Genesis 3:1 - 24
ESV - 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'? 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden.
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Was Satan the serpent mentioned in Genesis 3? In Genesis 3, the writer introduces the serpent as the most cunning or subtle of all animals ever created. The Bible teaches in Genesis 3:1 (NKJ) saying, "now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made." This appears to confirm that the serpent was one of the animals that God had created and placed in the Garden of Eden. Its cunningness had perhaps been noticed on previous occasions. According to the NKJ 2007 Bible concordance, the Hebrew word for "cunning" sounds like the word for "naked", perhaps symbolizing the boldness and naivety with which this creature acted. He probably had a convincing power of speech or deception. We know from the New Testament teaching that Satan is the father of lies and was a liar from the beginning (John 8:44). Satan is also known for influencing human thought for his evil purposes. The Bible exhorts us to submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7). Submitting to God gives us the platform and position of strength from which we can by God's power and by the authority of His word resist the enemy. We are weakest when the word of God is least incubated in our hearts. It is easy to overlook the first part of James 4:7 regarding submission to God and focus more familiar on the second part which speaks of resisting the devil! The two must however be read together! Satan used Peter in his cunning attempt to waylay Christ from the way of the cross but Christ, knowing the voice of Satan, rebuked him directly for that even though we know that Peter literally spoke the words (Matthew 16:22-23). We can therefore conclude that Satan used the serpent to achieve his evil purposes in bringing about the disobedience and fall of Adam and Eve from spiritual perfection. The serpent was therefore not Satan per se. Satan however used him at that point in time. Since God punished the serpent for his individual responsibility in tempting Eve into disobedience, we can infer that the serpent willingly permitted Satan to use him and perhaps had a choice to refuse to cooperate with him. He appears to have had a will of his own. Notice that the entire judgment passage is captured in a poetic form in the KJV and the NKJ suggesting further that it may have been the subject of a Hebrew poem (Genesis 3:14-19). In conclusion we can therefore surmise that the serpent was a distinct and separate creature from Satan but like other living creation, the serpent was not immune to the subtlety of Satan. This passage teaches us that even though Satan uses subtlety to achieve his wicked objectives, we have the responsibility to discern his tactics and reject his advances. We also learn from 2 Cor. 2:11 that believers should not be ignorant of the devices or tricks of Satan. Paul wrote this Scripture in the context of beseeching the Corinthians to forgive and restore the offender so that Satan does not take advantage of his circumstances to draw him away from the faith. Jesus overcame Satan by relying on the word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). Adam and Eve fell because they doubted the word of God and instead hearkened to the voice of Satan. David proclaims in Psalm 119:11 (NKJ) saying, "Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." Let us keep the word of God close to us so that we may overcome Satan.
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