Tag Archives: Gospel

Christ as the Seed of the Woman

4 Nov

eve
Read Genesis 3

Genesis 3:15
And 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.

Effects of the Fall
Immediately after they ate the fruit, the lights went on, or should I say, out. (Gen.3:7) The loss of innocence led to a feeling of shame. Their guilt is expressed in the awareness of nakedness. This is in contrast to before the fall when they were naked and unashamed.

Redemption is linked to God providing a covering, or Atonement for sin. Gen.3:21 Even the mercy seat is a covering of the ark, which contained the law, which we broke. It was the place where estranged parties were reconciled. Ex. 25:7

They were also now afraid of God. Whereas before, they had fellowship with God, now they saw Him as their Judge. “I was afraid,” Adam admits in Gen. 3:10

There was a change in their relationship; blame and lack of trust; Gen.3:12

They realized they were naked, and went about trying to make themselves presentable, covering themselves with fig leaves. We often do this, too. Many people won’t come to God until they feel they’ve cleaned up their act. They try to cover themselves with the fig leaves of good works, hoping God won’t see that they’re spiritually naked.

The Blame Game
As the head of the family, Adam must give an account of what has been done. He is questioned first, even though God knew Eve ate first. As I said, it’s forever referred to as Adam’s sin, not Eve’s, although they are equally guilty, and equally fallen. He was the representative for all mankind yet to be born, and the head of the family.

“They show their allegiance to Satan by distorting the truth, accusing one another, and accusing God. Their efforts to conceal their sin only expose it.” Geneva Study Bible notes.

Imagine Eve’s shock when he blames her, as if he wasn’t responsible for his own actions. I can imagine her standing there staring at him with her mouth hanging open. Notice he doesn’t try to say he was deceived; that much at least is true. She handed it to him and he ate it. He also subtly blames God, “the woman You gave me.” Gen. 3:12 He implies it was God’s fault for giving Eve to him in the first place.

The Sentence
The Supreme Court of the Universe is now in session. The Judge has heard the testimonies (i.e. excuses), and He is ready to pass sentence. There is no question as to whether He can do this; it is His right as Creator.
For Satan, God doesn’t even ask for his side of the story, but just assigns judgment on him. God knows his motives and what he has done. The first part of the sentence is on the serpent itself, which is a symbol of Satan (Gen. 3:14). The second part is on the Devil, himself.

“Humanity is now divided into two camps: the redeemed who love God, and the reprobate, who love self. This is seen as soon as the next generation in the hostility of Cain against Abel.” Geneva Study Bible notes.

But see the grace of God. Even as He is passing judgment, He is giving us the first promise of a Redeemer. He does not leave them without hope. The woman’s Seed will gain the victory. As sin entered the world through the agency of a woman, so the Saviour of sinners enters the world by way of a woman. Jesus is Mary’s son. He had no human father. The reference to “her Seed” is a clue, as biology teaches us that men have seed, women; an egg. Yet this future Redeemer is “her Seed”, which is contrary to nature. This hints at the Virgin Birth, or rather, the Virginal Conception. It was a normal birth, but a unique conception.

This verse in Gen. 3:15 is referred to as the Protevangelium, or first gospel. We understand it by later revelations, as they unfold and God’s plan of salvation becomes clearer as history unfolds. Yet we know that the theme of redemption is the Bible’s main story line. Even Jesus said as much after His resurrection, when it’s said on the road to Emmaus, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27

It’s been understood that the Seed of the woman is the Redeemer, and crushing the serpent’s head is His ultimate triumph over Satan and his kingdom. We see hints of His human nature as the Seed of the woman, and yet because He is able to defeat Satan, He must be God. He must participate in the nature of those He will redeem, while at the same time he must have the power to subdue all evil. From Genesis to Revelation, this God-man Redeemer is held up as the object of worship. Without this beautiful, life-giving promise, Scripture would be a dull record of historical facts and laws.

This Seed of the woman is more than just a way of saying that mankind will triumph over sin. It’s a particular person, her Seed. Later we’ll also learn He is the Seed of Abraham, (Gal. 3:16) again referring to an individual, but now hinting that He’d come through the Jewish line. Then later we learn it’s in the line of Judah, and later in the family of David.

This promise of the Redeemer was repeated and amplified until He came, so they’d recognize Him.

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In 2 Samuel, Jesus is: The One Who Demonstrates Covenant Faithfulness to Mephibosheth

3 Oct

Mephibosheth

“…like one of the king’s sons” 2 Samuel 9:11b

Read 2 Samuel 9

One of the most beautiful examples of the gospel, as well as adoption and covenant faithfulness is found in the account of King David’s grace extended to Mephibosheth, the disabled son of Jonathan. Here we see a strong and powerful king stoop down to reach out to someone who is everything he is not.

