When we think of the Christian doctrine of the resurrection we think first and naturally of the gospel accounts of Jesus' resurrection and then of the later New Testament teachings built upon it. But it is a remarkable fact that one of the greatest statements of resurrection faith in the Bible is found not in the New Testament, but in the Old. It is the testimony of Job, and is found in our passage for this week, Job 19:25-27. 

The only power Satan has is power that has been granted to him by God. You can never frustrate the counsels of God. You can only accomplish what you accomplish by working within God’s purposes. You may be trying to oppose God, but, nevertheless, you’re going to be carrying out his purposes. Satan got our first parents to sin, and there was a judgment. But what Satan did not see is that God is also gracious and chose to be gracious with our first parents, as he had not chosen to be gracious with Satan. So in carrying out his hatred against the Son of God, Satan actually accomplished God’s purpose in the atonement.

This struggle between Satan and God’s beloved Son is evident throughout the life of Jesus. Probably the devil worked upon Joseph at the very beginning to suggest to him that Mary was pregnant by another man, and that he should therefore expose her. However, we are told that Joseph planned instead to put her away privately, but nevertheless to turn away rather than provide the protection that God put Joseph into the story to do. It required an angel to come to Joseph. God intervened so Joseph would take Mary under his wing and protect her from the kind of things that would be said and done if she were exposed in that manner.

What God has said here in Genesis 3 is that he is giving a divinely established struggle between the woman and her descendants and Satan. We are terribly depraved, but we don’t automatically assume that Satan is right. That is a blessing that results from the warfare that goes on. We have a fallen spirit within, and that is why we are in dreadful danger all the time of being drawn after Satan—because that within us inclines in his direction. But, you see, it isn’t wholehearted, and there is a struggle involved even when we sin as sinners. When we sin, we want to be happy in it, but we find that we can’t be. That is because this is still a moral universe, and God has set up the antagonism.

It is not surprising that we find a prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament. But what is surprising is how gracious this is. Here is God speaking in grace in the context of the judgment, and I want you to remember that about Christmas. Christmas is God’s grace to people who deserve his judgment. Now what this verse speaks of is enmity. And it speaks of this enmity, or warfare, on three levels—between Satan and the woman, and presumably all human beings; between his offspring and hers; and then, finally, a conflict between the woman’s great descendant Jesus Christ and Satan himself.