Satan: The Subtle Serpent

In the previous two chapters of Genesis, everything God created was good. However, now we will see trouble in paradise as we see Satan appear and introduce doubt into the minds of Adam and Eve.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis. 3:1)

The serpent is a real, physical serpent which is being used by Satan to communicate to Eve. The fact that Satan takes on the body of a serpent is confirmed by Revelation 12:9, “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.” (see also Revelation 20:2) Here we see that part of Satan’s character is deception. Jesus stated that the devil is the father of lies. (John 8:44)

You may wonder where Satan came from, if everything God created was initially good. We piece the answer to that together from what the Bible reveals about creation and Satan’s fall. Everything was created by day 6 of the creation week, even the angels, of whom Satan is part. However, Satan was not satisfied with his exalted position before God. Rather he wanted to be God! We see this in Isaiah 14, where Satan is called by the name “Lucifer”.

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! 13 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: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)

Since God is God alone and the only One deserving of worship, Satan’s rebellion had to be judged. Jesus stated, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) Satan was cast out and ever since, he has sought to turn mankind away from God. That is what he is about to do in Genesis 3 as he introduces doubt into the mind of Eve with a simple question, “hath God said…?”