Theme: Satan is determined to drive people away from God, so God has cursed Satan.

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1 Title: GOD CURSES THE SNAKE Theme: Satan is determined to drive people away from God, so God has cursed Satan. Space for Notes: (Ours and yours) Bible Basis: Genesis 3:1-15, CEV Message begins: Have you ever wished you had more power over evil? Have you ever wished God would defeat the forces that hurt all people and tempt all people? Evil has great power over every person in the world. We often find ourselves doing and saying wrong, hurtful things. We wish we could change. But evil is often too attractive for us to resist. We wish we could live better lives. There are problems like hunger, poverty, corruption and child abuse that seem too large to solve. We wish we were strong enough to help all people. Evil spirits are very powerful too. Many people in the world have great fear of evil spirits. We wish we did not have to fear them. Did you know that God s book, the Bible, gives us hopeful answers to our wishes? We have seen in the Bible how sin and evil began in the world. Satan, the greatest evil spirit, disguised himself as a snake. He tricked Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, into disobeying God. Now let us find out more about Satan. Let us also find out how God punished Satan for tricking Eve. Please listen carefully as I read these words from God s book, the Bible: The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the LORD God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden? The woman answered, God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden, except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die. No, you won t! the snake replied. God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does. The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it Page 1

2 too. Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the LORD God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees. The LORD God then asked the woman, What have you done? The snake tricked me, she answered. And I ate some of that fruit. So the LORD God said to the snake: Because of what you have done, you will be the only animal to suffer this curse For as long as you live, you will crawl on your stomach and eat dirt. You and this woman will hate each other; your descendants and hers will always be enemies. One of hers will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel. Genesis 3:1-6, 8, 13-15, CEV The Bible says that the snake was really Satan.* Satan is an evil spirit. He is also called the devil, which means accuser. Satan hates God. He also hates all people because God made people and loves them. Satan disguised himself as a snake in order to deceive the woman, whose name was Eve. *See Revelation 12:9. What does this Bible reading tell us about Satan? It tells us two important truths. 1. The first important truth is that Satan is the enemy of God and the people God made. He is determined to drive people away from God. Satan wants to separate people from God. How does the Bible reading show us this important truth? A. First, the Bible teaches that Satan is the great deceiver. Like the snake he is very sneaky. Have you ever met people who are sneaky? They like to tell lies and trick people into doing what is wrong. They hide the evil they do by pretending they are good. Satan is like that. He disguised himself as a snake. Eve did not know he was Satan. Satan still enjoys disguising what he does. He tempts us with evil choices by making them look attractive. He makes evil seem pleasing. He tells us that doing evil is joyful and rewarding. He tries to Page 2

3 convince us we can get what we want, even if it means disobeying God and doing wrong. He also makes goodness look hurtful. He tells us that doing good is painful and difficult. We often realize Satan is lying only after we have done evil. Like Eve, we say, The snake tricked me and I ate some of that fruit. B. The Bible reading also tells us that Satan wants people to doubt God s commands. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from one of the trees in the grove. Satan asked Eve if God really gave them that command. He said, Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden? Satan wants to confuse us. He asks questions and introduces doubt into our minds. Is it really true? Did God say this? What if God did not say this? What if God is wrong? How do I know what is true and what are only the opinions of ignorant people? But God s words are always true. We do not need to doubt what God has spoken. C. The Bible reading also tells us that Satan calls God an evil liar. Eve told Satan that God warned her she would die if she ate fruit from the tree. Then Satan said, No, you won t! God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does. Satan wanted Eve to think God was lying to her. Satan suggested that God was afraid that Adam and Eve would become like God. He said that God was withholding knowledge and power from Adam and Eve. What Satan suggested to Eve was, You can become smarter and wiser than God! And God is afraid that you will! He told a terrible lie about God. Satan is still determined to tell lies about God. We know God commands us to do good. But Satan whispers in our ear. He says, The good deeds God wants you to do are too difficult. God is mean. He wants you to have a sad, difficult life. But if you do what I tell you to do, you will have a happy life. We also know God forbids us from doing evil. But Satan whispers in our Page 3

4 ear, God is mean. He knows that doing evil will make you happy. That is why he tells you not to do evil. Satan lies. He makes God seem mean to us. And he still gets people to think they can become smarter than God. We see that the Bible says Satan is the enemy of God. He is our enemy also, and he wants to hurt us. What can we do to defeat Satan? Is he stronger than we are? 2. The Bible reading tells us another important truth about Satan: God promised to give people victory over Satan. God pronounced a curse on Satan for tricking Adam and Eve. Listen again to what God said: The LORD God said to the snake: Because of what you have done, you will be the only animal to suffer this curse For as long as you live, you will crawl on your stomach and eat dirt. You and this woman will hate each other; your descendants and hers will always be enemies. One of hers will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel. The snake is a symbol of Satan. That means different aspects of snakes show us what Satan is like: Snakes move quietly and strike without warning. Snakes wait to attack us by surprise and hurt us. Snakes are fascinating and have beautiful skin. A snake s tongue flashes in and out with the power to kill. Snakes quickly raise their heads to attack and poison. Eve learned a difficult lesson about Satan s subversive (deceitful) methods of temptation and destruction. God spoke to Satan. God made a promise that he did not fulfill until many, many years after Adam and Eve. God promised that a descendant of Eve would strike Satan on the head. That means that this person would defeat Satan completely.* But Satan would also hurt this person. Other parts of the Bible tell us that Jesus was the person about whom God was speaking. Jesus was a descendant of Eve a real human being. He is also God s Son. Satan hurt Jesus when Jesus died on a cross. * See Revelation 12:9 and Romans 16:20. Note: Message #11 also teaches the meaning of Genesis 3:15. Page 4

5 Crosses were wooden poles. Roman soldiers nailed criminals arms and feet to crosses to torture and kill them. Jesus died this painful death even though he wasn t a criminal. But the Bible also tells us that by dying Jesus defeated Satan and destroyed his power.* Satan hurt Jesus a little by causing people to torture and kill him. Jesus hurt Satan greatly. He struck him on the head, which means he is crippled and will be destroyed at the end of the world.** * See Hebrews 2:14 **Revelation 20:10. I will explain more about Jesus and his death another time. This is important. We do not need to fear the power of Satan or evil spirits. We are not powerless against evil. God cursed Satan, the greatest evil spirit. God promised to defeat Satan. Now in Jesus God has already fulfilled his promise. God gives his own Holy Spirit to everyone who believes in Jesus. The Spirit of God gives believers power over Satan, the greatest of evil spirits. Believers can resist temptation because of the Spirit s power. Do you fear evil spirits? If you follow God you do not need to fear them anymore. God cursed the leader of the evil spirits. His Son Jesus has defeated the evil spirits forever. Do you wish to have power over sin and evil in your life? God will give his powerful Spirit to people who listen to his words in the Bible and obey what he says. Join with me in confessing our sins to God: Prayer: God, our ancestors Adam and Eve disobeyed you. We have disobeyed you also. Satan has tricked us and lied to us. Forgive us like you forgave Adam and Eve. Teach us your truth. Give us your Holy Spirit to help us live lives that please you. Thank you for defeating our enemy, Satan. In Jesus name, Amen. Page 5

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