In the beginning, Genesis describes a God who was mysteriously wonderful, creative, loving, strong, wise, present, personal, and generous.
When the son and daughter of his likeness opened the one gift marked “Do Not Open”— only to suddenly feel as if they had been locked out of the house without their clothes on— he came looking for them.
Instead of raging, the God of Genesis speaks gently to his embarrassed children. He talks about a series of self-opening gifts that would, from now on, be reminders that they were now living in an “as is” world of intermingled goodness and pain.
Then he turned to the Serpent and gave him a gift that could only be partially unwrapped. The LORD God said, 14 “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 and 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.” (Gen 3:14-15).
We now know that a diamond of inestimable worth was wrapped in this lump of coal. But for thousands of years the mysterious gift would remain unopened.
With words of a blessing wrapped in a curse… God went under cover to carry out the greatest of all stings and revelations.
Only, after the fact, could it be announced what God had done— not only to answer the Serpent’s question “Has God said?”—but to answer the implied “Who says your God is as good as he wants you to believe?”