Like many of you, there are people I love who have faced the wrath of Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida.
In communicating with them, I heard repeatedly
that their trust was in God,
for He is “The Lord of the Storm.”
Indeed, Scripture clearly reveals He brings both disaster and rescue
for His own good purposes.
One way we have evidence of God’s sovereignty is that the whole Bible hangs together. In fact you can see the gospel truths revealed over and over again by the true stories in Genesis.
Again and again we see this pattern.
In fact, we see it in both the story of Adam and Noah, the bookends of this genealogy of Genesis 5. So this week we will look at Adam, and at the “first gospel,” known as the proto-evangelium.
Then next week we will look at Noah, who repeats the same gospel truth of God appointing trouble and promising a rescue. His name clearly means rest or comfort or relief. These are truths clearly revealed and confirmed in the New Testament. I
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. If you or someone you love was involved in either of these hurricanes and has a God sighting, we’d love to hear it! (Sometimes He holds the storm, and sometimes He holds His child in the storm.)
Monday-Thursday: Seeing the Gospel in the “Proto-evangelium” (I’ll divide this into four days)
While I wouldn’t say the truths in this proto-evangelium are terribly clear, they can be clarified through the New Testament. And indeed, they put me in awe of a God who knows exactly what He is doing and planned to rescue us even before the foundation of the world.
We have two Muslim women who have been attending our church, The Orchard, all summer. One night in my small group this dialogue happened between the woman I will just call “S” and a godly man in The Orchard who has begun visiting named Warren.
S. “I don’t think it is fair that in your religion you have to suffer for the sin of Adam and Eve.
Warren. “S, I don’t like it either.”
S. nods, pleased that she has been heard and understood.
Warren: “But here is what I see in my own heart. I would have done the same thing, because I am constantly straying from the God I love. So the judgment is fair. But S, there is also a rescue promised.”
3. Following the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God pronounced judgment, and in the midst of that, we find “the first gospel,” or the “proto-evangelium.” Read Genesis 3:15.
A. In Genesis 3:15a, there is a literal snake, and then, the one to whom the snake points. First, looking at the literal snake, who must have been upright in the garden, what is his fate?
B. This snake points to another “serpent.” Find who he is in Revelation 20:2.
C. There are two families that begin here – can you see them in Genesis 3:15b?
D. This can be clarified in the New Testament. See them in 1 John 3:10. What are the two families?
E. Last week I asked why the family of Abel could not die out — does this help answer that? If so, explain.
When our son J. R. was just four, we had new neighbors over for dinner. Right after Steve gave thanks for the meal, J. R. piped up with an awkward question for our guests that made me panic and pray.
J. R. “Do you guys love Jesus?”
J. R. “Oh, oh. Do you love the devil?”
New neighbor Dean: “Well, J. R., are those my only choices?”
More nervous laughter.
I don’t remember how we got out of that one, but I remember thinking: Yes, those are your only choices.
There are two spiritual “seeds” or lines that began with the children of Adam and Eve, and have continued ever since. You see them in Scripture and in our own world. Each of us belongs to one of these lines. Cain and Abel were the first sons of Adam and Eve, and Cain murdered his brother, Abel. 1 John 3:11 tells us that Cain “was of the evil one,” so he bore the seed of Satan. Jesus calls Abel a prophet so Abel bore the seed of Christ, and the Lord said that Abel’s blood cried out from the ground for justice, just as “a blood greater than Abel” that of Jesus Himself, cries out for the justice of those who have put their trust in His redeeming blood. The line of Abel continues, for when he was murdered before he could have children, Eve gave birth to another son and named him Seth because “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” (Genesis 4:25) (This is why the line of Abel, the godly line leading to Christ, could not die out! And it did not, for God appointed Seth to take His place.)
As Dante Spencer explains in an article on The Gospel Coalition: “Cain and Abel is not just a story about two brothers at odds, the enmity between them is on a cosmic scale, it is about two seeds – the Cainite line (Gen. 4:17-26) and the Sethite line. (Gen. 5.)”
 Matthew 23:35
 Genesis 4:10
 See Hebrews 12:24
4. In Genesis 3:15, God says he will put enmity between “his” offspring and “her” offspring. What does this mean?
Much of the sorrow that believers may bear, even to death, is the hatred of the “offspring of Satan.” Yet even this is part of God’s sovereign plan. For those of you who wish to go deeper, this is an excellent article from Dante Spencer on the proto-evangelism and this hatred that we as believers will experience.
4. If you read that article, what comments do you have?
5. In the optional but EXCELLENT sermon this week by Tim Keller, he explains that in a patriarchal society it is most unusual for the godly line to be considered from the seed of a “woman.” But that is because God is talking about the only One who was borne of an earthly mother, but not an earthly father. Who was that?
6. What does Genesis 3:15 say? What do you think this means?
Friday: Optional Sermon by Keller (not free but wonderful)
7. Comments on the above?
8. What is your take-a-way and why?