Adoption is something we understand in our society. A family decides to take in a child either because they have no children of their own, or because they want to add to their family. It may be an infant or an older child. The normal process is that the parent searches for the child. The child doesn’t take the initiative and demand entrance into the family.

Likewise, adoption as a theological term is focused on the personal relationships salvation brings. Grudem says, “Adoption is an act of God whereby He makes us members of His family.”

In this account in 2 Samuel, we see King David takes the initiative to search out relatives of Jonathan. He is under no obligation. He is pondering his love for Jonathan and remembering his covenant. He seeks out a descendant of Jonathan merely because he wants to show him favour. David had promised both Saul and Jonathan that he wouldn’t destroy their descendants, as was the custom of kings to put away rivals to the throne. (1 Sam. 20:16, 17, 1 Sam. 24:20-22, 2 Sam. 21:7).

He wonders, “Is there anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” This word kindness can also be translated covenant-faithfulness or grace. A covenant is a contract between two parties.

Grace, according to Chuck Swindoll, “…can mean unmerited favour—extending special favour to someone who doesn’t deserve it, who hasn’t earned it, and can never repay it.”

Notice David doesn’t qualify the request, is there anyone worthy, or qualified? Just, “Is there anyone?” It is enough that he has promised, and he means to keep his promise. David finds a former servant of Saul and inquires again. Ziba knows of a son of Jonathan, but warns David about Mephibosheth’s disability. He may be trying to subtly warn David that Mephibosheth wouldn’t look good in the court of the king. David doesn’t care. He just asks, “Where is he?”

Mephibosheth was the only surviving relative of Jonathan, King Saul’s son. In 2 Sam. 4:4 we read about his crippling accident when he was only five years old. When news came of the death of his father and grandfather, Mephibosheth’s nurse took him and fled. He fell and became lame in his feet. He was now living with a friend, in a barren place. He had no home or property of his own, even though he was the grandson of the king.

Mephibosheth receives a summons. What must he have thought when he heard King David’s servants say, “The king wants to see you.”? Did he feel fear, or merely resignation, knowing this day would come? A summons is not like an invitation to a party, which can be declined. It is a request that comes with authority and if he would not come willingly, it carried the means to bring it about.

Mephibosheth tosses aside his cane and falls at David’s feet, probably expecting a sword to the back of his neck. Instead, what does he receive? The King calls him by name, and says,

“Do not fear.” Comfort

“For I will surely show you kindness…” Grace

“And will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather.” Inheritance

“…and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” Communion

Mephibosheth goes from a place of barrenness to a place of honour. He knows he doesn’t deserve this favour. He refers to himself as a dead dog.

David further instructs Ziba and his sons and servants to farm the former property of Saul, which he has now bequeathed to Mephibosheth. This was probably extensive property. He now has an inheritance to pass on to his own sons. David does this, and yet does not send Mephibosheth away.

He insists on giving him a home in the palace. Mephibosheth will “eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.” This is where we see adoption, with all the privileges we mentioned.

He may be heard coming to dinner, his cane clop clopping on the floors, but once he is seated, the tablecloth of grace covers his crooked feet.

Likewise, we are estranged from our Father because of our sin, lame in our “walk”, our lifestyle. We are in the wilderness with no home of our own, no inheritance, no comfort and no fellowship. Just as Adam and Eve hid from God, we are in hiding because of our sin. Sin causes shame. Then we hear the summons of the King, the effectual call of the gospel. We hear it, recognize its truth, and believe it. We agree with the Word of God. We know we are deserving of judgment, not mercy.

God the Father searched us out, not because we were loveable, but because of the love He has for His Son. He has promised to give His son the nations for His inheritance. That’s us! So He decides to take us into His family. He is under no obligation to do so. He adopts us.

He gives us the family name: Christian, which means, “little Christs”. There is to be a family resemblance in character to our Heavenly Father, who is holy, and our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. We love those who are now our brothers and sisters. We know that our conduct matters. If, in a human family the actions of one cause either shame or honour to the whole family, how can we live as if we were not bearing the family name, Christian?

We can now have comfort with no fear of condemnation. He shows us grace that we don’t deserve, haven’t earned, and can never repay. He takes care of our needs. He leads us. He disciplines us as children. He makes us heirs with Christ.
Think of that! Such an inheritance! What can the world possibly offer us? And we have communion with this One through prayer, through His word, and we will one day see Him face to face.

We also have the privilege of suffering with Him. “…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Rom. 8:17

For those of us without fathers, He is the Father of the fatherless. What a privilege to be adopted into THIS family!

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1

“Jesus doesn’t invite us to the table because we are an outcast, forgotten or limping, he asks us to sit with him because of who our Father is, simply because we are a part of his family.”Wendy van Eyck

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