Genesis 3:14 - 17
In today’s passage we will see the effects or the consequences the fall had on all creation and humanity in particular. Sin has been committed and it must not be overlooked. Because of the man and woman’s disobedience in the Garden and the serpent’s blatant act of deception we see there are consequences for their actions. God is about to dish out his judgment.
Verse 14 – 15: God speaks to the serpent first. Because of his trickery and deception God curses the serpent above all creation. Chapter three begins by calling the serpent craftier that all other creatures and now he is cursed over all creatures. He is cursed to be on his belly and the text implies that he will now slither on the ground.
God speaks of enmity or hostility between the snake and humanity. From a literal perspective some interpret this as a natural hostility between man and snakes but a long-established translation implies much more. From this point on the serpent (who we have come to know as Satan) will continually be at war with humanity. Satan knows that humanity is created in the image of God and He has a special care for humans over all of creation. Thus Satan will spend the remainder of his days trying to destroy and separate us from Him. At first He succeeded. But only for a moment.
Verse 15 - “Protoevangelium” or the first gospel account of the Bible. The Offspring spoken of in this verse refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This offspring of the woman is foretold as being at war with Satan and his “offspring” (his followers; the demons and evil powers). This will be a war for the soul that Satan cannot win. A prophecy is spoken and proclaimed over the serpent.
"He shall bruise your head" – Death, resurrection & redemption. Jesus delivered a fatal blow to Satan and his demonic kingdom because he was the perfect sacrifice for humanity. All who believe will be redeemed and made right with the Father; thus destroying the work of the devil.
You shall bruise his heal – Satan will seemingly celebrate a short and temporary victory as the crucifixion unfolds. The death and rejection of Jesus will be painful and harsh and temporary and non-lethal (bruise his heal). From the offset it will appear Satan has won but in the end Jesus will be victorious.
Verse 16 - The woman’s one time joy in conceiving and giving birth will now be marred through pain and labor. I have not met a woman yet who enjoys the pain and labor of childbirth.
"Your desire shall be for your husband…" From the outside this looks like it could be a positive thing (at least from the husband’s standpoint) but the wording could be better stated “You will want to control your husband.” That may not sound as appealing. Plus the husband shall rule over you, could be read as “Your husband will want to dominate you.” We can paraphrase the last two lines of this verse this way: “You will now have a tendency to dominate your husband, and he will have the tendency to act as a tyrant over you.”  The effects of the fall not only strain the relationship between humanity and God but it also strains the relationship between man and woman. The battle for power in the marriage has begun. She will have the desire to usurp Adam’s headship and Adam will have the sinful desire to rule over or dominate the woman. This will cause a rift in the relationship (and rightly so) that was intended to be a blessing cause unity.
 Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (Ge 3:16). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
Preview or purchase Jeff's Books