December 4: Hostility and Labor Pains

“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head and you will strike his heel. He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort.” – Genesis 3:15-16a

God cursed Satan with a lifetime of hostility against humanity. This hostility entered the world through Eve’s sin and the serpent’s lie. All humanity now lives in this fight against sin. We wear the bruises of our sin on our heels and limp through life.

The first command God gives mankind is, “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Our rebellion against God in Eden made it harder to accomplish His command. Now, filling the earth comes at a cost. Eve’s offspring will enter the world through their mother’s labor and pain.

Women bear physical reminders every month and with every pregnancy that the world is not as it should be. Our bodies cry out for relief – God, remove the curse!

It is no mistake that the curse of Satan and the curse of Eve are both about child-bearing.

Satan’s curse meets its maker in the birth of Jesus. The snake-crusher has come into the world! Jesus has bruised heels, just like the rest of us. But he is the one who strikes the head of Satan, crushing him forever at the cross.

Eve’s pain in childbirth (and every woman after her) is not taken away when Jesus comes. Jesus’ birth was just as painful for Mary as it is for any woman. The curse is not removed yet. 

Mary’s tears, pain, labor, and sweat point to an eternal promise. Jesus crushed the enemy of Eve’s offspring. Though her offspring still struggle with great pain to “fill the earth,” Jesus declares that the pain will not be forever. While we groan for today, we hope for His return when pain will be no more. We are made right with God through Jesus. We long to be with Him soon. Return, Lord Jesus!