So…“Why is the world so fascinated with/prone to violence?” As I reflected on this passage this past week, I was reminded over and over that ours is a culture of violence. Not only the seemingly senseless acts like that of mall shootings, school shootings, drive-by shootings, violence in the schoolyard, the workplace and behind the closed doors of many homes, but also the violence we celebrate in movies, at sporting events, in music, on TV… Like we said last week, God created a perfect world. All that He made was good, including the man and his wife. It was paradise…heaven on earth. What happened? Again, it’s difficult to describe the catastrophic results of a single act of rebellion. Welcome to life as we know it. Every act of violence, every natural disaster, every awful thing that has happened since is a direct result.
Cain’s act of violence…murdering his brother Abel…was just the first in a series of acts of violence that have colored the history of mankind blood red. Death would be a natural result of the curse, but murder is a microwave version that exposes the darkness of sin. It’s a direct result of the enmity, the hostility that the seed of the serpent (wicked) have toward the seed of the woman (righteous).
What is violence? It’s an affront to the image. Every act of violence is a physical attempt to eradicate the image of God. It flows from the serpent who is the enemy of God and of what’s good. And the ironic thing is, that the enmity is not just between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, but also between seeds of the serpent (and if we are honest, between seeds of the woman as well). When we celebrate violence, you can bet the serpent’s pleased.
But the good news…the bookends of this entire episode both include reference to the LORD and the hope of Genesis 3.15, that LORD would send the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman to defeat the serpent, to rescue us and all of creation, to provide the way back to Creator God. And He did just that in the Person of Jesus who absorbed every act of violence from the murder of Abel to the last violent act that will be perpetrated on planet earth when He was nailed to the cross. The innocent died for the guilty, so that we might be reconciled to our Creator by His grace through faith in Jesus.
But what about you? Violence is one aspect of suffering that is the result of sin. Along with pride, it reflects the character of the serpent, who we are told, was a murderer from the beginning. He likes nothing better than to see the image destroyed. Those of us who have trusted in Jesus…the seed of the woman…are at war with the seed of the serpent. Yet, as Paul reminds us, our struggle is not against flesh and blood…our warfare is against an unseen enemy and not against the captives he’s taken hostage. We are on a rescue mission – braving the horrors of hell to pull folks out. We are our brother’s keeper. Hope is possible because the Head-Crushing Seed of the Woman has already come and has defeated the Adversary. And now we wait with all of creation for the time when He will come back to set all things right…for the new heavens and the new earth.
My prayer for us this week is that we would war against a culture of violence in our own lives…that we would see others as image-bearers, that we are our brother’s keeper, and that we would join God in His grand rescue mission of pulling folks out of the flames of hell.
Until next time…stay salty.
This post is based on our Genesis series. Listen online at:http://www.centralchristian.org, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster