24 Days of Advent Scripture Devotionals

Day 2 – The Epic Battle of History

Landscape with Temptation of Christ – Joos de Momper

Genesis 3:15

This verse from the third chapter of Genesis is the first Messianic prophecy in the scriptures. After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they and all of their future offspring were cursed. But the tempter, the serpent Satan, received a very interesting pronouncement that sealed his future doom.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. – Genesis 3:15 NKJV

Her “Seed” here refers to one of Eve’s future descendants, specifically the Messiah, who would battle Satan. The painting above is a depiction of Satan’s Temptation of Christ. After fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, Jesus was tempted and he resisted the enemy. As a human, He defeated Satan! This should give us hope that we too can resist temptation if we rely on the truth of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

This painting shows the cross which is where Satan received his death blow to the head and Christ received his “bruise on the heel” predicting that he would prevail in the battle. Satan tempted the Lord by promising that he could avoid the suffering and shame of the cross and gain the world if only Jesus would bow down and worship him. But Christ knew that it was only through his perfect sacrifice on Calvary that he would win our salvation. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Also in this prophesy, Messiah is referred to as the Seed of Eve, a woman. Biologically, we would say that the seed comes from the man so why wasn’t Messiah prophesied to be Adam’s seed? What we find here is a foretelling that the promised one would be the God-man, born of a virgin.

We read in the Gospel of Luke where this prophesy was fulfilled.

Luke 1:26-38

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

The Protestant reformer Martin Luther wrote both the words and music to this hymn in 1529. It is not traditionally sung at Christmas but it puts things in perspective regarding “Lord Sabaoth” who “must win the battle”!

Robert J. Morgan writes in “Then Sings My Soul”: The original version is written in German, “Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott” and this is a difficult hymn to translate because the original German is so vivid. At least 80 English versions are available. The most popular in America was done by Frederic Henry Hodge.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

About 24 Verses

24 Verses is a blog advent calendar with one verse of scripture per day from December 1 through December 24. Each day we will feature a verse of scripture related to the Messiah's birth, death and resurrection.

Use the navigation links in the sidebar to follow each day or look at scriptures from the different books of the Bible.