I was in the zone.
Visions of possibilities danced in my head as I strode down the breezeway to view her new bedspread. Maybe a linen upholstered headboard and lovely floral draperies to flank the windows? Perhaps a pair of velvet wingback chairs? A fluffy bench at the end of the bed?
When something caught the corner of my eye,
I. Almost. Jumped. Out. Of. My. Skin.
There in the bookcase coiled a rattlesnake.
Silly me, but I scooted past it as close to the opposite wall as possible, trying not to look in it’s evil eyes. In a household of outdoor enthusiasts, why wouldn’t you have a a snake on a shelf as part of your taxidermy collection? Right??
My history with snakes doesn’t help. I almost stepped on a huge rattlesnake as a small schoolgirl. Forgetting the “no-sudden-movements” rule, I screamed and ran from the coiled menace like my tail was on fire. The memory has been seared ugly in my mind for decades.
If only sneaky Satan, looked like that terrifying serpent when he tempted me, I would have less trouble resisting.
So I wonder about Eve…Did she have no fear of the shrewd reptile? Did he actually have legs and a less menacing appearance? Was his voice melodious and kind? Did a hissss never leave his sly lips? Do snakes even have lips? But I digress…
“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’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1–5)
“And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:13–15)
Of fourteen biblical scholars, all but three agree the serpent was physically changed in some way as his curse. (www.answersingenesis.org) Some believe he was upright at one time. Martin Luther’s comment makes me chuckle, but who knows…
“From this (scripture) some obvious conclusions follow: that before sin the serpent was a most beautiful little animal and most pleasing to man, as little mules, sheep and puppies today; moreover, that it walked upright.”
I’ll add this one to my list of questions for God as I sit at his feet someday.
But regardless of our speculations, these five facts hold the key to truth and knowledge and hope:
1. Even punished for eternity, Satan’s personality never changed. He never learned his lesson and is still cunning, ruthless and a big fat liar out to destroy us. John 8:44
2. God is infinitely greater. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” John 4:4
3. We are the winners, always and forever. “No, in all these things we are more than
conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
4. We are precious and beloved of God. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
5. God helps us be prepared for attack through prayer and gives us the protection we need. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
So don your armor, pray like the dickens, and fight back like a screaming, scratching, hair-pulling middle school girl.
…for all you hold dear.