The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and above all the 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 [or crush] your head, and you shall bruise [or crush] his heel.”
When considering the startling exchange between the serpent and Adam’s wife (Gen.3:1-7), questions multiply. How is it that something from the animal kingdom, a serpent, speaks? How does this serpent have such command of knowledge, reasoning, and persuasion? Why isn’t this surprising serpent aligned with the Creator’s command to this couple (cf. Gen.2:16-17)? How is this animal being allowed to deceptively lure the woman toward disobedience?
Progressive revelation via Moses and the Jewish prophets provides the backstory. Previous to his garden sales-pitch, a brilliant, beautiful angel — privileged to serve in the presence of God — chose pride and rebellion. “I will set my throne on high,” he determined. “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). This son of the dawn’s (i.e., Lucifer) rebellion failed to achieve his aim. Cast from heaven, confirmed in sin (14:15), with perhaps a third of the angelic host, God’s enemy still seeks to become “like God” through sinning. Inhabiting a created animal (i.e., a serpent), the angel-turned-devil offers Eve his own twisted passion. “Disobey…and you can become like God” (Gen.3:5).
Shrewdly, the serpent mixes lie with truth as Eve, convinced with a strangely cooperative Adam at her side, chooses to take and eat. In a moment, they plunge themselves, their offspring, and the world (for which they were responsible) into the aggressive cancer of sin, fallen-ness, hurt and tragedy. Tough stuff. The author of sin appears to have won, until…
Until God himself confronts His enemy with a Promise: THE offspring of the woman (noted!), though himself crippled by the cursed-serpent’s strike, will nonetheless crush the serpent’s head. Make no mistake. The Son of God came for a reason -- to destroy the works of the devil (cf. 1 John 3:8).