Satan and serpents attack us in very similar ways.
The physical realm speaks of the spiritual. God gave us nature to help us understand the spiritual realm. By referring to Satan as a serpent, He is telling us everything about Satan that we ever need to know.
1. Like a spitting serpent, Satan loves attacking us over a long distance.
Some snake types are capable of shooting venom over a distance. A spitting snake may spit as much as thirty or forty times in succession. Satan can similarly launch his destructive thoughts from a distance. The Bible refers to them as burning arrows.
“At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.” (Eph 6:16 GNB)
Contact with the skin is not normally dangerous, but open wounds may allow the venom access into the bloodstream. Similarly, Satan attacks the weak spots in your armour. That is why the bible states that we have to put on the whole armour of God.
“Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph 6:11 MKJV)
A spitting snake usually aims for the eyes of their victims. A direct hit in the eye will cause temporary shock and blindness. Satan similarly attacks the spiritual eyes of the believers.
“The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!” (Mat 6:22-23 GNB)
“If we say that we are in the light, yet hate others, we are in the darkness to this very hour. If we love others, we live in the light, and so there is nothing in us that will cause someone else to sin. But if we hate others, we are in the darkness; we walk in it and do not know where we are going, because the darkness has made us blind.” (1Jn 2:9-11 GNB)
2. Very much like a serpent, Satan wants to blind you before he attacks you
Unbelievers have all been blinded by the enemy. See what Jesus had to say about the spiritual leaders of His time.
“Don’t worry about them! They are blind leaders of the blind; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch.” (Mat 15:14 GNB)
Jesus said, “I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind.” (Joh 9:39 GNB)
Blindness caused by a snake spit can become permanent if left untreated, but no serious results should occur if the snake venom is washed away immediately with plenty of water. This washing with water speaks of the word of God.
“That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.” (Eph 5:26 MKJV)
In Jesus’ ministry on earth, one of the miracles he performed most frequently, was the healing of blindness, both physically and spiritually. This was also one of His last commands to his apostles.
“You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through their faith in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among God’s chosen people.'” (Act 26:18 GNB)
3. Then, like a biting serpent, Satan would launch close-range attacks.
Some snake types will discharge their venoms the moment their fangs penetrate the skin, and then immediately let go. Others would close their jaws like a bulldog after biting, and hold on firmly for a considerable time. In either case, the snake venom will get exhausted after several bites and the glands will have to recuperate before the snake can attack again. Similarly, Satan cannot continue his attack on you indefinitely but will leave for a period of time, before he will attack again.
“And when the Devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him for a time.” (Luk 4:13 MKJV)
3. Finally, like a constrictor serpent, Satan will take delight in suffocating you.
Constrictors use sight, smell and heat-sensing to locate their prey. Similarly, Satan uses his spiritual senses, smelling spiritual activity.
“God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance. For we are like a sweet-smelling incense offered by Christ to God, which spreads among those who are being saved and those who are being lost. For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life.” (2Co 2:14-16 GNB)
Like most types of snake, constrictors don’t chase their prey, rather they hunt by ambush.
Satan also hunts by laying down snares and traps.
“And then they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the Devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.” (2Ti 2:26 GNB)
Constrictors grab their prey with their teeth, then quickly coil their bodies around their preys and squeeze tightly so that the prey animals cannot breathe and die of suffocation. A constrictor snake then swallows its prey whole, usually head first.
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction.” (1Ti 6:9 GNB)
Serpents are known for their poisons. Satan also uses poison to incapacitate you.
The venom of a poisonous snake fall into three distinct categories:
Neurotoxic snake venom:
These affect the nervous system, causing paralysis, disorientation and depressed respiration; leading to everything from seizures to death.
Similar to this type of snake, Satan attacks your nerve (courage): causing you to lose heart.
“But we should not lose heart in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not faint.” (Gal 6:9 MKJV)
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2Ti 1:7 MKJV)
“Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. For your heart will always be where your riches are.” (Luk 12:33-34 GNB)
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather be afraid of God, who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” (Mat 10:28 GNB)
Cytotoxic snake venoms:
These affect the flesh locally, causing a rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue.
Similar to this type of snake, Satan attacks your flesh: causing you to fall to temptation.
“Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mat 26:41 GNB)
“Keep away from profane and foolish discussions, which only drive people farther away from God. Such teaching is like an open sore that eats away the flesh.” (2Ti 2:16-17 GNB)
Hemotoxic snake venoms:
These affect the blood and organs, causing breakdown and inflammation in the body.
Similar to this type of snake, Satan attacks the blood of Jesus in your life: causing you to lose out on its power.
“But now, in union with Christ Jesus you, who used to be far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Eph 2:13 GNB)
“For this reason Jesus also died outside the city, in order to purify the people from sin with his own blood.” (Heb 13:12 GNB)
“But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.” (1Jn 1:7 GNB)
Just like serpents, Satan uses the following methods of subterfuge to protect himself
Disguise: Some types of snakes are very hard to see because they look like their environments.
Imitation: Many types of snake protect themselves by imitation. The Cobra, for example, has spots on the back of his head that resemble the eyes of a large predator.
“Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light!” (2Co 11:14 GNB)
Increased size: Puff adders, for example, can blow themselves up much larger than its original size. Cobras flatten their necks to look bigger.
Frightening sounds: may snake types produce load hissing or make other frightening sounds to scare enemies away.
“Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1Pe 5:8 GNB)
You can also protect yourself against him.
The ways that we use to avoid snake bites in the natural realm also have their exact counterpart in the spiritual realm.
- Avoid snake territory – don’t enter into areas where Satan can tempt you.
- Avoid walking in the dark or in dark places – don’t walk with lies and deceit.
- Do not put your hands or feet into places you cannot look – use Godly wisdom.
- Don’t sit down without looking around carefully – don’t relax your guard against Satan.
- Know the type of snake that you may encounter – discern the spirits.
- Wear appropriate protective clothing – put on your spiritual armour against Satan.
- Don’t ever walk alone – you are part of the Body of Christ.
- Do not go out of your way to kill a snake – we are to resist Satan, not to hunt him.
Just as you would treat serpent bites, you also need to treat Satanic injuries.
This is a spiritual matter, do not try to counter it in the flesh! Keep calm – in Christ, there is always hope.
- Get safely away from the snake – forsake Satan and sin.
- Apply the appropriate snake antidote – confess your sins and accept God’s forgiveness.
- Treat for shock – give the victim lots of love.
- Preserve body heat – fellowship with other Christians.
- Remove all restricting items from the bitten extremity – allow for emotional reactions.
- Wash the snake bite with soap and water – apply the Word of God to the spiritual wound.
- Do not in any circumstances:
- try to suck out the snake venom by mouth – don’t expose yourself to Satan’s poison.
- cut the snake bite – don’t condemn the victim or aggravate the situation.
- apply a tourniquet to the snake bite – don’t bind the victim with lots of rules.
- put ice packs on the snake bite – don’t give the victim a cold shoulder.