Doesn't anyone else find it curious that Eve didn't think it strange to have a conversation with a snake?!!!
Em and I have talked about this quite often and our theory is that quite possibly animals were able to speak in the Garden. I'm not saying that's true, I'm just thinking out loud here...(Now, for those who don't think the Bible is literal, the story of the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve is just that...a story...and, if you don't think the Bible is literal then, relatively speaking of course, Jesus isn't the only way to God...)But, since the Bible is literal, it's a story in that it's an account of a very unique and special time in the history of God's people. A time where God literally walked with His creation. Where every animal came to Adam to be named. Where God and man and woman hung out...not in boundless freedom but within a loving setting where God said all of it was theirs to enjoy, but not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why? Why not eat from it? What's the big deal? Well, God knew what the big deal was but satan made that decision appear to be one of little or no consequence...he made it seem enticing. "You're not really going to die..." It'll feel good, come on, it's not as big a deal to disobey the Living God of the Universe as you might think...I did it a while back...see, I'm still 'alive'...come on, now, give it a go...The tree itself was not 'evil' if you will. The act of choosing to eat from it after God had warned not to was what was truly detrimental..the beginning of life outside of God's physical presence. No wonder the devil wanted company...he was miserable!
You see, when Jesus said the anti-Christ would come, he told us so we would know. He told us about the signs of the end of the age, so we would know. God wrote His word down on paper for us to read and feast off, so we would know. People who don't read God's word then are easily deceived by things that sound good, politically correct, peaceful, because let's face it...an anti-Christ coming and the end of the world...that doesn't sound like 'fun times'. No, we'd rather go about our busy lives, attending this and that, doing good deeds and 'getting along' with everyone, not standing for Christ, because, well, we need to 'love our neighbor'. The rest of that scripture, which is truth imperative, reads, "Love your neighbor as yourself." If we love Christ yet do not share Christ's love with our neighbors we aren't loving, nor do we really believe God's word to be true. Loving our neighbors means telling the world about God's love for them in Christ...that's why He came. The ultimate Love Story for all mankind!
So, back to the Garden. I personally know that if I were in the back yard watering the trees, let's say, and a snake was in my Aspen tree, I'd freak out, and run in the house to call for help. That's one. Two, if the snake tried to strike up a conversation, if I didn't pass out first, I'd look at him square in the eye and say, "The Lord rebuke you, satan! Get away from me!" And, because of the authority Jesus' name carries in all existence, he'd be required to slither his slimy ass out of my yard...
But that's what I'm trying to say here. "Anti" means: opposed to or against. Notice in the Garden that the devil didn't say God wasn't real, true or God Almighty, Creator of the World. No, in fact, he referred to God as 'God' in his conversation with Eve...he knew who He was and called Him 'God' with a capital 'G' appropriately. What he did do, and with obvious success for the untrained woman, was distort God's earlier conversation with Eve so that it presented itself to her in a much more appealing, human way.
So, for us to be wise, we need to realize that 'anti-Christ' isn't necessarily someone who will come and be a militant, hateful person. Why would we follow someone like that? We are educated enough to discern that. Like, when Osama or Sadam rose up in their corners of the world, don't you think it was obvious they were bad guys! I mean, really, looking back, since many of us weren't alive at the time, isn't it obvious to see that Hitler was a whack job? But still, people have followed these men because they obviously told them something that sounded good...at least at first. And, Jesus said there would be 'anti-Christ's' meaning, plural, meaning many people would oppose Him...They may even call God 'God'. What will happen, however, is people will loosely claim Christ's name (you know, in order to entice followers of Christ), saying they are 'community organizers' meaning all-embracing do-gooders, and it will sound right and good and humanitarian and earth-friendly so people will follow...because, who wants to be left out, right?
In the meantime, while that is happening, if we stand strong and follow Christ, we will be persecuted. It may not look like public hangings or crucifixions, but think about how if you are currently a Christian you are judged for believing that God's word is true and that Christ is the only way to salvation...Jesus did love everyone. He came for everyone. He died for everyone. He does not exclude anyone who will believe in His name. He was inclusive...whether people followed Him or not was their choice. He was very offensive and really miffed a lot of people...political and religious leaders of the day, especially. He wasn't fluffy. He hated sin. He hated being separated from God's presence and experience that on this earth on the cross so that He knew exactly how we feel apart from Him...but because He was intimate with God, He knew that the things we try to fill our lives with were dissatisfying, leading to death. That is why He came. That is why He died. That is why He conquered death and rose again and prays for you and me. That is why there is nothing in ourselves we can do to 'do' good or 'be' good enough for God. Grace is grace. Grace is free. Grace is only found in Jesus Christ. Religion is false. Christ alone is true. Loving Jesus is not PC. My Facebook political status reads: Incorrect
If talking to snakes in backyards around the world is a common thing nowadays, I am clearly out of the loop...and I'm not interested in getting in on that 'loop', thank you very much...but the question is: "Do we know when snakes are talking anymore?"