In Genesis 3:14 it states "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life"
Was the serpent in the situation actually the devil or just an ordinary beast? If it was the devil, why did God cursed the serpent and made it crawl on its stomach, which still transpires to date? Could the serpent have chosen not to let the devil use its body? So why was it cursed?
In Genesis 3:1 we learn, "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made." Was it clever enough to chose whether to allow Satan to use it to tempt Eve? The Bible doesn't make that clear. The closest guess I can think of is so the serpent could not be used again in that manner.
We do know that it was Satan because John records, "He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years" (Revelation 20:2). Paul states that the serpent deceived Eve, "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Corinthians 11:3). But Jesus said that it was Satan who was the murderer, "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:44).
Things used for corruption have been cursed. As examples:
- The ground is cursed because of Adam's sin (Genesis 3:17)
- Canaan received a curse because of his father's sin (Genesis 9:25)
- Jesus cursed a fig tree because it had no fruit (Mark 11:21)
You could extend this further. The land of Israel suffered because Israel sinned. Children suffered because their parents sinned, such as those condemned to wander for forty years in the wilderness. The fact that we see snakes crawling on the ground serves as a reminder of what happened in Genesis and that God does punish sin.