Dangerous Yet Beautiful

And no, I am not talking about some Femme Fatal. I'm talking about the ultimate Deceiver.

I think we sometimes don't think of the Trial in the Garden properly, largely due to the limitations of English, largely because all the artwork is rather cheesy. We tend to think of Satan being this little garden snake that sits and talks to Eve, hissing in her ear that God was unjust and selfish. But Scripture does not tell us that he was like Sir Hiss, but rather much more like Maleficent.

"The another sign appeared in the sky, it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. It's tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth.... The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it."  (Revelation 12:3-4, 9, emphasis added).

The serpent that spoke with Adam and Eve was not this cute, shiny, innocent looking things. No, He was a leviathan, a dragon! This is the same dragon that tried to consume Jesus when he was born, who "wages war against the rest of [the woman's] offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus." This is the same Devil that Peter tells us is "prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

We have to ask, then, why did Adam and Eve get tricked so easily? Adam had been told to tend - or guard and protect - the garden. This was obviously a threat, so why didn't he get his bride away from it?

Well, first, we don't know what all did happen there, just that ultimately, they fell, and Adam failed his bride and the garden. Sin entered the world, and we all get to bear the consequences. But also, look at the other descriptions of Satan throughout scripture:

"How have you fallen from the heavens, O morning star, son of the dawn!" (Isaiah 14:12)

"Now the serpent, who was the most cunning of all the animals...." (Genesis 3:1)

Satan, though dangerous and deceitful is also very subtle. He masks his grotesque nature with beauty. He twists a truth until it is a lie, and he attacks where beauty is the richest. Subtly, he convinces us that the truth is not entirely true, and we must do something to grasp what we already have. He tells us that we are the ones who can make things work, and thus he leads us away from full communion with God.

He makes himself just beautiful enough, just believable enough, that we do not instantly cast him from the garden of our hearts. He attacks what is most true about us - that we are made in the image and likeness of God, that God does care for us and has only best at heart for us, that God is trustworthy. Whatever is most true, and most glorifying to God, he will attack. But you will not think to throw him away at once unless you can look past the glamour and see the dragon.


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