Lion Crushing a Snake by Antoine-Louis Barye
Lion Crushing a Snake by Antoine-Louis Barye

Now I’m not necessarily convinced that the snake in the Garden of Eden narrative is the same figure who appears and tempts Jesus in the desert, but there is a valuable lesson about dealing with temptation, and staying on the narrow path in the whole story.  (And based on the title you can probably guess which passage I’m going to pull out here)

“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.”  ~Gen 3:15

Now some translations read “strike your head and you will strike his heel” or “bruise his heel” but at the end of the day the message is the same: he will deal a fatal blow to you, and you’ll nick his foot.  This would be a serious issue for men like Achilles, but for most the rest of us not so much.  It’s just a bruise, we’ll heal and be ok but that temptation is crushed forever.

Almost.

I’m not saying that the Christian is incapable of triumph here, because clearly we are, but there’s a cost.  This is something that has never occurred to me before.  There is a cost to standing up and fighting off temptation, there is a cost to holding true to what I believe in.  And a bruised heel isn’t all that much, but what if it’s my finances?  My finances aren’t in such great shape that I can take a hit there right now.  Is it a big deal? No but that doesn’t make it any easier.

The point is that a bruised heel is far less than a crushed head, and there is no attack or temptation so poisonous that Grace can’t heal us of it, but there’s still a cost of putting up that fight.  And maybe it’s just a limp for a couple of hours, but then again, maybe it’s a limp for the rest of my life.

Kinda heavy for a Friday but there you go.

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