Subtle Deception (with footnotes)
This one profane, God’s enemy became
To thwart and contradict His holy will;
Blaspheme, dishonour, God’s great, awesome Name;
Whose vile activities are never still;
Who works for the destruction of God’s own,
In frenzied, hateful energy, until
The curtain closes (like the rolling stone
That seals one’s past in earthly, human graves),
On Satan’s sin, which filled his cup alone,
And in the lake of fire1, sin’s captured slaves,
Placed there with Lucifer, their own master,
Will know the sad torment of judgment’s waves.
But now, this evil one works disaster –
The goal of all he conspires to achieve,
And his activity is far vaster
Than human minds would now want to believe,
As ev’ry day the human race will go
Its way, yet Satan’s work is to deceive.
And that he does with utmost cunning, so
People’s lives can be enslaved, and held fast
In Satan’s claws, where all must end in woe.
His sphere of operation is so vast
But centered on the earth where God’s plans are.
Unlike God’s goals, his, a total contrast.
For what’s created, that he wants to mar;
Negate the will of God to seek his place;
To banish thoughts of God, and send them far.
And thus it was he met Eve face to face,
Deception’s guile and cunning all suppressed,
And came to her with trickery and grace.
In serpent’s form in Eden, he was dressed2.
He used this creature’s agency and mind,
But his own putrid evil, left unstressed.
The snake, with Lucifer, became aligned –
Created serpent, in form, exquisite;
Allowed itself its choice to be entwined.
But truth? He came to misrepresent it,
And Eve was prepared to open her heart3.
The glorious snake – no cause to fear it!
But Satan is cunning in all his art,
And did not contradict God at the first,
But questioned a bit to draw Eve apart.
“Has God not said4 . . .” asked in a tone well versed.
That raised in Eve some doubt after she’d heard.
Oh! To have hearkened more, would have been cursed!
That interchange of thoughts had her heart stirred.
That garden tree which God had forbidden –
Then surely she’d hear, not derail God’s word?
But Satan’s subtlety was well hidden,
And Eve was gently enticed and soon caught.
Her mind neglected what God had bidden.5
Now her own desires – those she then sought,
Were surrendered to Satan’s devices.
God’s will in the matter, was but as nought
When tempted so by sin that entices,
By Satan’s tricks – the lust of flesh and eye,
The pride of life, forging many vices6.
Deceitful Satan, what delight to lie;
To shine what’s false in white virginal dress;
To strangle life – and love for God to die!
Destruction, misery, pain and distress –
Of Satan’s work, are all the full-time goals;
All human minds to seek, hold and possess: –
Untiring efforts in the quest for souls,
To chain for hellish realms of darkness; lost –
The ones for whom eternal death now tolls.
But Satan’s cunning hate, at Eve was tossed
In gentle jabs suggesting God was mean.
“Know good and evil” – counted not the cost.
“To be like God”7 – was not what it did seem –
A lie it was of loaded, putrid guile.
To Eve – not an unattainable dream.
“You WILL not die” – was spoken in denial
Of God’s immutable truth to those two:
But God’s truth, Satan will always defile.
So she believed the serpent’s lies as true8,
And disobedience was the result,
For willfulness will always have its due.
“To make one wise” – instead, to God, insult!
And that, descended on each human being,
But willful independence brought tumult.
Their eyes were opened, and they were seeing: –
Yet not as God – but rather, their foul sin,
Which then, from God’s presence, sent them fleeing.
There, Satan’s goal was done. Their souls to win,
That murderer staged his sinister act;
The fowler, whose net they had been caught in.
O, wicked serpent, with Satan, a pact:
Co-joined for diabolical motive.
And into God’s good creation, you hacked.
Immoral tempter, who took them captive,
To chain them up in misery and pain –
He who made sin to appear attractive.
His hatred of God – it will never wane;
Arch-enemy of truth, and God’s kind will,
And what belongs to God, he will disdain.
