So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust 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 your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
Though, perhaps hard for us to fully understand, the serpent was cursed with a greater curse than that of the rest of God’s creatures for its role in the temptation and fall of mankind. Not only would it have to die, but it would spend its life on its belly, eating the dust of the ground.
There would be enmity between the serpent and the woman, and between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. This enmity is much more than a normal distaste for snakes and even destroying them when the opportunity arises. It speaks of the offspring of the devil’s lie and the Seed or offspring of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head and undo the damage done by the temptation of the devil in the garden.
The devil would fail in his attempts to deceive and mislead the promised Seed of the woman — Jesus Christ, Son of God and Mary’s Son — for Jesus did not give in to the devil’s temptations but was holy and without sin (cf. Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15).
And, Christ Jesus, when He suffered and died upon the cross for the sins of the world, paid in full the punishment for all mankind’s sin and destroyed the devil’s work, opening up for all of us a way of salvation through faith in Him and His shed blood (cf. Hebrews 2:14-17). And so, though the old evil foe bruised the heel of Christ Jesus when He suffered in agony upon the cross, Jesus crushed his head and destroyed his evil work, opening up for us the gates to heaven, by paying in full for all our sins and then rising again from the dead on the third day.
The devil used God’s holy law to bring about mankind’s condemnation by tempting Adam and Eve to disobedience and bringing them under the curse of the law. Jesus, true man as well as true God, obeyed God’s law in the stead of all mankind and then suffered the just punishment for the sins of the world, rising again in victory on the third day, that the law would be fulfilled for all mankind and the just punishment for all sin fully satisfied. Cf. Galatians 3:10,13.
It is also true that there is enmity between the offspring of the devil (the unbelieving) and the children or offspring of God through faith in Jesus Christ (the believers). Thus, true believers continue to suffer hatred and persecution here in this world from those who do not trust in Christ Jesus or follow Him. But, in the end, all who have not trusted in the innocent sufferings and death of God’s Son for their salvation will be condemned and cast into the eternal torments of hell; and all who have trusted in Christ Jesus will live forever with Him in the paradise of God (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10).
In Jesus’ own words, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life … He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16,18).
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of man, thank You for redeeming me from the curse and condemnation of God’s holy law by keeping it perfectly in my place, bearing my punishment upon the cross and then rising again on the third day. Graciously keep me trusting in You, and You alone, for my salvation. Amen.[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]