The Story of God begins in a beautiful garden, with man and woman perfectly united to each other, to the created world around them, and God who created them in his image. They were designed to be his ambassadors to the world, to rule over creation, and have authority over the plants, the fish, the birds, and the other creatures. Full of abundance and peace, this garden temple would serve as the home for the humans and their relationship with God. And then out of nowhere, chapter 3 of Genesis begins with these words: “Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman...”
What is the Serpent?
With those words, our antennae goes up and questions flood our minds.
What is the serpent?
Where did it come from?
How did it get into the garden?
Why didn’t God stop it?
Why is the woman seemingly unconcerned that this creature is able to speak?
Frustratingly, perhaps, Genesis is silent on all of those questions. What we do know is that Adam and Eve had authority over the serpent, and should have acted to escape the temptation.
Did God Really Say That?
While we don’t know much about the origins of evil, how it is that it is in the garden and talking to an un-impressed woman, or how Satan and the serpent are linked together, we do notice a theme in the schemes he uses to deceive people across the centuries: Twisting God’s words. Satan doesn’t show up as a roaring lion most times. He shows up in subtle twists, getting us to doubt God’s goodness and favor. He shows up in covert operations through Facebook memes, ordinary situations, and taking Bible verses out of context.
New Sermon Series
This summer (2020), we’ll be working through a new sermon series called “Did God Really Say That?”, looking at eight familiar quotes that most people think sound like they might be in the Bible, but aren’t. The goal of the series is to help us think deeply about the quotes we read/hear on a daily basis, and to filter them through the Story of God that we just came through; to weigh them against what God really said, and learn to see the lie.
I hope you’ll join us on June 7 for the first sermon!