Talking Snakes and Dragons

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Genesis 3:1-7; Revelation 12:7-9 & 20:1-3; Genesis 3;14-15; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:13-17; Luke 10:17-19; John 8:44 & 12:31; II Corinthians 4:4; Job 1:7-22 & 2:1-2; I John 3:8; Colossians 2:13-15 and Ephesians 1:20-23 & 2:4-7.

We looked at Genesis 3:1-7 today; Pastor Steve noted the most significant event in all of history only gets seven verses—fewer than the dietary laws in Leviticus. What that means is that God reveals all we need to know, not everything we want to know. Such speculation as: “Why is there a devil?” or “Why didn’t God stop Adam from sinning?” is idle speculation. He said a good rule to follow is, if Scripture is silent, we should be silent.

While critics point to the talking snake in this passage as “ridiculous,” Steve said there are things even more ridiculous in the Bible, but if we’re dealing with a supernatural God the natural and supernatural will intersect. Besides, the key fact about the snake is he persuaded Eve to disobey God, which in Genesis 3:14-15 brought God’s curse and judgment on Satan.

“Jesus’ heel was bruised on the cross, but He crushed the head of Satan,” Steve said of this passage. “God is telling Satan He has already (created) his destruction.”

One reason a talking snake didn’t bother Adam and Eve was because they didn’t know all that God had created; today we are aware of sin and evil that in pre-fall days they didn’t. What is not simple is our understanding of Satan and how he wound up in the perfect Garden of Eden. To explain further, Steve read Isaiah 14:12-15, which talks about Satan being cast down to earth, Luke 10:18, where Jesus said he saw Satan fall to earth like lightning, and Ezekiel 28:13-17, another reference to the devil before his fall.

While it isn’t clear exactly when this happened, Steve said Satan was awesome; what got him removed from heaven was pride. Some Bible scholars think pride is the worst sin, since it is so often the root of others, such as pride or stealing. Yet that sin lives in all us; none of us is born innocent and each of us in danger until Jesus rescues us.

Nor should we think that Satan is in hell, Steve said, since Scripture makes it clear he is here. John 12:31 calls him the ruler of this world, and 2 Corinthians 4:4 says he has blinded the minds of unbelievers. In Job 2:1-2, Satan is described as present before God when the sons of God present themselves. The fact Job survived the devil’s attacks should cheer us all.

“Satan doesn’t have the right to do anything unless God permits it,” Steve said. “God is God over our suffering. Even with temptation He proves a way of escape. We know how Job ends—he got back triple (in blessings). God proves Himself faithful. Job shows that Satan is a lackey on a lease.”