THE PROMISE OF A SAVIOR…
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.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Ever since I can remember I’ve looked forward to being a mom. When that first pregnancy test turned positive, I could barely hold in my elation at the anticipation of all that was to come. Normal, everyday thoughts were quickly replaced by frequent daydreaming of matching nursery decor, adorable baby outfits, sweet baby smells, and picture-perfect moments of my husband and I cuddling our newborn while peaceful music played in the background.
And then our baby was born.
He was a miracle and absolute gift from God, to be sure. And we loved him with a fierce, unshakeable love right from the start. But it didn’t take long for us to realize that along with bringing us much joy, this child would challenge us and rebel against us in ways we could have never imagined. This colicky baby would grow into a “spirited” preschooler, and in those pivotal developmental years we would spend hours upon hours in constant training mode. If you’ve ever experienced parenting a strong-willed child, you know that it’s not for the faint of heart.
During one especially rough season – when we felt like all we ever accomplished was the ceaseless addressing of rebellion in our son – I remember walking into the room to find my precious boy on his daddy’s lap. There had been plenty of times that we’d handled it all wrong. But as tears streamed down my husband’s face, he spoke gentle words of truth and hope over this child who couldn’t stop sinning.
His father’s love met him in his sin.
In his compassion he didn’t let the story end there.
He spoke of a redemption that covers all.
You see, even though my son’s choices had gotten him into this mess, there was no way we were giving up on him. As his parents, our love was too deep; our mission too strong. The reason for our hope in the midst of the chaos?
The promise of a Savior…
With Advent season upon us, it would be easy to daydream straight into thoughts of trendy Christmas decor, coordinating family photo outfits, the sweet sights and smells of the season, all while listening to Bing Crosby swoon us with his peaceful holiday lullabies.
But our reading today takes us back to the startling reality of how it all began; back to the very reason a Savior came down from heaven and was born in Bethlehem on that first Christmas night.
Following the miracle of creation and everything that was good and right in the world, we only get three chapters into Genesis before rebellion enters the scene. Satan tempts, and in an effort to have it their way, Adam and Eve rebel against God and sin enters the world. And what I can’t even wrap my mind around today as I read these verses over and over, is that while God immediately cursed the serpent (Satan), he behaves opposite of an exasperated parent and didn’t go straight into cursing Adam and Eve.
Instead, God uttered the first promise of a Savior.
This introduction of Hope to come would continue to be prophesied throughout Scripture, and with it came a message of redemption to a people who couldn’t stop sinning. Jesus would come to live a life we could never live and die a death we should have died. On the cross, Satan would “bruise” Jesus’ heel, but that wouldn’t be the end of the story. An empty grave would introduce a risen King, and God would crush Satan’s head in a fatal blow, declaring His victory and authority over Satan once and for all.
“God delights in mercy. Before He pronounces a curse on man and woman, before He expels them from the garden, He gives them salvation hope, hope of regeneration that they will hate Satan and see him as an enemy, and they will love God. That there will come a Savior; there will come One who will conquer Satan and therefore conquer sin. Even though He in the conquering will be bruised, He will crush that deadly enemy. What an amazing promise. What a gracious God. And it is here that the gospel begins.” – John MacArthur
Praise God for a compassionate, merciful Father who never gives up on us. His love is too deep; His mission too strong.
His love met us in our sin.
In His compassion He didn’t let the story end there.
His redemption covers all.
From the very beginning, we’ve rebelled against You. From the very beginning, You promised a Savior. Great are You, Lord…
At His feet,
*Let’s Talk: In the comments today, tell us where you’re from and one goal you hope to accomplish during this study…
Week 1 Challenge: Each time you see Christmas lights this week, stop and thank God for sending the promised Savior: Jesus, the Light of the World.
Week 1 Video: For this week’s video, we invite you to shift your focus onto Christ and worship with us…
Week 1 Reading Plan:
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Today begins our four-week Advent study, God With Us!
In the Old Testament, the people of God looked forward in anticipation to the coming of the Messiah. This Advent required lots of waiting, trusting, and patience. Even now we are in a season of Advent, aren’t we? We are waiting expectantly for our Savior to return; to rescue us, once and for all, from the presence of sin and fear, to make all things right and beautiful, and for us to dwell in His kingdom and walk forever by His side. The Advent we are in also requires waiting, trusting, and patience. But the great news? The hope that Israel had is the same hope that we have today.
In this 4-week Love God Greatly Advent study, we will look at some of the Old Testament promises of the Savior and the humility that would characterize Him. We will study why He came and the response of various people in the Christmas story, including how we too should respond to Jesus and His coming.
Emmanuel…God with us. This indeed is very good news!
Journal with us (grab your copy on Amazon TODAY!) as we dive into God’s Word together…reading and writing what God speaks into your heart along the way. For more encouragement, join us online for further insights, community, and content to supplement your time in God’s Word!