Don’t you think it would help us to understand the story of the 66 books of the Bible if there was a single verse that explained the plot? There is!

“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.” (Genesis 3:15)


Alfred North Whitehead was famous in England as a mathematician, but more famous in the United States as a philosopher. He once cleverly wrote that the simplest summary of Western philosophy is that it is a series of footnotes to the writings of the Greek philosopher Plato. We can adapt Whitehead’s words to Scripture: the simplest summary of the Bible is that it’s a series of footnotes to Genesis 3:15.

The end of the beginning

Genesis 3:15 marks the end of Act 1 of the drama of the Bible’s story. There are more acts to follow. But in Act 1 there are three scenes already: the creation of the cosmos (chapter 1); the creation and purpose of Adam and Eve in particular (chapter 2); and now the tragedy of their sin (chapter 3). We are so used to living in a fallen world—the world between Genesis 4 and Revelation 22 — that it’s natural to feel life has always been the way it is today. We need to be reminded that it wasn’t always like this, nor was it meant to be like this. 

Jesus sticks to the plot

When asked a question about divorce (Matt 19:3-8) Jesus made it clear that he always thought from first principles. And one of these was to ask the questions: What was it like at the beginning? How did God intend things to be? If we don’t do that, we may look at life back to front. And we may even begin to think about God the wrong way round. We may draw the wrong conclusions about what he is like from the mess we’ve made rather than from the world he made in which he made sure that everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

A few questions to consider (Genesis1:26-31)

  • What high privilege did God give us when he created us (v 26-27)?
  • How much did God give Adam and Eve (v 29)? 
  • What word describes God’s attitude to them (v 28)?

Some application

Think about everything you have in this world. The resources you have, the privileges you enjoy, the abilities you have. 

  • In what ways does Satan seek to obscure God’s generosity to you?
  • How do you think many people on earth are obscured from to ever knowing all that God has provided for them?
  • What contribution can you make towards communicating the reality of God’s Grace to those cut off due to lack of access and/or cultural and linguistic barriers?

(extracted from Dr Sinclair B. Ferguson’s “Explore” Daily Devotional on Genesis 3:15 (The Good Book Company)


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