Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ 2The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ 4But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ 10He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ 11He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ 12The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’
The Hebrew word for serpent is a different word than snake, though through translations we’ve confused the two. The serpent is clearly in Adam and Eve’s temptation story of Genesis as the first animal out of two to speak in the Bible (the second being Balaam’s donkey). It is the creature that speaks to Eve, a tempting voice that question’s God’s command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Who is this serpent present in creation yet able to question God’s commands? Biblical Scholars of the ages have identified this serpent with Satan or the Devil. Yet others believe this creature represents temptation or that desire to disobey God’s laws rather than an actual personification of the great adversary of God, the Devil. However, the serpent is identified, its outcome is the same as Adam and Eve commit the first sin and are casted out. Our lives as people outside of God’s original intentions is rooted throughout humanity and thus salvation through Christ Jesus is both needed and gifted through grace. The serpent may have had the first word, but it does not have the last.
Lord God, as we hear again your story of creation and that original sin, we too stand ashamed as sin clings. We pray that your grace found in Christ Jesus will truly wash us clean. We yearn for that cup of salvation. Lord Jesus, come. Amen.