“I will put contempt between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. They will strike your head, but you will strike at their heels.”” (Genesis 3:15, CEB).
Evil in the Old Testament is not personified as it is in the New Testament. Depending on your interpretation of the Hebrew word for Satan, meaning adversary, the term is more often a designation than a proper name in the Old Testament.
The Apostle Paul associates the serpent in Genesis 3 with a personified devil: “But I’m afraid that your minds might be seduced in the same way as the snake deceived Eve with his devious tricks. You might be unable to focus completely on a genuine and innocent commitment to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, CEB).
The Apostle John clearly delineates the Tempter in the Garden of Eden as Satan or the devil: “So the great dragon was thrown down. The old snake, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was thrown down to the earth; and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:9, CEB). The word “old” here refers to the fact that Satan’s appearance on Earth was at an early stage of the world’s history and has long been occupied with the task of deceiving and opposing God’s elect.
“The Lord saw that humanity had become thoroughly evil on the earth and that every idea their minds thought up was always completely evil. The Lord regretted making human beings on the earth, and he was heartbroken. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe off of the land the human race that I’ve created: from human beings to livestock to the crawling things to the birds in the skies, because I regret I ever made them’” (Genesis 6:5-7, CEB).
It didn’t take long after the Creation for people to become so evil that God was sorry He created them. Evil must have spread among human beings at an exponential rate.
Evil seems to have grown simultaneously with the human race because God wanted to destroy the whole human race. Apparently everyone, or almost everyone, was evil!
Did God make a big mistake when He created human beings? If the humanity that God created had become thoroughly evil, then did God create evil?
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”(Genesis 3:15, NIV).
In the Creation Story in Genesis 1 God created a good and perfect world populated by vegetation, animals, and human beings. Genesis 2 is perhaps a continuation of the Creation Story–possibly the next chapter in God’s already created order–describing the first people God chose to work His redemptive plans and purposes for all of humanity.
Genesis 3 is a creation story of sorts as it describes the formation of a different kind of world from God’s good and perfect creation–a new world order contrived by human beings. Genesis 3 describes the beginning of evil among humanity and it prognosticates the cosmic conflict between good and evil played out on the stage of this world.
In fact, this cosmic conflict may be the main point of the Creation Story in Genesis 1-3.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20, NASB).
There are those in this world who are trying to tell us what we know is evil is good and what we know is good is evil. Sometimes, they do it openly, but more often than not they do it inconspicuously. And, they tell us it’s for our own good. They say it will make the world a better place.
And, before you know it, we develop a tolerance for evil. Sometimes, this tolerance for evil comes in the form of compromise. And, sometimes, this tolerance for evil comes in the name of “tolerance” itself! And then, those who won’t compromise or don’t demonstrate an acceptable level of tolerance are called “intolerant” or “bigot.”
“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light” (Luke 11:35-36, NLT).
These verses from Luke are an extension of Jesus’ well-known teaching from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:22ff. Light and darkness are metaphors for good and evil.
But, Dr. Luke develops the metaphor more richly in his account by elaborating on the properties of light, specifically, the magnitude and direction of the light. Light travels in a straight line and if it is not bright enough or is deflected by a surface, its radiance diminishes and it can leave dark corners in a particular space.
“At that time men came day after day to help David until there was a great army like an army of God.” ( 1 Chronicles 12:1-22, HCSB).
1 Chronicles 12 records the assembling of David’s army during the years that David was in hiding from King Saul.
What’s interesting about these warriors that joined up with David was that they were defectors! They changed loyalties! They transferred their allegiance!
“Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. Jeroboam reigned in Samaria forty-one years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight…Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher. For the Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and that there was no one in Israel, slave or free, to help them. And because the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel completely, he used Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, to save them.” (Kings 14:23-27, NLT).
Jeroboam II ruled over the northern kingdom of Israel from 793 – 753 BC. He perpetuated the apostate religion established by Jeroboam I, the first king of Israel.