persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; [2 corinthians 4:9]


when i read this verse i can’t help but think of an ancient promise. in the garden of eden. after adam and eve ate the fruit, eve told God the serpent tempted her to eat the fruit. so God spoke to the serpent. this is part of what he said…


and i will put enmity

    between you and the woman,

    and between your offspring and hers;

he will crush your head,

    and you will strike his heel.” [genesis 3:15]


in theological circles this is known as the “protoevangelium,” meaning “first gospel.” theologians call it this because it is the first time in scripture, in history really, that God speaks the promise of a savior who will defeat the enemy.


he will crush your head,

    and you will strike his heel.”


specifically, God is telling the serpent he will strike the man (Jesus), but Jesus will crush the serpent. perceived temporary defeat when Jesus hangs on the cross, but ultimate victory when Jesus rises from the grave and returns to cast the deceiver into the fire forever.


struck down, but not destroyed.


in the midst of persecution and hardship, it can feel like empty words to hear paul say you might be struck down, but not destroyed. but today, i encourage you to hear not just paul’s words, but the words of God, echoing through history. through the story in genesis, and through the Holy Spirit inspired words of 2 corinthians, God is promising ultimate victory in Christ over death and sin and hurt. we will live in the eternal presence of God and we will be his people. but, we can also sit in the presence of God today, through Christ, and hold fast to the hope of his victory over the grave!


and i heard a loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” [rev 21:3–4]


~ keith kozlowski