Snake on the Shelf

By Shirley Crowder

Read: Genesis 3:1-24

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:13

Today we see Adam and Eve committing their first sin. Before this incident, they lived sinless lives in close communion with God. Now, for the very first time since God created man, God’s status, authority, and words were challenged, by the evil one and by Eve. The serpent was used as an instrument of the evil one to deceive Eve.

Genesis 3:12 tells of the first instance of blame-shifting when Adam tells God, ““The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”” Then Eve blames the serpent. That sounds a lot like us, doesn’t it? We don’t want to take responsibility for the sin we commit.

In this exchange between Eve and the serpent, we see numerous places where Eve could have responded in a way that honored God. The sin committed by Adam and Eve was heinous and a willful act of disobedience to God that brought eternal separation from God since He cannot tolerate or condone sin.

Thankfully God gives us (Genesis 3:15) Hope with the first proclamation of the gospel and we learn throughout Scripture that the shed blood of Jesus Christ is the only way for our sin to be forgiven, the chasm between us and God to be closed, and our relationship to Him be restored. As we turn to Jesus in saving faith, death and sin no longer have a grip on us, we are set free!

Then in the garden, and now in our own lives, the evil one tempts us to doubt the truth of God’s Word. Our own sinful desires “Ooh, I want that,” woo us. The world tempts us to follow its ways, not God’s.

Some spot it instantly, others take a while to spot it, and some never spot it. What is it? A three-foot green rubber snake, with its red forked tongue sticking out of its mouth. It lives on a bookshelf in my office. It is coiled on top of some books with its head slithering down onto the books below. Those books are written specifically for women and deal with issues that women face. I have the snake there to remind me of how easily the serpent deceived and misled Eve and how easily Eve succumbed to that temptation and sinned.

Each time I see that snake I am reminded of how easily I am deceived and misled by the evil ones, my own sinful desires, and the temptations of the world. When I focus on the red forked tongue sticking out, I remember that my own words can mislead and tear down others.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that through Jesus You provided a way for our sin to be forgiven. Help us not fall prey to the lies of the evil one, our own sinful desires, or the temptations of the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thought for the Day: Prepare yourself and be ready at any moment to withstand the temptations that lure you into sin.

Shirley Crowder was born under a mango tree in Nigeria, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. Okay! She was actually born in a mission guest house under the shade of a mango tree, but that doesn’t sound as exciting, does it?

Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is manifested in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities: biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, writing, and music.

She is a biblical counselor and is commissioned by and serves on the national Advisory Team for The Addiction Connection. Several of her articles have appeared in “Paper Pulpit” in the Faith section of The Gadsden Times, and in Seek magazine. She also writes for Life Bible Study, Woman’s Missionary Union, and

She co-wrote the chapter, “Paul and Women in Ministry” in Paul the Counselor: Counseling and Disciple-Making as Modeled by the Apostle.

She wrote Study Guide on Prayer—A Companion to Prayer: It’s Not About You by Harriet E. Michael.

She co-wrote: Hope for New Beginnings, Glimpses of the Savior, Glimpses of Prayer, and Prayer Warrior Confessions.

She has a four-book devotional series, co-written with her Nigeria MK cousin Harriet E. Michael, that will be released over the next few years.

Shirley has spiritual children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren serving the Lord in various ministry and secular positions throughout the world.

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