Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
In Genesis 3:1, we are introduced to another personality—the serpent. In the Garden of Eden, there was a snake who communicated with Eve. We need not assume that the garden was full of talking animals, as this wasn’t just any snake.
The Bible reveals who this serpent was in Revelation 12:9: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan.” The serpent was Satan the devil—the adversary of God—manifesting himself in the form of a serpent.
Satan was a former archangel of God who, because of pride and lust for God’s power, led a rebellion by one-third of the angels against the government of God (Ezekiel 28:14, 17; Isaiah 14:13-14; Revelation 12:4). After the ensuing war failed, Satan and the other rebellious angels (now demons) were cast to earth (Luke 10:18).
Satan and his demons now prowl the earth as the adversaries of God and mankind. Genesis 3:1 provides us one of the most significant adjectives that describe the tactics of Satan—cunning. The word describes the great subtlety, shrewdness and craftiness in how he operates. His primary operation is to deceive the world (Revelation 12:9) and try to undermine the plan of God (Matthew 4:1-11).
Far from operating as is popularly imagined—an easily recognized red creature with horns and a pitchfork—Satan uses tactics that are much more clever. We are told that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthian 11:14).
The main thing we need to be on alert for is not falling for any form of Satan’s deception. Here are three keys to not being deceived by Satan:
- Know the Word of God in order to refute Satan’s lies and half-truths (Matthew 4:4, 6-7, 10).
- Be “rooted and built up in Him [Christ] and established in the faith” (Colossians 2:7).
- Use regular “prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21; 1 Corinthians 7:5).
To learn more about Satan’s goals, deception and influence, read “God vs. Satan.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “The First Lie.”