Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 01 June 2015 15:39

Why did God make a crafty serpent?  Why did He plant the trees of life and of knowledge in the garden if their fruit was not to be eaten?  The whole scenario was set-up to see whether Adam and Eve loved and respected their Creator enough to obey Him-. cf Israel in the Wilderness (Deut 8:22) and (Job 1:6-9) and Jesus  (Heb 4:15)

The serpent, of course, is not really crafty, nor does it actually speak words. The story treats the serpent both as an actual snake (3:1a, 1-4, 14 and as Satan (v15) The prophecy that the serpent would have “seed”- descendants, not more snakes, but people proves that point.  But the snake is not really Satan.  It is a symbol of Satan. See Rev.12:9,14,15 and 20:2.  cf 2 Cor 11:3  More than than a mere symbol, the snake was a tool, an instrument of Satan.  He spoke through it.  The writer of Genesis 2 is using a rhetorical device- a metaphor in which an object is equated with a person or is personified, given the characteristics of a person.  Compare the story of Balaam’s Ass in Numbers 22:27-30. 

Whenever Satan speaks to us, he lies. See John 8:43-44  Spiritual Warfare is primarly in the mind.  Satan is always working to deceive our minds.  See 1 Tim 2:14, 2 Cor 11:3 [These texts help establish the historicity of Adam and Eve.]  What "things" does Satan use to speak lies to us? What lies, deceptions,  have we bought into as a society?  Remember Eph 4:14, 5:6 et al

Likewise, the trees in the Garden function as symbols of Life and of Knowledge.  But not merely symbols.  These two trees are effective symbols.  God used them to effect or make what they symbolize exist or happen. The trees in the Garden are sacramental, "Means of Grace".  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge effects or creates that knowledge in those who eat it.   The fruit of the Tree of Life is a symbol of Eternal Life and effects that Life in those who eat it.  Interesting that Adam and Eve did not try to eat it's fruit.  It was to prevent them from doing so that they were put out of the Garden (3:22-24)  What means of grace are in your life?

Note:The Tree of Life in the first Book of the Bible appears again in the last Book of the Bible.  (Rev 2:7; 22:2,14 and 19)  It is also used 2 times simply to mean "a source of"...  (Prov 13:12, 15:4)

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