God’s Response Reveals His Perspective On Spiritual Warfare
In yesterday’s post I said that many Christians don’t think spiritual warfare is a significant issue in their lives. Have you ever wondered what God thinks about it? To answer that question we only need to turn to Genesis 3 where Satan attacked Eve and God’s response to Satan is described.
Adam and Eve were living in and taking care of the garden. They could do anything they wanted except eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told them they would die if they ate from it.
Satan, an evil, powerful spirit injected himself into their lives. He took over the body of a serpent and spoke through it to Eve about the tree. He deceived Eve into thinking she would not die if she ate from it 2 Corinthians 11:3. He said she would be like God. She believed him and ate from it, as did Adam.
Later in the day God asked Adam and Eve what happened. He gave them the chance to admit their sin. They didn’t but instead played the blame game, each blaming another.
Although Adam and Eve couldn’t see Satan because he is a spirit, God did. He was still there, watching. He knew God’s command and perhaps expected to see God immediately take their lives in judgement.
The first thing that happened was God’s response of judgement on the serpent. I think what happened next surprised Satan. God spoke to Satan. He said,
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 ESV
The key to understanding God’s response is the phrase “I will put enmity.” Enmity isn’t a word we use much today. It means hostility, antagonism and animosity. When two countries are at war we say a state of hostility or enmity exists between them.
Satan had just deceitfully attacked Eve. That deceit led her and Adam to sin. Adam and Eve owned the responsibility for their sin Romans 5:12. What led them to make their sinful choice was Satan’s deceit. He lied to them and tempted them. Because of that God’s response was a judgement on Satan. What was that judgement?
God declared war on Satan!
It is easy to read this verse and miss the significance of what God said. God’s response to Satan was a declaration of war where none had existed. This is the beginning of the war we call spiritual warfare. It’s true that Satan attacked first. I don’t think he realized what God’s response would be. At that moment God began a spiritual warfare plan to destroy Satan.
Is spiritual warfare important to God? You bet! He’s the one who declared war. He will win it. We are either on His side or Satan’s.
In our next post we’ll lay out the big picture of God’s spiritual warfare plan.