves from the punishment we earn. And if there was nothing more, then there would be no hope, sin bit us, and we die from its poison.
And yet, there is hope! Not it what we can do, but it the promise of one coming who will crush the serpents head. And from Adam to Noah, thatís about all the promise there was, but it was enough, people believed in one who would come and free us from sin. People died in faith, never having seen the promised deliverer, but they were saved, not by sight, nor because they lived at the right time, but because they remembered this promise and because of this promise, they looked to God in hope.
Not everyone listened, and after a while the world was so wicked that God thought to destroy the whole thing, to wash all the sin away with a flood that we kill all life Ė except for one faithful family who continued to hold the promise. So the flood came, and Noah was spared, and God gave a promise that he would never again destroy all life, but he did give a warning that a judgement would come, and also a promise of his love, and so people continued to hold the promise, and over they years the promise grew, so that little by little it would become more and more clear how God would bring the rule of sin to an end in the coming of a Savior. And now we prepare for this promised saviorís coming. We too believe, for we have seen the effects of sin in our lives, and we have seen that we cannot overcome sin simply by good intentions. And so it is that we turn from our sins and turn to our Savior, preparing room for him in our hearts, and following him to the promise of peace, forgiveness, and life everlasting.