Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made. The snake asked the woman “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?” “We may eat the fruit from any tree in the garden” the woman answered, “Except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it, if we do, we will die”
The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that, because he knows that when you eat it you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad” (v 1-5)
The snake (or serpent) was Satan disguising himself as one of God’s good creatures. Remember that everything God made was declared as good, in fact, very good (Genesis 1 v 31), so the snakes in themselves were not evil but Satan chose this disguise to “slither” into Eve’s mind and sow seeds of doubt.
One of his favorite tricks is to try to cause us to doubt God’s word to us. He knew that it was only the one tree that God instructed them not to eat from; The Tree of the knowledge of Good and evil (Genesis 2 v 16 to 17). This immediately meant that Eve had to correct him and defend what God had said, but in doing so he had already caused her to be confused over what God said and she added the bit about not touching the tree. Satan’s sole aim is to alienate us from God and he does this firstly by causing doubt and confusion and then he becomes the accuser – feeding lies. This was his first lie – distorting the word of God. We see that he tries the same tricks on Jesus in Matthew 4, but of course Jesus knows the Word (He is The Word – John 1 v 1) and corrects and rebukes him with the true word. We need to study the word for ourselves so that it is ingrained in our minds and hearts and we can then discern when Satan is trying to deceive us. He can be very subtle, even using what is said from the pulpit. If you have been following these blogs for a while you will remember that we discussed in the letters to the Hebrews and of John and Jude that we need to be alert to the false teachers. Be like the Bereans in Acts 17 and study the word yourselves to make sure that what you hear is true.
His second lie was to deny God’s word completely. In verse 4 he says that God did not say that they would die; He did, in Chapter 2 v17, but Eve by this time was already being deceived and although she had just said that God had told them they would die if they ate of the fruit, she did not correct Satan, allowing him to perpetuate more lies.
Satan then tries to accuse God of being the one who lied to them by telling them that what he said was not true. He tries a similar trick in Job 1 v 9 where he accuses God of having false motives in protecting and favoring Job. In this lie, he then begins to make disobedience to God sound attractive and beneficial. “Look what you will gain if you do this”
Again, he lies by making his statement a distortion of the truth. “You will become like God” Genesis 1 v 26 to 27 said that they were already made in His likeness. They already had the knowledge of good and evil but by eating of the tree, they would gain the knowledge of separation from God (death). In trying to take control of their own lives, they “died” to the right to eternal life. Satan promised them a false wisdom, they had been given everything they needed to rule the earth but chose to listen to Satan’s lies instead of God’s truth.
All quotes from The Good News Bible