This is the first promise to fallen humanity. It contains the whole gospel and the essence of the covenant of grace, God’s eternal plan to save his people. It has been in good measure fulfilled. The seed of the woman, who is our Lord Jesus, had his hell when his heel was bruised, and a terrible bruising it was. How much more terrible will be the final bruising of the serpent’s head! This was mostly done when Jesus took away sin, vanquished death, and broke the power of Satan. But it awaits a still fuller accomplishment at our Lord’s second coming and in the day of judgment.
To us the promise stands as a prophecy that we will be afflicted by the powers of evil in our bodily life, and thus bruised in our heel. But we will triumph in Christ, who sets his foot on the old serpent’s head. Throughout this year we may have to learn part of this promise by experience as we experience the temptations of the devil and the unkindness of the ungodly, who are the devil’s offspring. They may so bruise us that we are forced to limp with our sore heels. But let us grasp the second part of the text and we will not be dismayed. By faith let us rejoice that we will yet reign in Christ Jesus, the woman’s offspring.