In Genesis 3:1 a snake addresses the first female on earth, Eve. He asks her questions and talks to her. What is interesting is that she did not regard it as strange. One would think she would have called her husband Adam to look at the weird phenomenon of a talking animal. No such thing is recorded. She naturally answered his questions, listened to his suggestions and was influenced by him to make a wrong decision and disobey God’s command. There are people who say that this talking snake reduces the story of Adam and Eve to a myth. How does one answer this ‘myth’ statement?
1. We must first ask ourselves if it really was that strange in the context? God appointed physical man and woman to rule over the earth. Man would be the ‘representative’ of God. God as Spirit, limited Himself; only flesh and blood physical bodies could function on earth. If a spiritual being wanted to have influence on earth he had to work through a physical body that lived in the world.
- That is the reason why God came to save man as a human being. It explains the virgin birth of Christ: God appeared as a man in a body. (“Therefore when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘...a body you prepared for me’” [Hebrews 10:5]).
- In the same way the devil could not come as a spirit into the garden of Eden and speak to Eve. He had to abide by God’s rules that earth was physical. How was he to address Eve? He could not speak to her out of the air as a spirit, because she would not be able to hear that. She wouldn’t take note of it. He could, however enter the body of the snake as his camouflage and ‘speak’ to her through him. (The identity of the snake is given in Revelation 12:9, ‘that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.’) For people who have experience of the occult, it is not strange to hear different voices coming out of a person who is demonized. Thus for the devil it was no big deal to speak through the snake.
2. Today, the devil has no need to talk through a snake. He has enough people through whom he speaks to spread the same message he gave to Eve. He asked her: Did God really say...’ (Genesis 3:1b)? To this day we hear that question everywhere:
- The evolutionists ask: ‘Did God really create?’
- The film and entertainment industry ask: ‘Did God really say you must marry before intercourse?’
- The New Age asks: ‘Did God really say that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ?’
- The atheists ask: ‘Did God really inspire men to write the Bible?’
We live in a society that is busy opposing God’s Word in whatever way they can. That is great evidence that the talking snake is the truth.
3. To come back to the original question posed by some people: ‘Why believe the myth of the talking snake? If we believe it we might as well believe all the other myths around the world’. The problem is that all the other myths have not had the same effects as the talking snake. ‘That ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan’, has continued talking to and through human beings for thousands of years. He has never stopped ‘leading them astray’ from God’s purposes for them. What a strange myth! There is a multi billion dollar industry to oppose this myth. Their agenda is to oppose Judeo-Christian values and they work through religions, philosophies, the arts, the media, books, the occult, et cetera.
The talking snake is not that strange, taking into account the circumstances. We can do well to take heed of his voice in our time. He no longer addresses us in the camouflage of a snake but through the camouflage of TV, U-tube, the Internet, talk shows, books and films. They deliver the snake’s message: ‘God is lying to you.’