It Wasn't About The Snake

Do you remember the Creation narrative in Genesis 1, and then it’s repeated in Genesis 2?  It’s the whole “God created the world” idea.  The highest point of creation was when God made humanity.  Man and woman now reside in this beautiful garden created as God intended things to be.

But alas, Chapter 2 of Genesis is followed by Chapter 3.  You may recall it is in Chapter 3 that this whole thing went “kapooey,” (It’s a word, I looked it up . . . Okay, it’s not a word, but it should be.)when this talking snake had a conversation with Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:1 (NLT) The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 

Now we have talking snakes in the Bible, which even the most devout of believers have to acknowledge is weird and a little creepy.  To be honest, if this story occurred anywhere other than scripture it would be written off as fiction or allegorical. This story is thousands of years old, and before it was written, it was passed down by word of mouth for around a millennium. But let’s not get side tracked by any of this.  


What should jump off the page to us isn’t a talking snake, believe it or not, but more the fact that the embodiment of evil in the Genesis story is an animal!  Why is that such a big deal? Does it mean all animals are tools of Satan? (Well, maybe cats).  The reason it is such a big deal is because of what was said in the first chapter of Genesis.


Genesis 1:26 (NLT) Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

God’s plan, his desire was for humanity to rule over nature.  But instead of this plan, the created order has been set on its created backside. The very animal Adam had named was now telling Adam what he should do.  This was catastrophic!  This was an affront to God’s Design at the grandest level!


And you know what?  It hasn’t stopped.


So now there are two deals on the table and these two deals cannot co-exist. All of us must choose between the two.


Sounds rather dramatic doesn’t it?



Well, that’s because, it is dramatic.  In all of life we now have to choose between nature and what God desires, just like Adam and Eve had to choose.  The sin of Adam and Eve continues today.  How weird is that?


  • Sexuality—Nature or Divine intention?
  • Marriage—Nature or Divine intention?
  • Individuality—Nature or Divine intention?
  • Environment—Nature of Divine intention?
  • Forgiveness—Nature of Divine intention?

Essentially there is no area of life untouched by these two deals.


You know a saying I am on a personal crusade to ban around the office?  It is a phrase that crawls all over me.  I am sure it is my issue but I am trying to pretend it’s not.  


It is what it is.


I hate, detest, abhor, really don’t like (and any other synonym I can find) that phrase.  You know why? It is the first deal on the table. “We are all victims to nature.” No, we’re not.  The other picture in Genesis is God has a vision for the world as well.  We either let nature run its course (like a world run by kudzu, can you imagine) or we create culture in which God is glorified, a place in which people can creatively imagine God in our world, our communities and circumstances.


How about this?


To God be the glory.


Yeah, that’s better. Let’s start using that phrase.  It has more power, more defiance, more righteous indignation.  God can do something with this.


Bottom line?  You may need a piece of paper and a pencil.  Go ahead . . . I’ll wait.  I know you didn’t go but I am going to pretend.


Don’t listen to talking animals.


That’s weird.  We were created to rule over nature, not have nature rule us.  


God rules, animals drool.


And when the battle comes, as it certainly will, whisper, say or shout like a Braveheart cry, “To God be the glory!”

See you on Sunday! 

Pastor Tom Harding