Deadly and well camouflaged . . .
A good friend of mind and my former Sunday school teacher came by Honey Lake for a visit the other day and after lunch we went down to Honey Lake Church. There in the reverent tranquility and quiet beauty of that beautiful sanctuary we discussed various topics and I brought up the number one question that I desire to ask God when I die and get to heaven.
Why was satan allowed to retain so much power?
According to the Bible satan was created second to God. All angels were created higher than we were, but he was given even more intelligence and beauty than any other created being.
Ezekiel 28:12 describes it better than I can: ‘Thus says the Lord God, “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. “You were the anointed angel who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. and I have destroyed you, O covering angel, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.
I’ve yet to see anywhere in the Bible where satan was stripped of that power when he was thrown out of heaven, which implies he is just as powerful today as the day he was created. As further evidence we are warned repeatedly throughout the Bible that alone we are no match for him and/or the demonic hordes that comprise his fallen angel army.
We cannot make it alone.
Consider the fall of Adam and Eve. At first satan craftily approached Eve as an ally. He began with a seemingly innocent question but his real intent was to raise doubts about the goodness of God. When she answered his question by stating that God told her that she would “surely die” if she ate of the fruit, he flatly denied God’s words (in effect stating that God was a liar). In a shrewd and cunning manner he then completely changed Eve’s perspective so that it appeared to her that the God who graciously forbade her to eat from the forbidden tree in order to protect her from the harm that would befall her if she disobeyed God’s warning, to viewing God as someone who withholds what is good from mankind for His own selfish reasons.
He proved to be anything but an allay; rather a dark adversary that ruined her day(s), Adam’s day(s), and our day(s). Adam and Eve proved to be no match for his superior intellect and were easily deceived by his lies and the fall of man, and its resulting curses are a direct result of satan’s clever deception.
In the final analysis, he seemingly achieved success by bringing about in mankind the same rebellion for which he was condemned through his superior intellect and cunning.
Ummm . . . Maybe not.
Since our conversation I’ve been thinking about this perplexing problem and I’ve come up with a new slant on it.
From beginning to end, satan’s existence, his fall, and His opposition to God all have to be a part of God’s eternal plan for His creation. Since God is all powerful logically one must deduce that God permitted satan to oppose Him and men in order to fulfill His eternal plan. In fact it would seem that satan was created for just that purpose.
I believe that satan’s existence must be understood in the light of sin and of God’s plan to demonstrate His glory through the intercession of Christ. We are not only saved from ruin, but become entitled to everlasting happiness through Christ’s sacrifice for us, thus flooding us with His glory, (limitless love).
God’s glory is displayed in the way He deals with sin. For some, God deals graciously, forgiving them of their sins; for others God punishes them for their sins. Apart from the existence of sin, the demonstration of God’s glory would not have been possible and thus He’s included it in His plan, along with satan, its promoter.
Satan is a serpent. Think about the nature of snakes for a moment. He is not only deadly but often is so well camouflaged we do not see him until it’s too late. He wants to inject his poison in you like he did that day with Eve, but God is far more powerful than that serpent and will bruise his head until it is smashed flat as a credit card; however we must call upon His glory through Jesus Christ.
Just like the quail hunter needs snake proof boots to protect against rattlesnakes on those hot days, we need Christ to protect us when things start heating up in our own lives.
Don’t enter the woods without a pair of snake proof boots and don’t enter the world without the full armor of God . . .
The LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” . . .