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The Woman and the Serpent (Chapter 1)

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed” Genesis 3:15 (NASB)

The Bible begins with an amazing conflict between Satan and a woman!
As early as the third chapter of Genesis, shortly after the creation of the first human pair, we witness a mysterious scene of conversation between the serpent and the woman.

“Now the Serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman Indeed has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’”. Genesis 3:1

The background to this famous conversation is not recorded in the Bible in explicit detail, but one can draw certain conclusions based on what may have been the underlying reasons for such attempts on the part of the serpent to entrap the woman.

In order to understand this encounter between the serpent and the woman, and to properly measure its enormity and peril, we must return to the ions before the creation and view the events that transpired prior to, and shortly after, the creation of the world.

The Serpent

In Genesis 1:1 we have the record of the creation of the universe.

When the universe did came into being we do not know. Scientists estimate that some time around 20 billion years ago, through an explosive process called the “Big Bang”, the universe came into being.

The Bible confirms this and clarifies that this “Big Bang” was engineered and conducted by the creator: God!

Many Biblical scholars, and I subscribe to their views, believe that something cataclysmic happened shortly after the creation of the material universe: the rebellion and the fall of Satan and the rise of an evil empire of fallen and depraved spirits who invaded the universe in order to destroy its order and the
habitational environment for God’s ultimate masterpiece: Man!

In Isaiah 14:12-17 we read an interesting account, perhaps that of Satan falling from God’s presence.

12”How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:

I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
16 “ Those who see you will gaze at you,
And consider you, saying:

Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness
And destroyed its cities,
Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’

In this passage we notice several facts:

Lucifer, Son of the morning, fell from Heaven. The question is when did he fall? I believe he fell sometime after the creation of the universe, but prior to the creation of man. Most Biblical scholars point to the vagueness of the word, “Hayah” in
Genesis 2:2. The verse reads:

And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

The word translated “was” may also be rendered to mean “became” which is perhaps the more accurate rendering since the word Hayah is a dynamic word and not a passive one.
If “became” is a better rendering of the word “Hayah”, then one may conclude that an event of cataclysmic proportion caused such deep and massive void and darkness. Further evidence of such catastrophic disfiguration of the planet earth may be seen by the way the writer connects this void and darkness with the actions of the Holy Spirit. It seems that the movement of the Holy Spirit upon the surface of the waters was a reactionary movement and not a mere speculative or observatory one.

The Spirit of God is seen rushing to remedy this disastrous outcome and rapidly transacting with the earth elements to bring about the ideal environment necessary to sustain and nurture all forms of life, especially that of humans.

This reactionary statement in verse 2, coupled with the verb used to describe the consequential condition of the earth, leads us to not only speculate but confidently state that Lucifer, the son of the morning fell from the presence of God, due to his rebellion, between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1.

The root cause of the fall of Satan is revealed in verse 13 of Isaiah 14.

Lucifer’s agenda was to ascend to a position of prominence and pre-eminence equal that of his creator.

I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’”

Lucifer is seen here attempting to rise above all angelic beings and become equal to God. The term “stars of God” speak of God’s heavenly hosts, namely the angels employed in the service of the throne of Heaven. He, Lucifer, conspired to be above all hosts and powers. He desired equality with the Lord. In his view dualism was an acceptable cosmic arrangement. God and Lucifer to co-exist as co-equals! Two equal powers exerting their power and influence on the creation below. Zoroastrian
doctrine of Ahuromazda (God) and Ahriman (Satan) resemble this thought pattern.

The Bible rejects duality and co-equality of powers in the universe. There is only one creator and one ultimate reality and power and that is God!

Notice the lust for equality with God is precisely the same enticing words the serpent used on the woman!

“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:5

What he desired to achieve and failed horribly, triggering his expulsion from the heavenly realms, is now being injected into the thoughts of Eve!

Lucifer, the son of the morning, caused the desolation of the world. In verse 17 of Isaiah 14 it states,

“Who made the world as a wilderness”

The action of this creature destroyed the newly created earth and made it as arid and void as a wilderness. This is consistent with the description of the earth in Genesis 1:2 and the reaction of the Spirit of God in response to such ruin.

We can therefore conclude that Satan who had decided to oppose God at every turn was set to confront Him at every corner and to be a menace to His plans and purposes. The grandest of these plans and purposes was the creation of man, who was to be created with the image and likeness of God and with the ability to exercise independent and free will decisions and power that would ultimately destroy the son of the morning.

Did Satan know of God’s intentions to create man prior to his fall?

Was the Genesis story of serpent’s encounter with Eve an intentional and premeditated event?

The answer to these questions may tell us more as to why the Bible was written and to what end does the Biblical history look forward to.

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