Saturday, February 13, 2016
Snakes & Satan
Snakes & Satan
Let's consider the Garden of Eden and the part a snake had in the way things turned out. While I don't know the exact timing of everything, I'm using scripture and my imagination to try and get a better picture of what happened that fateful day.
After the beautiful Garden of Eden was humming along nicely, with the first man and woman enjoying their perfectly wonderful life, something happened up in heaven that would greatly affect this new spinning ball called the earth.
Up in heaven, there was a beautiful angel named Lucifer who was an “anointed cherub who covers,” considered wise and perfect in beauty. We know he was there in the garden, because Ezekiel 28:13, tells us, “You were in Eden, the garden of God…” even before the Fall. Pride grew within Lucifer and he began to say in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will be like the Most High” Isaiah 14.
Whoa! No one gets away with that! Lucifer was cast out of heaven for his sin and betrayal of God. Thousands of years later, Jesus described the moment to his disciples, saying, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven” Luke 10:18.
We don’t know where on earth Lucifer fell, but we may be sure it didn’t take him long to find his way to the Garden of Eden where he knew God’s two beloved children were living. He was probably still licking his wounds when he decided to try and wreck havoc on God’s beautiful new world.
So, here we are back in the garden with the first young couple. Now, this was no small garden. It was massive, with four rivers running through it, gorgeous flowers and trees, gold and precious stones probably glittered from stones and hillsides, and the animals were probably lots of fun to watch and play with.God had told Adam and Eve to enjoy everything to the fullest, and that there was only one thing on the whole earth that they could not do – only one thing. They could eat from every single tree, except one. They could not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in that day they would surely die.
Things were going along wonderfully. God was enjoying His visits with His two young children, and they were probably basking in His love. Then, Satan appears on the scene and does what he does best – he undermines God at every opportunity.
I used to wonder why Satan chose to appear as a snake. One thing to remember is that the snake was not as we know it today. At that point, it was just another beautiful animal God had created to be enjoyed. Also, the snake was considered to be “more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made” Genesis 3:1. Ah, the snake was cunning and probably beautiful – two things Satan could use to his advantage.
Most likely, the snake was able to walk upright and, it appears that he could talk as well. Eve didn't seem surprised to hear the snake conversing with her, so it was probably common for it to speak. The first words out of this creature's mouth was to question God, "Has God indeed said....?" Those same words, or words to that affect, have been the ploy of Satan since the beginning of time.
The snake didn't fare too well after being used by Satan. God put him in his place, saying, "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. 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" Genesis 3:14-15.
From the first failure of woman and man to trust and obey, all of humanity has followed in their footsteps. I'm so thankful God did not give up on us. I'm so thankful He gave us hope, even in the garden, and that He sent His Son to crush the head of the old serpent Satan and provide a way for us to regain our relationship with God that had been so badly damaged in the Garden.
~~photo: I took the photo of these snakes, confined to the NC Aquarium in Manteo, North Carolina.