There are many key verses in the Bible. With the possible exception of John 3:16, no Bible verse is more crucial than Genesis 3:15. Please note that Genesis 3:14 tells us that God is speaking to the serpent, and Genesis 3:15 tells us that God is speaking to Satan who inhabited the animal. Genesis 3:14-15 is God’s curse on the serpent/Satan. The serpent shall travel on its belly and eat dust. To eat dust is to know defeat.
Prophecy accounts for about one fourth of the Bible. About half of all Bible prophecies have already been fulfilled. In the first messianic prophecy, God said He would defeat Satan through the offspring of the woman (Genesis 3:15). God gave a promise of a deliverer to come to save humankind. Genesis 3:15 is often called the protoevangelium (literally, “first Gospel”), because it is the Bible’s first prediction of a Saviour.
The first messianic prophecy was announced soon after the fall of humans (Genesis 3:1-6). Adam’s wife sinned against God as a result of Satan’s clever arguments. She was convinced that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would make one wise. She wanted both herself and Adam to enjoy that blessing. So that is why she gave the fruit to her husband. Adam also sinned against God because he disobeyed God’s command not to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:16-17).
Genesis 3:15a speaks of “enmity”, which means “hatred.” Satan succeeded in seducing Adam and his wife away from God. But he failed to win their allegiance for himself, for God announces here that he is putting enmity between Satan and the woman (Genesis 3:15a). Mutual hatred will exist between Satan and the woman.
God also establishes an enmity between Satan’s offspring and the woman’s (Genesis 3:15b). Since Satan does not have offspring, Genesis 3:15b probably refers to an enmity between the ungodly descendants of the woman, and the godly descendants of the woman. The conflict that began between Satan and the woman continues up to the time of Jesus and beyond.
Satan will strike Jesus’ heel (Genesis 3:15d). This part of the first messianic prophecy was fulfilled. On the cross, Satan bruised Jesus’ heel, causing his death. Though bruised, the damage done to Jesus was not final, for Jesus came back from the dead on the third day, breaking the power of death.
Jesus will crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15c). This part of the first messianic prophecy was fulfilled. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. Satan’s power over humans was broken by Jesus. Satan has been defeated. Although Satan continues to fight on, his fate has been sealed (Revelation 20:10). Until that time, there remains enmity between Satan and all followers of Jesus. The Church has been empowered by Jesus to continue to battle until Satan is fully defeated.
From the first messianic prophecy (Genesis 3:15) we know that God always had the plan of salvation in mind and informed us of his plan as soon as sin entered the world. God’s mercy endures from generation to generation. Jesus took our curse (Galatians 3:13). He became a curse so that we might be set free to live to God through Him. That is Good News for all believers.