Tracing the Line of the Promised Seed
Voddie Baucham will be joining us next week for our 2014 National Conference. In 2011 he spoke at our Fall Conference at Reformation Bible College and traced the line of the Promised Seed from Genesis to the Gospels.
God makes a promise in Genesis 3:15. This promise involves the promised seed. He pronounces this promise in a curse against the serpent. The serpent believes exactly what God says which is why in Genesis 4 we have the first murder. What is the first murder? The seed of the serpent, Cain, kills the seed of the woman, Abel. The seed that was promised still had not come to fruition. Eventually you come to a man name Terah who has an offspring by the name of Abraham. God makes a promise to that man named Abraham and this promise involves, among other things, seed. But this promise is rather significant because he and his wife, particularly his wife, too old for seed. So how do you get promised seed if the seed bearing woman is too old for seed? The answer is God must intervene. No? The answer is we’ve got to find somebody else—Hagar. Wrong answer. God didn’t say “a seed,” He said, “the seed.” Ishmael was a seed but not the seed. Isaac is the seed.
Isaac then goes on and they have twins. Which one is it going to be? Certainly it’s going to be the older. No, this is not about birth order, this is about election. “The older will serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). So, it’s not Esau, it’s Jacob. Jacob goes forth and if seed is going to come certainly Jacob has to find a wife. He goes to Laban and he meets Laban’s daughter and falls in love, and thinks he has found the one…one, one, one. Seven years he works, and he gets married and wakes up next to the…other one.
And you thought it was a love story. But it was not a love story, it was an election story. The one whom he loves cannot bear children until way later in the story when she gives birth to a son named Joseph and then one named Benjamin. And then she dies. Joseph is loved above all of his brothers because he was the beloved son of the beloved wife. But he was not the promised seed. The woman that he didn’t even want, when her sister couldn’t have children, she did. And she proceeded to give birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi-the father of the priesthood, and Judah. And as we come to this story, in Genesis 37 we are introduced to Joseph. In Genesis 38 there seems to be a chapter that’s out of place, because now we read about Judah and Tamar, the worst moment in Judah’s life. Why is that there in the midst of this story about Joseph? Because it’s not about Joseph, it’s about Judah.
Well why show Judah at his lowest point? Because God has to redeem Judah for him to take his place as the head of the family and to be identified as the promised seed because of the electing work of God. And so God redeems Judah and in what moment do we see Judah’s redemption? When Judah says to his father, Jacob, “Send me with the boy Benjamin. I know you love him, and if anything happens to him I will be his substitute. Judah goes on to have a son. It’s a great, great, great, great grandson. And his name is David.
David, just like his father Judah, shows up on the scene like this great, great, great, great grandfather of his. And what does he do when he shows up on the scene? When he’s finally identified and the promised seed brings forth his presence with authority. He walks down into a valley where there has been a giant who made this proposition, “Send me a man to fight with me. If he defeats me, we will serve you. If I defeat him, you will serve me.” David goes down, fights the giant as the representative substitute for God’s people; wins victory over the giant, thereby winning victory on behalf of all of God’s people.
And great King David, descendant of Judah, eventually has a greater son who is a greater king who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The New Testament opens up with a genealogy. And basically that genealogy screams: the God who made a promise in Genesis 3 has fulfilled that promise.
These are the line of the promised seed who will crush the head of the snake. And what does King David’s greater son Jesus do? Like his forbearers David and Judah, he stands as a substitute on behalf of God’s elect. Lays down his life, accepts the wrath of God poured out upon him that he might win victory on behalf of God’s people, that all of those who are found in him might be rescued.