To me, Genesis 3 is the saddest chapter in the whole bible. Adam and Eve’s disobedience destroyed the perfection God intended and now every human who has ever lived on this earth knows the “fallenness” that is this world. Theirs was a choice with far-reaching consequences.
But have you ever wondered… after Adam and Eve ate the fruit and were hiding from God in shame, why would God (who is all-knowing) ask, “Where are you?” Not to sound irreverent, but doesn’t that seem like a stupid question? God totally knew where they were. And then God goes on to ask more questions he already knows the answer to: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
I’ve always wondered why God asks these questions, and not long ago, I was reading a book by Nancy Guthrie, and she gave me a very satisfying answer…
Here we see one of the first pictures in Scripture of what our God is like personally. He takes the initiative to seek after sinners. …God didn’t question the Serpent. There was no need for that since there was no possibility of his redemption (Guthrie, The Promised One, pp 74, 75).
God seeks after sinners because he longs for us to repent. He desired for Adam and Eve to repent, but “instead of making a brokenhearted confession, [Adam] offered an excuse” (Guthrie, The Promised One, p 75).
Amid this extreme sadness, however, God delivered a shocking promise – that a descendent of the woman would defeat the serpent. This promise acts as a backdrop for the rest of the Old Testament. For the Old Testament can be read as the story of God preserving a family line from which Jesus would be born. Right from the beginning, we see this royal line threatened as Cain killed Abel and Cain walked away from God. But God’s plan was always that Jesus would not descend from Cain or Abel. God gave Adam and Eve a third son, Seth, and it was from him that the promised royal descendent would come!
In today’s New Testament reading, we see the promised descendent in danger of being killed by the evil king, Herod. But God, who purposed to preserve his royal line throughout the Old Testament was not thwarted by the plans of an evil king. He warned Joseph in a dream to escape south to Egypt until the threat had passed.
God’s plan of redemption could not – and will not – be overcome by the serpent. Jesus was born! Jesus was crucified. And Jesus will come again!