Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

The Serpent's Voice


In view of the fact that the Scriptures as a whole reveal God’s plan for saving man, it is clear that the chapter that actually deals with the introduction of sin into the world, must be properly understood, for it is foundational in order to understand everything that follows it.

3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made”: The serpent in this chapter is a literal serpent, for “if the word ‘snake’ is simply a symbol for something else, how do we know what other things which we meet up with in this chapter are not also mere symbols?” (Genesis 3, Edward J. Young, p. 8). When God deals out consequences at the end of the chapter, punishment comes upon a literal serpent (3:14), and 3:1 clearly states that the serpent under consideration is part of God’s creation. “He said to the woman”: If we are bothered about the presence of a talking snake in this chapter, good. It should. God has accomplished what He set out to do: to catch our attention. Obviously there is much more here than just a serpent. Someone quite sinister is speaking through the serpent, as the New Testament reveals, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness” (2 Corinthians 11:3); “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (Revelation 12:9). Thus, the New Testament regards the events of Genesis chapter three as being literal, historically true, and relevant in our time, for we today can fall for the same kind of temptations. Edward Young notes, “Yet the serpent acts as a man; it raises itself above the beasts of the field which the Lord God had made and it elevates itself to an equality with man. There is something wrong and Eve should have recognized this as soon as the serpent began to speak” (p. 19).

3:1 “Indeed, has God said”: “With the serpent’s first utterance it becomes apparent that an enemy of God is speaking... The first words uttered form a question, which seems designed to cast doubt upon God’s goodness and yet, at the same time, seems to imply that if the serpent is misinformed, he is willing to be instructed in the matter... It is a sly question, for whatever else it may do, it serves to implant within the mind the idea that God is unduly strict in not permitting Adam and Eve to eat from all the trees. ‘Really? Can it possibly be?’” (Young, pp. 20, 21). “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?”: Notice the emphasis on the term “Indeed” or “Really”, and how the question is placed in the extreme, “Is it really a fact that God is not letting you eat from any of these beautiful trees?” “All these trees – and you can’t eat from any one of them?” “Is God keeping all these trees to Himself?” Also observe how the serpent gives the impression that he is interested in the truth – when in fact he is not (John 8:44).


  • Satan still today wants us to question God’s goodness. 
  • Satan still today wants us to think that if we become a Christian we will miss out on all the fun.
  • We may be ridiculed for all the things we are prevented from doing.
  • We will be subtly informed that we cannot trust God with our own happiness and that we need to strike out on our own.

3:2 “And the woman said to the serpent”: Eve does remember the truth (2:16-17). We must always bear in mind as we encounter error, that error is never on par with truth, and that we are not merely trading opinions with someone else. Like Jesus, we need to meet error with the words of Scripture (Luke 4:4, 8, 12 “it is written”). Thus, when we give an answer (1 Peter 3:15) for the hope within us, let us remind ourselves to give a “thus saith the Lord” (1 Peter 4:11). This serves as a good reminder that our Christian faith is not only one of so many equally valuable choices or options, and that when we encounter error, we are not having a dialogue with someone, as if the truth needed any improvement.


  • We need to be skilled at detecting the voice of error, we need to be very aware when Satan is speaking today through a “friend” (Matthew 16:23), family member, professed “Christian”, song, television program, internet site, and so on.
  • Only personal study will enable one to detect truth and error (Hebrews 5:12-14).
  • This is one reason why it is so essential for young people to read the Bible themselves and have their own times of study. It is not enough that your parents know the truth, you must know it. Only a personal knowledge of God’s will and conviction to obey it can detect the voice of error.

Voice of the Serpent Today

  • “God will not punish anyone; hell is a myth”
  • “There are many paths to heaven; all religions are equally valid and valuable.”
  • “The way is not narrow; to think so is to be narrow minded.”
  • “Doctrine impossible to understand, and even then it is too confining.”
  • “Insistence upon following Scripture is legalism, and is neither healthy nor spiritual.”
  • “People who are genuinely spiritual do not condemn other’s choices.”
  • “The Bible has been inaccurately translated and too old be of much use.”
  • “The Bible cannot save us, but technology and science can.”
  • “Only the ignorant believe in God.”
  • “It is arrogant to try to convert those who have different beliefs.”

The Voice of Truth

3:3 “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat”: The original command said, “eat freely” (2:16). “God uses the word ‘all’ to make it clear that the entire garden was for man. God had stressed the fact that the eating was to be abundant... and this idiom simply means that Adam might freely and abundantly partake of the fruit of all the garden’s trees” (Young, p. 27). In contrast to what Satan says, those who love God will respond and say loudly and clearly:

  • God is good
  • God has treated me better than I deserve
  • God has bestowed upon me abundant blessings
  • I have not been deprived in living the Christian life
  • God can be trusted with my happiness
  • This world is filled with all sorts of good, clean, enjoyable things I can do (1 Timothy 4:4)

The Flat Contradiction

3:4 “You surely shall not die”: The emphasis here is on the word “No”, the serpent calls God a liar, and absolutely assures Eve that they will not die if they partake. It is strange that Christians are ridiculed for believing in absolute truth – when in fact unbelievers hold to all sorts of unproven absolutes, such as “you shall not surely die”. This is an absolute statement. Like Satan, false teachers often come across as being very confident in their assertions (2 Peter 2:18-19; 12 “reviling where they have no knowledge”). Learn to see through them.

The Accusation against God

3:5 “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”:Evil is not neutral, rather it always attacks the very nature of God. Satan is condemning the concept of God’s goodness, truthfulness and His absolute authority in the universe. He is saying, “The commands of God are harsh and stringent. They constrict life so that they prohibit one from realizing life in all its potentialities and force him into a cramped narrow existence. Far more important than law, the tempter would seem to say, is love. He condemns Eve’s attitude of trust in God’s command and seeks to point out to her that if she would obtain the wholesomeness and well-roundedness that should characterize a fruitful life, she must not be bound by law... She is confined by her position of trusting in God, of taking seriously His command... From this cramping position she must be emancipated and move over to a standpoint of neutrality from which she can accurately pass judgment upon God and His commands. She is foolish to continue permitting God to lay down the law for her. Modern psychology , we can hear the tempting saying... That (the human) soul is a very tender thing, and to restrain and bind it by the imposition of categorical law is to harm it. The soul should be free to develop and to express itself, and this it can do only through freedom and love” (Young, p. 35). In fact, the accusation is that Eve’s personality will become warped if she continues to obey God.

The Lost Focus: 
How Satan can use our Imagination against Us

3:6 “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 desirable to make one wise”: We know we have lost sight of God’s goodness when a particular sin becomes the focus of all our attention. Observe that Eve already had everything in greater abundance than this tree could offer. She already had an abundance of wonderful food (2:16). She already had beautiful things to enjoy, and she already was wise in following God. In like manner, yielding to temptation never adds anything beneficial to our lives; it does not enrich us, and it is never anything we really need. The devil is powerless to give us anything that will add happiness to our lives, in the end, he can only take away joy. Eve did not lack anything, and neither do we (2 Peter 1:3; Psalm 23; Ephesians 1:3). This is one reason why a “grateful heart” is the best defense against any temptation. Cultivate one.