Sure they look soft and cuddly but they may be decoys for a more sinister objective. Beware!
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, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.(ESV)
What questions come to mind when reading this portion of scripture?
- Is a snake more crafty than a squirrel, pig, or cow? Maybe it’s the lisp they speak with.
- Was talking animals a common occurence in the garden of Eden? I think I might have been a bit suspicious of a talking snake encouraging me to disobey God.
- Was Adam prohibited from cutting down and making a bonfire out of the poisonous tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
- Was Adam standing there not saying anything the whole time the serpent was tempting Eve, v.6 says Eve “gave some to her husband who was with her”?
- Would it have been wrong for Adam to have bashed the serpent in the head with a rock?
What observations did you make from this section of scripture?
- Only two trees were specifically mentioned, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. see Genesis 2:15-17
- Satan knows scripture and is very good at twisting it for his purposes.
- Eve added to God’s command of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, to also not touch it. Perhaps Adam didn’t relay it to her correctly. Which may have added to the temptation as I can imagine the serpent holding the fruit and not suffering any ill effects.
- The more you think about yielding to a sin the more desirable it becomes and the more likely you are to fall to it.
- Immediately after eating this wonder fruit, the first bit of knowledge they received, hey we’re naked, resulted in shame, which is almost always the first consequence of sin.
This section of scripture reminds me of the time Jesus was tempted by satan. How did Jesus respond to the temptations? By accurately quoting scripture in the face of each temptation. In both instances satan quoted and/or misquoted scripture.
Temptation of Eve
1 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, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
What did God actually say?
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
So we see satan masquerading as a serpent, misquoting God by adding one word, not, and negating what God said and thereby creating doubt in Eve’s mind as to the goodness of God.
How does satan work? It seems the first thing he attempts to do is create doubt in God; in His faithfulness, in His trustworthiness, in His character. What was his first question to Eve?
Serpent: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Eve: Well, not exactly He said we should not eat from just that one tree or even touch it for that matter.
Serpent: Oh really? (As the serpent picks one of the fruit and takes a bite) You know the real reason God doesn’t want you eating from this tree, He’s selfish, He’s afraid, He’s mean, He doesn’t want you to be like Him.
Eve: You know those are the best looking fruit in the entire garden, the serpent just ate one and he seems fine, it looked incredibly juicy, and my goodness, if I will become as wise as God – why wouldn’t He want us eating any of these? He doesn’t care about us and what we need, we’re practically starving and He’s keeping the best for Himself!
A few thoughts here,
- God’s plans are always for your ultimate good. He loves you and gave His son to die for you.
- Satan is a liar and deceiver, he hates God and you, his only desire is for your harm.
- You better know scripture better than the devil because he is going to misquote it.
- Anytime anyone or anything has you questioning the character of God, satan is behind it.
Temptation of Jesus
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your Godand him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.(ESV)
Satan: If you are really the Son of God, why don’t you prove it to me by turning these stones into bread and eat some, after all you must be hungry after fasting for 40 days.
Jesus: Deuteronomy 8 says:3 “And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.“
Satan: Oh, ok, so you’re living by everything God says then why don’t you throw yourself from the top of the temple because scripture says “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Note: Satan is quoting Psalm 91:11-12, though he left out part of it. “11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”
Jesus: Deuteronomy 6 says: 16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.
Satan: well….well….uh…ok….I tell you what, here’s my best offer, fall down and worship me and I’ll give you the world!
Note: Jesus doesn’t debate with satan over whether he could deliver on his promise, He focuses on the bigger issue.
Jesus: Deuteronomy 6 says: 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
Jesus did not for even a second consider anything other than the Father’s will and that’s how it should be for us. When temptations arise, ask yourself if this in part of the Lord’s will for you and does if conform to scripture, all of scripture, not parts taken out of context?
Beware the wiley one.