Do you remember the first promise someone made you? Do you remember the first promise you gave someone?
The first promise someone gave me was when I was a baby and my parents promised me they’d love me forever as they held me in their arms.
The first promise I gave someone? Well, it was probably when I was about 3 years old and decided I wanted to run across the street to visit our neighbors. And as most three year olds don’t think to do, I didn’t look both ways before crossing the street. Thankfully my daddy was quick and was able to grab my arm and pull me away as the driver slammed on the breaks. After a hug (and a correction) he wanted me to promise him I’d never do that again. I haven’t broken that promise.
Promises were engrained in our being ever since the beginning of time, all the way back to Adam and Even. They lived in the Garden that was rich with life the way it was created to be. They could roam the Garden as lions and lambs lived in harmony. There was no guilt, no suffering, no death. The feeling of security was a gift from God to Adam and Eve. Yet that was the first thing they lost.
I think they experienced sin like non of us ever will. We were born with that instinct. They were not. They were good as God designed them to be. It must have been the first-time-ever sickening feeling after they took that bite of fruit they easily accepted from the serpent and that God forbid them to eat.
They had let go of a perfect life that included an intimacy with God beyond words or description. For the first time they felt hollow.
Now they desperately needed something to hold onto…but what?
Before they were at peace and contentment and knew nothing else.
Yet, once they were lured in what appeared to be even better than what they already had, they choose to disobey and fall into the temptation of the tempter. The feeling of regret, shame and the need for something or Someone to save them must have swept over them. They were cast from the Garden yet clung to this obscure feeling of their need of hope.
Adam and Eve longed to start over, as if giving into the evil serpent had never happened. But God had warned them of the consequence of death if they disobeyed. And in the midst of that moment of the realization of the first feeling of brokenness, and every moment since, God still loves and still gives a gift. He gives the gift of hope.
God’s first promise was heard that momentous day when God said out loud to the serpent, Satan.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 . (Catch that 3:15)
This coming Seed that will crush the head of Satan was God’s first promise.
From this point on through Scripture we see the true need for a Savior, Jesus Christ. And still do ever so much today. God promised that through the Seed of Eve (the descendants) would come one day the One who would crush the head of Satan.
This is the first promise of a Savior and the first great act of God’s grace after that tragic disobedient act.
But even though they were full with the chains of guilt from their sin, God was full of grace for them. They just needed God’s word…His promise… that He still loved them. It was the first experience of a promise. It was the first experience of grace.
And remember that number 3:15?
Years later after that momentous day, John, a disciple of Jesus, wrote in his book the new promise that’s the most known Scripture today in verse 3:15:
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That first promise was now fulfilled with this new promise that will never be broken and last forever.
God did and continues to do as He said He would.
After all, God’s the One who created our need for promises.