Slain Serpent: Promised Victory
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
This discussion guide interacts with the corresponding devotional video, Death and All of His Friends Session 8 - Defeated Dragon. Use this post to facilitate discussion and interaction with the Scriptures as you seek God together through his Word.
Each generation in the biblical narrative carried the hope of fulfilling God’s promise to crush the Serpent’s head. Thus we pick up the story in Genesis 5 as a strand of hope woven into the rest of the incredible story of Jesus.
Genesis 5:1 This is the written account of Adam’s family line.
When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
A genealogy is an odd place to look for hope, but that is indeed how the Bible preserves the promise of God, traced throughout human history, ultimately pointing to Jesus. That did not mean that Messianic hopes weren’t high in other days. The days of David really clued some alarms to look for God’s promise to come to fruition.
Have you ever noticed the serpentine description of Goliath? He had “scale” armor. And what did David do? He cut off his head! Was this our hero, was this the one we were waiting for? Alas, David too colludes with the Enemy (1 Chr. 21:1, 2 Sam. 11) and falls into grievous sin. This wasn’t our guy. This wasn’t the long-awaited Son of Eve of Genesis 3.
Alas, it comes in Christ. And vicariously, his Church. Check out this exchange between the reporting disciples who return from mission and Jesus, who sees something remarkable in their work.
Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Jesus is saying that he and his followers participate in the Serpent’s defeat. We actually reclaim territory when we join in the victory of Christ. Look at John’s view of this cosmic reality in Revelation.
Revelation 12:7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”
And so, we live between victories. It’s what theologians call “inaugurated eschatology.” We have a devotional video on it, if you want to go deeper (watch Eschatology 101, Episode 6 - Inaugurated Eschatology). The initial victory, the turning point in the war - Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection - and between the ultimate victory - the realization of the New Heavens and New Earth at the eschaton. So what do we take from this?
We actually participate in Christ’s victory when we are his disciples: the transformation of our compromised human character, the healing of the fragmented cosmos, and the defeat of the triumph over the Enemy.