One of the things that the enemies of the Bible joke about is the talking serpent in Genesis 3, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman [Eve], ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 1 How can people believe in a talking serpent?
# The serpent that talks.
Since when do serpents ask questions about what God said? This should alert us to the ‘strange’ character of the serpent. The irony is that since that time, this specific ‘serpent’ has asked the same question in a million different ways, adapted to each individual. Examples of his different questions:
- Is the Bible the truth?
- Is the Bible not just the work of men, not of God?
- Who chose the different books of the Bible?
- Why not believe the Gospel of Thomas?
- Why must Jesus forgive my sins? I am a good, moral man.
- Who says heaven is only for ‘Christians?’ It is for all people.
- Creation by God is nonsense. Why not believe science that tells us it all evolved?
- Zeus is a myth, just like God. Why not worship Zeus?
# The serpent that doesn’t die.
- For the last 6,000 years the serpent has talked and asked questions. It must be a remarkable serpent (snake) to live such a long time. All the questions have to do with what God said in His Word, the 66 books of the Bible. While in Genesis 3:1 the ‘serpent’ talked through a serpent, now he talks through people.
- 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 says, ‘…I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you have accepted, you put up with it easily enough.’
- People who are not loyal to Jesus ask the same kind of questions that the snake originally asked Eve, ‘Did God really say…?’ The ‘serpent’ never saw the need to change his strategy to question God’s Word.
# The serpent’s identity
The Old and the New Testaments together explain what is behind it all. Revelation 12:9 is very clear, ‘The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.’ The talking serpent is the devil who has one intent only, to lead people astray concerning the most important issue of all times: God’s powerful Word that leads to eternal life.
The Old and New Testaments together give us a complete picture of God’s plan for man.
1. Genesis 3:1