The Garden Serpent

7 February 2021 PM – Genesis 3 – Gen2021 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The serpent in Genesis 3 was no ordinary serpent, but a serpent acted and assisted by the devil. In Revelation 12:9, we read, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Somehow, Satan worked in and through the serpent to tempt Eve. Satan is our enemy!
            What are we to do? God does not tell us to fight the devil, but rather to resist him (Jas 4:7; 1Pe 5:8-9), to stand armed against him (Eph 6:10-18), and to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Re 12:9-11).
Transition: This evening I want us to examine Satan’s Source, Subtlety, Success and Sentence that we might better resist and overcome him.
  1. Satan’s Source
a.         When did he originate?
1)         Satan was originally an angel created by Christ. (Colossians 1:16) “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
2)         God created millions of angels as his ministers. (Hebrews 12:22) “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,” (Daniel 7:10) “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
b.         How did he become evil?
1)         Two OT passages written about evil kings appear to have dual meanings describing Satan’s fall.
a)         In Isaiah 14:12-14 we read, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” This can hardly be describing a mere human. Satan or Lucifer had evil ambitions of becoming God. He was ruined by pride, self-promotion and self-gain. Jesus said, (Luke 10:18) “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” He must have fell after God declared His creation to be perfect and before Genesis 3:1.
b)         In Ezekiel 28:11-19, we find another description that cannot be just about an evil king. (Look up). From this, we learn that he was perfect in beauty (Eze 28:12), in the Garden of Eden (Eze 28:13), covered with precious stones (Eze 28:13), he was created musical (Eze 28:13), he was an anointed cherub (Eze 28:14), he walked in God’s presence (Eze 28:14), he was perfect until iniquity was found in him  (Eze 28:15), and he became proud of his beauty (Eze 28:17).
2)         In pride, Lucifer rebelled against God. God hates pride. (Proverbs 8:13) “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
  1. Satan’s Subtlety
a.         God said he was the most subtle
1)         Note God’s descriptions of the serpent, which was evidently indwelt by Satan (3:1). He was more subtle than any beast of the field that God had made.
2)         The snakes we know can be very subtle (i.e., difficult to detect, hidden), but this Satan-possessed serpent was the most subtle.
b.         His actions were very subtle
1)         We cannot help but wonder how Eve talked with a serpent as easily as she talked with Adam. Were Adam and Eve originally able to communicate audibly with the animals? Something to ponder!
2)         We must also remember Eve’s qualities. She was probably the most intelligent woman who has ever lived. She was sinlessly perfect. She had no sin nature. She had never experienced sin, lust, rebellion or disobedience. Her passions and desires were absolutely pure. She had nothing lacking. She was enjoying a perfect marriage. She had perfect fellowship with the LORD God. For us, on the other hand, none of this is true. She had an advantage that none of us has, thus Satan had to be VERY subtle to deceive her.
3)         Satan through the serpent subtly deceived Eve.
a)         He questioned God’s goodness. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (3:1).
b)         He questioned God’s truthfulness. “Ye shall not surely die.” (3:4).
c)         He claimed that God was withholding from her, “you will be as gods” (3:5).
4)         What was he saying? God is not good, you will not die, you will become like God. There is no absolute truth, no consequences of disobedience, and no limits of what you can become. Sounds like modern ideas!
3.        Satan’s Success
a.         He deceived Eve
1)         Verse 6 implies that the serpent ate from the forbidden tree to show her that it was good for food. She saw that it was eatable. She saw that it pleasant. She believed that it would make her wise. Here we have the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life (cf., 1Jn 2:16).
2)         Satan deceived her and she ate of the forbidden fruit. How could she fall for his trick?
b.         Adam followed suit.
1)         Eve gave of the fruit to Adam. He knew what it was. He knew it was wrong to eat it. Satan did not deceive him. Adam, being the family head, he was more guilty, though both sinned against God. (1 Timothy 2:14) “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
2)         By their sin, they lost their innocence and passed on their sinful nature to the entire human race.
4.        Satan’s Sentence
a.         God cursed the serpent for his part
1)         God first cursed the serpent (3:14).
2)         How had the serpent previously moved about???
b.         God cursed Satan
1)         God placed a hatred between the woman (including man) and Satan. They had talked as friends in the garden, but never again. Perhaps God here blocked communication between animals and man. Perhaps God here blocked friendly communion between Satan and humans.
2)         God placed a hatred between Satan’s seed (unbelievers) and Eve’s seed (believers).
a)         Satan tempts with wiles [deceit] (Eph 6:11), sexual desires (1Co 7:5), deception (2Co 11:14), physical ailments (2Co 12.7), provocation 1Ch 21:1, lying (Ac 5:3).
b)         He is a liar (Jn 8:44); deceiver (Re 12:9); accuser of the brethren (Re12:10); and our enemy.
3)         God promised to bruise or crush Satan’s head, though he will crush the heel of the woman’s seed (i.e., Christ).
Conclusion: Since Satan was subtle enough to deceive Eve, we know that he has no trouble deceiving us. We are no match for him. What then can we do? We must resist his temptations from the very start. Do not let him lure you to the “tree”. (James 4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” We must wear the armour God has provided us [stand on God’s truth, wear God’s righteousness, claim God’s peace, have faith in God, memorise and use God’s word, pray and watch] (Eph 6:10-18). In Revelation 12:9-11, God tells us that the tribulation saints overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony unto death. We must claim victory through Christ.
Song: There is Power in the Blood – 198