He’s a Cold-Hearted Snake?

“So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you…”     –Genesis 3:14

I learned a lot listening to the story of the Fall of Man in my Bible discussion group last night.  Some of it really rubbed me the wrong way.

Like how the serpent TOTALLY got shafted.

So, here’s what happens:  the Devil possesses this snake, and then goes on with the used car salesman act:  he twists some facts, acts real charming, and ultimately sells Eve a lemon (hey, the Bible doesn’t specify what KIND of fruit it was!).  Eve then shares with Hubby–who I learned was NOT off napping in the forest like we’re led to believe, but rather was WITH HER (Genesis 3:6).  Instantly, they acquire the Knowledge of Good and Evil (there was good and evil before; now they can figure out what is what), God comes out, and the first game of Hide and Go Seek commences.  Adam, who obviously sucks at the new game he invented, says “Hey, we’re over here.  Um…don’t look at my butt…” (yes, Tera, that was a Billy reference).  A little bit of a blame game is played as to whose fault it is for tricking Eve into the the aforementioned lemon deal, and the cursing party begins.

What I find interesting is that God STARTS with the serpent.  The serpent who was (as far as I can tell) possessed by the devil, which in my mind absolves him of any wrongdoing.  The SERPENT didn’t do it; the devil took over the serpent’s BODY.  But because of this, chicks hate snakes.  I dunno–maybe the SNAKE had eaten a leaf off the tree or something and therefore knew the difference between good and evil.  But what gets me even more is that God didn’t stop at the snake–while he’s doling out judgment on Adam, he curses NOT ADAM DIRECTLY, but the ground.  Now come on, what did the ground do??!!  Now we’re making no sense at all.  Blah.

I guess the lesson to be taken from all this is that our actions never just affect us.  There will always be consequences, and when the consequences hit the fan, they are guaranteed to NOT be distributed evenly.  Fair?  No.  Bullshit?  Possibly.  But the things we do affect all kinds of other people.  Your McDonald’s habit may seem harmless now, but tell that to the people who spend their time worrying you’ll have a massive heart attack.  Drinking and driving–we ALL know how that can turn out (I’ll leave it at this–don’t be retarded.)  Even our negative THOUGHTS about others–they affect how we relate to them, and if we SHARE those thoughts and the gossip snowball gets rolling–hoo boy, that generally turns into the Abominable Snowman.  It seems that no matter how little the sin, there are always multiple people affected.  Can we just stop sinning completely?  No.  Even the Bible says that.  But perhaps an awareness of the effects of our actions (or inactions in some cases) will help us to make the world a better place.  The beach is made of bajillions of single grains of sand.  Single grains, while they seem like nothing, can make something amazing and enjoyable when they start to add up…

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5 Responses to He’s a Cold-Hearted Snake?

  1. Rebekah says:

    First of all, “serpent” and “shafted”.

    Sometimes I figure that the bible doesn’t need to be the answer to everything “God”. When I think something seems wrong, it might be. The only part of the bible I take at nearly face value is the Jesus stuff. And I think even without that, God would show us how to have Jesus live through us.

    With that in mind, I just say “Who cares? It’s not important to worry about”. Studying is a time-waster. Being Jesus is a win-win.

    • Nikki D. says:

      Thanks for the comment, Rebekah 🙂

      I believe that everything can teach somebody something, whether it’s in the Bible or not. People study and learn from all kinds of different texts, from celebrity rag mags, to local newspapers, to Harlequin novels, to classic literature, to religious texts (not only the Bible). I choose to study the Bible because my PERSONAL belief is that it’s all relevant to something at some point. Well, with the exception of some of the geneologies; I have an mp3 of the Book of Numbers that is very possibly the best sleep aid I own. But I’ve even found THEM to be relevant in some of my studies. I tend to skip the books of prophecy (they confuse the hell out of me, and from my vantage point were written to people in that time period), but I’m sure there is information in there for us all to learn from as well.

  2. Dan says:

    Hey, it’s Dan (bald, married to Evie, adorable 2 year old daughter Maddi). I’m friends with Mike and new-ish to Lifehouse. I enjoy your “irreverant” take on all things spiritual…we might get along well 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to observe that when it comes to Genesis, whether it has anything to offer us in the form of “historical history” or not (I am deliberately sidestepping this landmine otherwise both sides of this heated and ongoing debate would eat my lunch) the important thing to walk away with from any parable (or history retold as a parable) is the moral, and I think you hit the nail on the head: our actions affect others, and we are all somehow in this mess together.

    There is so much Truth in the first 3 chapters of Genesis. For a time, it seemed like everything I was reading or listening to was referencing it in one way or another. As far as origins, I for one am glad that Genesis 1 and 2 do not read like a physics textbook. As far as Genesis 3 is concerned, is it a detailed play by play of a historical event? Is it a poetic retelling of real events embellished for spiritual purposes? Or is it simply a parable about human nature? (Consider that the probable setting for propagating the story was probably an orator around a campfire and that the primary audience was children – Genesis was the primary textbook for Hebrew children age 5-12). The answer is for smarter minds than me to answer. That being said, wherever you or your readers land on how to read Genesis, in many ways, it explains a lot of the mysteries of the universe.

    • Dan says:

      Oh and by cursing the ground, he was basically cursing “work” – the thing that most men get their greatest sense of identity from. So the punishment fits. Also, remember Adam came from and returned to the ground.

      • Nikki D. says:

        Valid point with the ground=work=identity thing Also, that evening we also discussed the whole “physics is irrelevant” aspect of the story. People get so hung up on the vagueness; I relate it to my husband’s metallurgical engineering degree. I COULD know what alloys the pipes in my house are made of, and what causes them to corrode, but it really doesn’t matter, and would make the story of home IMPOSSIBLE to follow–I just need to know that they are made in a way that is “good” according to the Creator of the house, and can trust that they will provide incoming water and a place where I can (best offhand analogy) leave my shit.

        I remember you (vaguely and from afar) from your Fish Mouth Revenue days…”the cute one,” right?? 😉 Glad to have you at Lifehouse; you’ll have to catch me and say hi next time. I’m not on the schedule for band the next two weeks (sleeping in–SCORE!), so it should be a bit easier than most weeks where I’m running around going semi-crazy.

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