Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
There are many good reasons for us to submit to God instead of trying to face challenges in our own strength. But maybe the most important is apart from Christ we don’t have a chance against Satan.
The word “subtil” is important in this verse because it describes the serpent (or Satan) as someone who is very deceiving or tricky. We see it in the way he shows shock over the fact that there are restrictions on what God allowed Adam and Eve to do (3:1), promises Eve there will be no consequences for her actions (3:3), and tells her that God is keeping an incredible blessing from them (3:5).
But there is an often overlooked part of this deception that may just be the most dangerous.
Think for a moment with me about the moment Satan came to tempt Eve
- She was by herself (Adam wasn’t there)
- The presence of God wasn’t there to give her guidance (the Lord allowed Satan to tempt her)
- She was standing right beside the one tree she wasn’t supposed to eat from
- The mind of Eve was open to the deception of Satan since she accepted it almost right away (3:3)
- She may have even been thinking about the tree when he came to her!
In other words Satan came in a moment of weakness
In a moment when Eve couldn’t say no
Do you think that happened by accident? Of course not!
The thing that truly scares me about this is Satan knows my weakest moments…and he is preparing his best attack for just that time
My weak moment is that time in the morning when your half-awake but not really ready to face the day yet. Countless times have I heard the voice of Satan in those moments.
- You failed God again yesterday
- You know its probably best to just stop trying to serve the Lord
- You need to make sure nobody finds out about the mistakes you made, nobody else makes them
- You know it won’t work out, remember last time?
I wish I could tell you I jump out of bed and fight Satan courageously but the thing is I don’t…worse than that I can’t…worst of all he knows it.
But there’s good news
God will fight for me
The strange thing is in our weakest moment there is still part of us that believes we can win the battle in our own strength. But the Lord uses our weakest moments (and failures in those moments) to show us just how broken and needy we are
Over time the scene of countless failures can be used for God’s Glory as we run to Him for shelter from the temptation we have no hope fighting.