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’?”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
This is 68th Lecture on Genesis.
Now, we begin Genesis Chapter 3.
Chapter 3 describes the details of the sin that Adam and Eve committed and its result.
Verses 1-6 describes how Adam and Eve were deceived and ate from the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil, verses 7-13 describes God’s verification, verses 14-21 describes the judgment and love of God, and verses 22-24 describes how Adam and Eve were driven out to the earth.
Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden which was surrounded by the light, but then how could they deceived by Satan?
I’ll tell you the very details of the account; how craftily Satan deceived Adam until he finally ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
In a spiritual sense, it is very advantageous to understand how Satan approaches and what kind of words Satan uses to deceive people.
Satan has led people into sin with the same methods throughout the ages.
Genesis 3:1-6 describes the classic method of Satan to deceive people.
I urge you to understand these verses well and remember them.
If you know your enemy and yourself, you can win every battle.
It means that you will win every battle you fight if you correctly understand the enemy’s state and circumstances as well as your own.
I hope that you will see through Satan’s deceit when Satan tries to deceive you, and that you can quickly reject it.
You don’t have time to repeat the process of falling into Satan’s temptation and escaping from it.
I urge you to “stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH.”
I pray in the name of the Lord that you may strongly march on only toward the spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.”
It doesn’t mean that the serpent was the only crafty beast.
It means that there were other crafty beasts, and the serpent was the craftiest among them.
To be crafty is to be sly and cunning.
A crafty man is good at using bad tricks or flattering with lies for his benefit.
Among the species of animals there are some that have such crafty natures.
Let me illustrate (or ‘cite’) a few examples.
A fox is frequently mentioned in fables as an animal that is full of tricks.
The reason is because the fox always makes more than 2 entrances to its burrow.
Badgers, bears, and tigers also live in their own burrow, but they have only one entrance to it.
So, it is easy to spot whether they are in or out.
A borrow of a fox, however, has many entrances, and it makes it difficult to know whether the fox is in or out.
There is a bird which eats the eggs or little chicks of other birds.
Because of this eating habit, this bird is called a ‘skua.’
Hyenas are also well known for eating what other beasts have hunt and killed.
Common cuckoos are well known for brood parasitism, which is laying their eggs in the nests of other birds.
Common cuckoos look for nest where other birds laid eggs.
When other birds are absent, they push one or more existing eggs out of the nest, and lay their own eggs.
And then, they fly off and don’t care for the eggs any longer.
Until their eggs hatch, they let other birds incubate the eggs, and raise the little chicks.
The eggs of the common cuckoos hatch before the other eggs in the nest.
The cuckoo chicks push out the other eggs or other little chicks out of the nests.
The cuckoo chicks do such evil acts by instinct to occupy the whole nest and to get rid of their rivals.
Likewise, there are some animals that have crafty nature by instinct, and the Bible says that the serpent is the craftiest.
By the way, the original look of the serpent that God created was a whole lot different from what we know now.
The serpent originally had legs.
As it was later cursed, the legs disappeared and it came to go on its belly.
In addition, the skin of the serpent was originally very smooth and radiant.
Of course, there are many colorful serpents, but they don’t look beautiful.
The color of the serpent was originally pure and splendid.
Generally, it had a long body which was smooth and soft, and it shined splendidly; anyone who had seen it would have considered it to be quite beautiful.
For example, what about the silk scarf that ladies favor?
It is soft and long, and it has beautiful patterns and colors.
It feels good as they put it on around their neck; it warms the neck, and it also looks very stylish.
The original look of the serpent was very similar to this.
And so, Adam and Eve thought the serpent was beautiful; Eve especially, kept it close to her.
It was this serpent that deceived Eve.
Now, why did God make the serpent crafty and become Satan’s instrument?
Didn’t God know the serpent would be instigated by Satan to deceive Eve?
Of course, He knew it.
Then, why did God allow the crafty serpent to remain in the Garden of Eden?
It is similar to His reason for placing the tree of knowledge of good and evil (in the Garden of Eden).
Even though God knew Adam and Eve would eventually eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, He still put the tree in the Garden.
It was God’s deep providence to acquire true children of God.
However, it doesn’t mean that God intentionally led Adam and Eve to eat from it in order to accomplish His providence.
