devos from the hill

Before There Is a Problem, God Has the Solution

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God’s first promise of a Deliverer.
Lesson 20 from The HOPE Study Guide

INTRODUCTION

And the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

– Genesis 3:14–15

And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

– Genesis 3:21

Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.

– Genesis 3:23–24

So God made for them garments of animal skin. This was an acceptable covering. But it was only a partial remedy, for it did not take away the sin…and though they could not understand it at the time, it was a picture of the price God would ultimately pay to free humankind from sin. God sent Adam and Eve out from the garden, lest they eat from the tree of life and walk the earth forever, never knowing life as it was meant to be. As for Satan, God pronounced a judgment on him. And in that judgment we find God’s first promise, that one day, through a descendant of Eve, God would send a deliverer to defeat Satan forever.

– The HOPE, Chapter 3

OBSERVE & CONSIDER

Often in life, we must hear the bad news before the good news means something to us. The first four lessons in Chapter 3 dealt with some ugly stuff – Satan and sin. But in this, the final lesson of the chapter, we turn a corner. This section shows us (as we shall see throughout this study) that God has a beautiful plan that will not be thwarted.

Before going further, be sure you’ve read the preceding lines from The HOPE and the verses from the Bible. Then, let’s consider some key points in each set of verses.

Genesis 3:14-15 – Here we read about the judgment that God pronounced over Satan. In the final part of this judgment, God says something that may not make sense at this point, but its meaning will become increasingly clear as we move through His story. God is speaking of someone who will come from the seed of the woman. He will be bruised by Satan, but the bruise will not be fatal. Satan, however, will suffer a more severe bruise from this promised one, a bruise to the head. Further into God’s story, we will learn that this one, whom The HOPE calls the Deliverer, will one day free the world from Satan, sin and death. In the Bible He is also known as the Christ and the Messiah. In Romans 16:20 (and in other verses), we read of His victory over Satan, “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…”

Genesis 3:21 – Even though God promised an ultimate victory, Adam and Eve still had to deal with their shame. The covering of leaves they made was not adequate, so God made them another one, of animal skins, and they accepted it. This provision addressed the immediate problem of their shame. It also foreshadowed the complete and final covering for the sin of mankind that God would ultimately provide through the promised Deliverer …a covering that would also require a death, as was the case with the animals, whose skins where used to cover Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:23-24 – Finally we see that God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden, away from the tree of life, and He posted angels at its entrance to keep them from returning. This appears to be a tragic ending to what could have been a wonderful story. But consider what would have happened had Adam and Eve returned to the tree of life and eaten. They would have lived forever in bondage to the sin that infected them, and God’s plan for humankind would have been altered, something that God would not allow! Even in judgment, God is merciful.

What we have considered in today’s lesson is a preview of God’s plan to free humankind from Satan and the curse of sin forever. When we arrive at the final page of God’s story, we will understand that God had this plan even before creation. In other words, God had the solution even before there was a problem.

ASK & REFLECT

  •  What do the verses we have considered  in this lesson teach us about God?
  •  Is there something in your life that seems hopeless? Do you think that God is surprised by your situation, or could it be that He already has a plan to deliver you?
  • Just as God put a boundary on Adam and Eve regarding eating of the Tree of Knowledge, can you think of boundaries that God has placed in your life – boundaries that when crossed have resulted in experiencing God’s mercy?

DECIDE & DO

Much of what we have seen in this section will take on greater meaning as we continue in God’s story. Some people give up too soon on God and His plan for their lives. Hold on to what you have learned about God so far. Don’t give up on God just because you can’t see how God is going to work out your situation. Be confident! God has a plan!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB

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