Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail
Interesting conversations with godly people are some the best ways you can stir your desire to get into His word more. Studying the Bible will always bring to the surface questions we didn’t even know we had— along with the answers to the most important questions you could ask.
Here’s an idea. Find somebody with a wealth of Biblical knowledge and create a shared note on your cell phone or computer. If there’s something on your mind or something you’d like to know more about, it helps to have another brain working to help you get to the bottom of it.
It’s also a great way to keep you thinking about Biblical subjects! Below is a portion of a shared note that my brother and I have had for months now (Gary’s input is italicized and correspond with the numbers you see).
Thoughts On The Serpent
- The serpent was crafty and could walk. Why this animal? Its craftiness seems to be linked with its intelligence (1). When the subject of possession is brought up, demons typically come to mind. The possessor of the serpent (2) seems to change form once again as Satan is described as “walking about on the earth” (Job 1) and traveling to the pinnacle of the temple (Matt. 4.5). Satan’s mobility had improved since the removal of his serpentine legs (3). Could it be that he was never a serpent from the beginning? What if he merely chose the animal for reasons unknown, and used his intelligence to utilize this particular creature’s capabilities. If the serpent changed his form to the Leviathan, then that would be a logical explanation for his mobility in Job (4). A mighty beast, with unnatural intelligence (5) that humans couldn’t tame. This would also explain how humans are able to dominate and tame all animals (Gen. 1.26-28) but weren’t able to tame the beasts in Job.
- (1) Rev 12.9; 20.2
- (2) Satan is always portrayed as a serpent…except when he isn’t (i.e., cursed to crawl in Genesis, walking in Job 1 & 2, flying in synoptic gospels at temptation of Jesus, moving tactically in I Peter). I have to think that, like the angels, he had the ability to project his consciousness into non-sentient beings (i.e., no free-will override), or disguise himself as humanoid (II Cor 11.14; Gen 3.18; Heb 13.2). We know very little about who/what satan really is, but because he was a fixture in God’s entourage before banished to earth, I have to assume he was a watcher of some kind.
- (3) A curse that improves mobility is no longer, by definition, a curse.
- (4) God specifically names Leviathan as the pinnacle of his non-human creation. He would not have extolled leviathan if its characteristics were synonymous with the accuser in Job 1, 2. This would also imply a duality of personhood never attributed to satan (i.e., existing as two entities simultaneously). Since this predates Jesus’s arrival by probably 4500 years, satan is likely still in the accuser position in God’s entourage. This would make him a powerful cosmic being with the same abilities other watchers enjoyed. When he became the ruler of planet earth, his power was “chained” or throttled (II Cor 4.4; Eph 2.2; Lk 10.18; Rev 20.1-15).
- (5) I was unable to verify the leviathan’s unnatural intelligence, but Job does describe its unnatural strength.
Happy studies! I hope this inspires you to begin your own interesting conversations.