Instead He warned them by saying, “You will surely die if you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
However, He didn’t keep them from eating from it by force.
He left it onto the free will of Adam of Eve.
The same principle was applied as God made the serpent change to become crafty when He created it.
Through the incident of dinosaurs, you understood that dinosaurs could change even though they were created from the ground of the Garden of Eden.
It all started from a trivial feeling, but as they continued to accept the thought of Satan, it was changed to have great evil such as envy and jealousy.
The serpent that deceived Eve, however, was created from the ground of the earth.
I said that God led some animals that He created from the ground of the earth into the Garden of Eden as He led Adam into the Garden.
And the serpent was among them.
Do you remember that the basic constituents of all the plants and animals are the ground and water?
The ground which was used to create the serpent had many constituents that can make it easy to become crafty when it came in contact with the forces of the darkness.
The ground tends to change depending what it is mixed with.
Farmers know it well.
As you farm the ground, the soil becomes acidic.
Farmers say the soil ‘loses its energy’.
To neutralize the soil, they may use lime.
Or they mix it with other fertile soil.
It is because the ingredients of the soil affect the plants that grown in the soil.
For example, the sugar content and hardness of sweet potatoes depend much on the soil.
In some soils, the sweet potatoes grow well, and in other soils, yams grow well.
Peanuts grow well in sandy fields where water drains well.
In addition, depending on the components of the ground, the characteristics of the bowls made from the ground also change.
Let’s say, you make 2 kinds of bowls with 2 kinds of ground.
The first sample of ground has clay. It has high viscosity, is very thick and sticky. The second sample of ground has weak viscosity.
If you make 2 bowls, one from each of the types of ground using the same method, which one is stronger?
Of course, it is the bowl made of the first ground.
Even if you apply the same impact on both bowls, the first bowl remains Intact, while the second may break easily.
You didn’t make the second bowl weak, but it is easy to break because the ground it was made of had weak viscosity.
Therefore, a potter becomes very careful when he chooses the ground to make good potteries.
Goryeo celadon and white celadon were not made just from just any soil type.
In the same way, the ground used to create the serpent had some constituents which could make it easily become crafty.
From the perspective of the serpent, it might sound unfair.
However, the fact is not so.
If this attribute were to have made contact with the forces of the light instead of the forces of the darkness, it could have developed into ‘being wise.’
In fact, the serpent acted wisely in the Garden of Eden, and so it was loved by Eve for a long period of time.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Among the forefathers of faith, there is one who was originally very crafty but changed after refinement.
It is Jacob.
Jacob purchased the right of the first born with a bowl of lentil stew from his twin brother, Esau.
He also deceived his father, Isaac, and received the prayer of blessing meant for Esau.
So, Genesis 27:35 says, “And he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessing.””
Along with such craftiness however, Jacob also had an upright heart.
Then, God refined Jacob to remove the crafty attribute from him.
To become more and more humble, Jacob lived in the house of his uncle Laban for 20 years.
Eventually, God made him completely humble by the Jabbok River.
God made Jacob thoroughly understand that for nearly 20 years, all the fortune that he had earned with his wisdom, his family, and even his own life were nothing if God hadn’t protected them.
As its result, Jacob became like a worm as mentioned in Isaiah 41:14.
God chose such Jacob and made him the progenitor of Israelites.
And his 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel.
As crafty Jacob changed into the spirit, he came to play an important role in accomplishing the providence of God.
In a spiritual sense, the crafty attribute and that of wisdom are pretty much on the same page.
If a crafty man comes into the spirit, he can show wisdom more outstandingly.
Such a change cannot be achieved through a man’s effort alone. It can take place only when refined like Jacob.
Proverbs 17:3 says, “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.”
If a man thinks to himself he is wise, God allows him to be refined to break his thinking.
He makes him give up the thought that he can do things by his own wisdom and strength, and makes him possess a humble heart before God.
If you wish to quickly pass such refinement, all you have to do is deny yourself and make yourself completely humble before God.
1 Corinthians 3:18-20 says, “Let no man deceive himself If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.””
If you completely empty yourself before God and prepare a clean heart-vessel, God will give you true wisdom from above.
It is the wisdom to penetrate the schemes of the enemy devil and Satan and to prepare for them, and it is the wisdom to pursue peace with all men, to do the work of God, and to give glory to God.
