Reading: Genesis 3:14
“Dust shalt thou eat” are the woeful words of the Lord to Satan. This phrase denotes complete humiliation and absolute destruction. In Micah 7:17 it is prophesied against those who oppose the Lord, those who continue allegiance to Satan.
With Satan there was no fear of God or shame for his sin; he had no regrets. Satan exists in perpetual and undiminished hostility against God. God came to the garden seeking Adam, not Satan; there is only doom held out to Satan. God does not question Satan as he does Adam. “The wound was not searched because there was no cure” (Matthew Henry). The reason given for such a pronouncement is because of what he did to humanity: “because thou hast done this” (verse 14).
Here is one of the first and greatest comforts in Scripture and one of the most solemn of warnings. The warning is that this is the lot of all who reject Christ. It is the same as that which the great rebel against God received: eternal and unremitting misery. The psalmist said that the enemies of the Lord “shall lick the dust” (Psalm 72:9); they will share his doom.
But God stepped in between our first parents and condemned Satan because of his crime against humanity. He tempted Eve to eat the fruit; now he must eat the dust. Adam is lifted up out of the dust and dirt of his own sin. Let me be thankful this morning that the would-be destroyer of my soul has been destroyed on my behalf. Let me not return to taste the dust of his domain, the vanities of this world, but “rise up, oh man of God, be done with lesser things.”
“Whence is it that we are become so degenerate, that we should stake them down to these perishing enjoyments? Whence is it, that we, who should soar aloft with God, and were fitted with the fleet wings of meditation and affection, to cut through the heavens in an instant, that we should lie here grovelling in the muck of this world, as if the serpent’s curse were become ours, to creep upon our bellies, and to lick up the dust of the earth.” Ezekiel Hopkins (The Works 1:16)