O Satan, Eden gave you your rich fill
Of trophies, in your scheming, cursed ways,
But with that, you are not satisfied, still.
NOTES ON PART TWO
- Revelation 20:10 and 19:20. The devil’s end is the lake of fire described in various places in Revelation. The words “day and night forever and ever” leave no doubt as to the finality of God’s judgment on Satan. The Beast (Antichrist/World Leader) and the False Prophet are the first two to be cast into that place. Satan is next – Rev 20:10. The modern liberalism, which is selective denial of the Bible, would discount future judgment and especially the lake of fire and hell. God’s word, however, will always have the final word. Some say the word “Gehenna,” which is usually translated “hell,” is the same as the lake of fire, but I don’t think it is that simple.
- Genesis 3:1. The Bible says, “Now the serpent was more crafty….” However, we must understand that the serpent of itself could do nothing, and it was the agent whose permission had been given to Lucifer. It was but the mouthpiece but suffered a judgment as a result of that submission (Genesis 3:14-15). It is generally believed that before the fall the snake was a gloriously beautiful creature that moved along, not on the ground. Because of its agency the snake was cursed. Satan is called “The serpent” in Revelation, a term that may go right back to his initial temptation in the garden, but his serpent-like activity is very apt.
(a) Works silently and often unnoticed
(b) Has the appearance of beauty [many snakes are beautifully patterned] but is dangerously poisonous and deadly
(c) From Greg Laurie: You might look at it and think, “What harm could a little snake like this do?” The answer: plenty! Did you know that the venom of a baby rattlesnake is more toxic than that of an adult rattlesnake?” Satan’s skill is the lie in, “What harm is it?”
(d) Many snakes are creatures of the night; some of the day. Satan and his demons are active both by day and night.
- “Open her heart.” To open the heart or mind can be a dangerous thing, and the problem is just how much any matter should be entertained. That first glimpse; that first taste; that first sense of importance – all those can be the initial spark that leads down to a fall. Finding the balance can be very difficult. “I have an open mind,” but the trouble with that is that it is empty for anything to fill it. Christians must have very sound convictions or they are open to any error coming along.
- Genesis 3:3. “Did God really say…?” (NIV). Here we learn of the devil’s strategy – he did not oppose God outright, but rather, he raised a doubt in Eve’s mind. To have opposed God from the beginning would have caused Eve to draw back, so he carefully pursued the matter. Once Eve’s confidence had been won, he then proceeded to contradict God – Genesis 3:4: “And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die!”
- God had actually spoken clearly to Adam about what he had to do – Gen. 2:16-17: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.'”
However we learn in Eve’s reply to the devil that something had been added – Gen 3:2-3: “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” Eve added to God’s command. Adding to, or subtracting from the word of God, has the potential for disaster as shown here with Eve, and could suggest that Eve did not allow the word of God to dwell correctly in her heart, or that Adam had not instructed his wife accurately.
- 1 John 2:16. The very same approach was adopted when the devil tempted the Lord Jesus (Matthew 4). Lust of the flesh (hunger); lust of the eyes (all kingdoms); the pride of life (people seeing you fall and not die). Three doors of temptation still remain today.
- Genesis 3:5. The suggestion to Eve was that God was withholding something from Adam and Eve, and was thus a “spoil sport.” “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.” In fact, in this regard, the devil was partially right – for our fore-parents did gain the knowledge of good and evil which they did not have before their sin. However, the catch was that the devil did not tell them that they would gain knowledge of good without the power to do it; and they would gain knowledge of evil without the power to avoid it.
- There is a very stark delineation of light and dark. In biblical terms, there is no grey area. “…and whatever is not from faith is sin” (Rom 14 v 23). Also, 1 John 5:17 “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.” Current activities in the world show that standards have gone, and light is dark, and a lie is the truth, and sweet is sour, etc.
There is more on this thought in the poem later on.