I hope that you will long for such true wisdom as this.
Dear brothers and sisters.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent behaved so wisely that it was greatly loved by Eve.
It was quicker to read the face of Eve than other animals, and it did the things that could please her.
Eve was pleased with the serpent, and she treated it as an intimate friend.
Therefore, the serpent could stay in a close proximity to Eve.
And it was the source of trouble.
Satan used the serpent to deceive Eve because the serpent was close to Eve.
If the serpent had not had such a friendship with Eve, Satan would not have incited the serpent.
However, the serpent was very close to Eve, and it was very crafty as well.
To the eyes of Satan, the serpent was better suited Instrument than any other.
You should understand something at this point.
First of all, you should look around what kind of people are near you.
Do you keep those who praise you and flatter you close to you, but stay away from those who point out your faults you and admonish you?
A man of God should not have crafty people around him.
History clearly says that there were always crafty and flattering people near tyrants.
You should be wary of those who speak persuasively with fine words.
If you listen to and believe what they say, you may be blinded and deafened.
Proverbs 29:5 says, “A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.”
If someone speaks such words in your ears, he may spread a net for your steps to make you fall down.
Then the result may be just as what Proverbs 26:28 writes; which reads, “a flattering mouth works ruin.”
By the way, if you cast off uproariusness and selfish motives from your heart, you can discern whether others flatter or speak truth.
You will not become arrogant either, even when you are praised.
Even when you are praised after you manage your job well, you will give all glory to God.
To accomplish this heart, you prefer to be admonished or have things pointed out instead of praises
Proverbs 27:5 says, “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed.”
Also, Proverbs 29:15 says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom.”
Therefore, if you have people around you who can rebuke you and point things out to you, you should truly give thanks to them.
Another thing you should understand through the serpent is that Satan searches for a target that can easily come into contact with evil.
Satan knew that the serpent could become very crafty once it received evil.
And so, Satan kept on sending the evil wave signal to the serpent.
The serpent that was greatly loved by Eve eventually received the signal, and its crafty attribute was revealed even more strongly.
Once it made a contact with Satan, it became Satan’s instrument that obeyed the voice of Satan as it heard.
Even today, Satan still sends out the wave signal of untruth into the air.
The untruth in the heart of a man acts like an antenna that receives the signal of Satan.
Satan knows what attribute is the strongest among the many untruths in the heart of a man.
Satan correctly figures out whether the man is full of lies, greed, empty conceit, jealousy, or lust.
And it throws the most probable bait the man can easily take.
At this moment, those who are spiritually awakened can realize that it is the bait of Satan.
They cast off fleshly thoughts, if any, and they don’t believe rumors from a third person.
No matter how plausible it may seem, they can discern the truth.
Those who are not spiritually awakened, however, take the bait without realizing it.
They accept the fleshly thoughts, judge and condemn, and become envious and jealous.
Selfish motives and greed blind their eyes and deafen their ears and so they walk the path of sinners.
Therefore, the children of God should be spiritually awakened all the time.
To make it possible, they should not cease praying.
Our Jesus said in Luke 22:46, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
If you stop praying, you will gradually lose your discernment.
Reception of the antenna that picks up the voice of the Holy Spirit will become weak.
While on the other hand, the reception of the antenna that receives the signal of Satan becomes strong.
Therefore, I urge you to “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
I hope that you can quickly discern and reject the deception of Satan no matter how Satan tries to deceive you with crafty words.
Furthermore, I wish you can reach the level in which you can grasp the schemes of Satan before they take effect and destroy them.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
In this lecture, I explained the first half of Genesis 3:1.
I told you about the reason why God led the crafty serpent into the Garden of Eden.
Just as God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for human cultivation, the serpent was also necessary for human cultivation.
The serpent was not created as a crafty being from the beginning; it had an attribute which could easily change through contact with darkness.
On the other hand, in the forces of the light this attribute could develop thinking wisely.
Making an example of the relationship between the serpent and Eve, I told you what kind people you should keep close to you.
I also urged you to devote yourself to prayer and to keep alert in it spiritually.
James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Through prayer, you can draw near to God.
And you can feel the heart of God through the Bible.
May you become close to God in all ways as you long for God the Father, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!