How do you respond to Genesis 3:15?

The Lord promises that he will “put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

This is commonly considered the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. What a glorious and gracious picture of God we are given here! Immediately after the Fall, the Lord promises Eve that one of her offspring shall crush the serpent’s head. The Lord who knows all future possibilities and determines all future certainties resolves that a future ruler from among the human race shall vanquish the deceiver and free humanity from their bondage to him.

A significant portion of biblical accounts that depict the future as exhaustively settled concern the person of Jesus Christ. This should not be surprising for those who hold that the future is partly open and partly settled. Generally speaking, the part that is open is the scope of freedom God grants to his creation. The part that is settled are those events which need to occur, regardless of how free creatures choose to behave, for God to accomplish his goal for creation. God thus providentially sets parameters which define the scope of his creatures’ freedom. And, whenever it is necessary or advantageous for the attainment of his objectives, he even predetermines particular details within these parameters.

The incarnation, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the center of God’s plan for creation, so it should come as no surprise that God exercises more meticulous control over events surrounding Jesus’ life than he normally does. This is part of Christ’s unprecedented uniqueness. The extraordinary level of detailed divine determination surrounding his life, therefore, should not be taken as reflecting the way God always operates. Christ’s life uniquely displays God’s supernatural power precisely because such divine determination is not universal.

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