Great … But
At our women’s bible study, we recently looked at the serpent in the Garden. Genesis chapters 2-3 are packed with descriptive information. We looked at him being made by God (3:1; See also Ezek. 28:15). satan, as he is later known, is NOT God’s equal. Not equal (by far) in power, character or authority. He is a created being – God’s creation, making GOD the Ruler over His creation. Knowing THAT, does it change your perspective of the one who prowls, looking to devour and whose ONLY goal is to steal, kill and destroy? (1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10).
He is also crafty – skilled in achieving his objective by tricky manipulation. We see this in his scheme of using a question, “Did God actually say…?” (3:1, ESV). He still uses this. How often do we too fall prey to the same question, “Did God actually…” and we throw in an “Or…” (with a shrug of shoulder) then we continue to rationalize our behavior or decisions.
But what jumped out to me most is found in the over-all conversation between the serpent and Eve. In chapter 2 it explains the creation of man and woman. Of those 21 verses, the narrative refers to God as “LORD God” (and v1 of chapter 3 and picks up again in v8). BUT. In the historic conversation (3:1b-5) we see Eve following the example of the serpent. There is a deliberate avoidance – the serpent does not, will not, cannot, call Him, (LORD) God.* LORD, is YHWH, (Yahweh) the Self-Existent One, known as the covenant name of God. Eve also refers to Him only as God, Elohim, (which in itself is GREAT) but in this context, He is minimized. There is a shift in narrative, it changes (and changes back).
What an example to us. Minimizing our God – in simple conversation. How often have we, at work, or other settings, shrug God off, perhaps laugh Him off? With lack of boldness, we conform (like Eve) and make Him less than He is – change the narrative of God’s character. (What a scheme, Eph 6:10). “Ouch!”
May we be ever so mindful. Being so profoundly aware of His sovereignty, His covenant with us, that we live our life under the authority of God – to the glory of God.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
Please know, I do not capitalize the enemies name, although considered a proper noun, I will not give him the courtesy.
*“The serpent does not use the expression “Yahweh God” [LORD God] because there is no covenant relationship involved between God and the serpent. He only speaks of “God.” In the process the serpent draws the woman into his manner of speech so that she too only speaks of ‘God.’” [New English Bible Commentary]. “It is noteworthy that the serpent also deliberately avoids using God’s personal name “Yahweh” (“LORD”) when he addresses the woman. Here is another hint that his presence in the garden presents a threat. Although his initial words appear deceptively innocent, his subsequent contradiction of God leaves no doubt about the serpent’s motive and purpose.” [English Standard Version Commentary].