The Curse of Enmity
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[e] and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
How do you explain the Egyptians? Why are people at odds with each other? Why do people have different religious ideas? Why do people who hate the idea of God hate the people who believe in God? Why the conflict? The word here in Genesis is enmity.
Well, it comes from the curse of Satan above. Satan has offspring? Not literally but people experience that…
Genesis 4-6 presents two different sets of humanity. There is a genealogy in 4 of Cain. This one is obviously not going to go well. And there is a genealogy in 5 of Adam to Noah.
- There is a Conflict of Desire
- God’s desires vs. Satan’s desires
John 8: 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
James 4: What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
- Cain is in conflict with God and kills Abel
Genesis 4: Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.
It is God who does not accept Cain’s sacrifice. Even though it was a sacrifice, it was not what God desired. What we see is that God has standards and we are required to adopt them. We don’t get to just decide what He wants. That would be manipulation and would treat God as less than a real personality. It treats God like a coke machine.
But God does accept Abel’s sacrifice. And this makes Cain very angry. After all, Abel is a man just like him! What makes him better? This enmity against God gets reflected to those who follow Him.
- Desires grow and spiral out of control
Romans 1 is the classic text
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Lamech is our example in
19 And Lamech took two wives.
23 Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.
24 If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”
This growth of desire will culminate in Genesis 6 in the deluge of the flood:
Genesis 6: 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man…
- There is a Conflict of Identity
- Seed of the serpent and the Seed of the Woman
This functions on two levels. Satan hates God. He hates God’s creation. The seed of the Serpent is just what I said above, it is those who follow the evil desires of Satan. Proverbs 14: 12 says “12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
And so, those who follow the wisdom of God will find themselves at odds with the Lamechs of the world. And no wonder because there are different desires.
The desire for pleasure, the desire for possessions and the desire for personal acclaim are the big three desires of Satan. The love of God and love of others the way that God loves is the desire of the follower of God.
So, there is a conflict of identity in the eyes of God.
- Personal Identity Changes
Who are you and why do you do what you do? The answer will relate back to values. This is why God says to Cain:
Sin is crouching at the door
The desire of sin is contrary to you (or it desires to have you)
You must rule over it
And if you do not, then you gain the identity of that sinful pursuit. What is Cain’s identity? Murderer.
- The negative change focuses on self
Genesis 4: 17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
Adah: The adorned one
Naamah: The lovely one
There is no mention of God in the names. There is no focus on God in the personal identity! None of these things is bad, but apart from God giving direction and balance to desire and identity, conflict is the inevitable result. Competition, fighting, openly and in hiding. It’s not personal… it’s just business.
III. Head Crushing and Heel Bruising
- This is Messianic prophecy
Jesus is born of a virgin. That is a literal fulfillment of this prophecy.
- Satan bruises Jesus’ heel on the cross
- Jesus crushes Satan’s head on the cross
As you trust Christ with your desires and identity, you defeat his influence in your life.
This will be through the process of repentance and faith. You will deny self, and pick up your cross. This will be your heel bruising. And if you do this, then you will have your best life and you will crush his head. Because Jesus has already done it and He has shown us to path to do the same.
Desire: deny self, take up your cross daily
Identity: follower of Jesus Christ.
Sin crouches at the door. And you master it because you approach life from God’s perspective. You avoid the spiral into destruction and you walk in life!!