When I was a child, my grandmother read to me from Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So” stories. Several of these began “How the . . . (camel got his hump, leopard got his spots, rhinoceros got his skin, etc.). You might think that this story in Genesis might be titled “How the snake got his crawl.” But the story might just as well be titled, “How Jesus got his mission.” This is the first prediction of the coming of Jesus in the Old Testament. Make no mistake about it, from the moment that you first acted selfishly, from the moment you first disobeyed, from the moment you (consciously or unconsciously) made yourself the god of your own little universe, the devil wrestled you to the dust. And at that moment it became necessary for Jesus to come to save you by crushing that poisonous serpent’s head and to get bit in the process. Those nail holes He suffered at the crucifixion were Satan’s bite, a bite administered not by a literal snake, but by the poison in our own human souls.
Prayer: Dear God, you found me in the dust. Thank you that you love me too much to leave me there. By the blood of your son’s sacrifice, draw out the poison in my soul and enable me to be the kind of person you can delight to walk with again. In Jesus’s name, Amen.