Genesis 3 is where we first meet satan–
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Other translations for the word crafty are, cunning, shrewd, cunning.
The first mention in the bible of a doctrine is very important. This is actually an interpretive doctrine called The Law of First Mention. The Law of First Mention is defined as
“the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. When we thus see the first appearance, which is usually in the simplest form, we can then examine the doctrine in other portions of the Word that were given later. We shall see that the fundamental concept in the first occurrence remains dominant as a rule, and colors all later additions to that doctrine. In view of this fact, it becomes imperative that we understand the law of first mention.” (source)
The first time we are introduced to satan, the very first thing we’re told is that he is crafty. The verse doesn’t say, “Watch out for him, he is evil!” The verse does not say, “He will destroy all that is good!” No. The verse says first that he is cunning.
Our lesson is that we must watch for the cunning wiles of smooth flatterers who slyly come in among us secretly bringing destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1). Yet they are tolerated. It is erroneously thought that as long as they are small sins, little errors, or tiny doctrinal mistakes, they are manageable.
Yet the Song of Solomon says
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, which destroy the vines: for our vines have small grapes.” The Geneva bible explains the verse well. “Suppress the heretics while they are young, that is, when they begin to show their malice and destroy the vine of the Lord.”
|photo credit: Matt Tillett via photopin cc|
Little foxes grow up.
Satan is subtle. Don’t dabble in errors. If you know a book, or a teaching, or a teacher is false, stay away! Don’t engage. Even putting a toe in gives satan a hold to exploit you. He will make you doubt what you know. Just ask Eve (Genesis 3). Seek the truth in the word and be diligent about not exposing yourself to little foxes. Because little foxes are hungry want is prey … and they grow up.