Why Satan Exists & Tempts? – I
Developing a close relationship of living the way Lord Jesus would live is putting Him on by surrendering all my desires and plans to His Divine will.

Why Satan Exists & Tempts? – I

Right from the beginning of the Bible narrative of creation Satan is found active in tempting and leading mankind away from God and this finally ends in the last pages in the Book of Revelation. The temptation was not only of the first Adam but also of the Second Adam, the Son of God. God is His mercy permits the devil to continue in his evil activities and does not punish him for his sins. How can we resist the devil and stand in the victory of the cross in our everyday life?

        Why did the All-knowing God create Satan? – ‘God saw everything that He had made and it was very good’ for God is perfect and all of His creation is perfect in every way (Genesis 1:31). The corruption in His perfect creation comes because of the fault of the created beings. God created a covering cherub for His holy mountain to walk back and forth before Him in the midst of fiery stones. He was ‘the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty’ and these three qualities are defined in him for all the created beings. He was  created as a perfect and an expert musician and adorned with precious stones,  like sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise and emerald, all translucent with fine color in their purest forms and very hard with gold, a metal with highest purity. The qualities of these stones are reflected in the devil now and their use for negative and sinful purpose by him. God created him perfect till he sinned and became filled with violence and this resulted in his being cast out of God’s mountain and from the midst of the holy fiery stones. That covering cherub became proud of his beauty and for his own glory corrupted his wisdom, to become Satan and then to be cast to the ground. And he was in ‘Eden, the garden of God’ (Ezekiel 28:12-17). God did not create Satan the way he is but his present state is due to his own sin and continuation in that sinful state.

         Why did God cast him out of his Divine presence on to the earth? – There are different views on this. Satan was filled with pride due to his exalted status in God’s presence and his perfection and he decided to exalt himself above the stars of God. These stars are angels and hosts of heaven to sit on the mount of congregation to receive worship for himself and in this way become like God, the Most High. As a result he was brought down to the earth and then below the earth in to the depths of the Pit, the Sheol (Isaiah 14:11-17). It is presumed by some that the earth was inhabited in its previous form and Satan was placed here to represent God. And due to his rebellion the earth was turned into its ‘without form and void’ state by God through a flood and flood during Noah’s time was the second flood of creation.

        The question of God creating Lucifer, despite knowing beforehand about his rebellion, has been discussed in theological debates since long. The Probable answer as per the Scripture can only be deduced. God is described as ‘the Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are just’ (Deuteronomy 32:4).  ‘Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne’ and the foundation is singular, thus these two qualities hold together as one (Psalm 89:14). God is love and the two qualities of love and justice are His Divine essence (1 John 4:8). God in His wisdom and foreknowledge was aware of all the Lucifer would do after creation but to not create him would amount to judgment before and without commission of any sin on his part. In the same manner ‘God chose us in Him (Lord Jesus) before the foundation of the world’ (Ephesians 1:4). God knew each man before He was yet unformed in the womb of his mother and in God’s book ‘all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them’ (Jeremiah 1:5 & Psalm 139:16). Under the same analogy, God should not have created me also after having known the way that I would live and likewise the whole of mankind would not be.

        Why was Satan not punished for his rebellion? – This is attempting to review God’s Sovereign work as controller of His creation but if we try and imagine the conversation between God and Satan after his rebellion, some main points can be expected to emerge. The devil being perfect in wisdom, beauty, music to worship and in every other aspect of his being, would not accept a charge so easily. As per Islam, Satan is called Iblis derived from Greek word ‘diabolos’ meaning ‘slanderer, false accuser or one opposing God’s cause’ and a man involved in such activities is considered to be working for Iblis. He is referred to as ‘Aduw Allah’ (‘Enemy of God’) or ‘al-Aduw’ (Enemy) or ‘al-Shaytan’ (Demon). It is said that after creation of man, God commanded all angels to bow down in obedience before Adam and Iblis refused on the ground of his superiority of being created of fire and not of ‘dust of the earth’. He was expelled from heaven for this but his punishment is reserved and deferred till the Day of Judgment (Encyclopedia Britannica).

         The only place where Satan is mentioned talking to God describes his line of argument with God. To counter God’s assessment of Job as ‘a blameless and upright man, the one who fears God and shuns evil’, the devil first time attributed selfishness on Job’s part to fear God for the ‘hedge of protection’ and blessings on his work and his possessions. But when Job lost all that he had, including all his children, Satan brought forward another angle to Job’s selfishness to love God due to protection to his personal being. The devil demanded permission to ‘touch his (Job’s) bone and flesh’ with disease to see Job cursing God ‘to Your face’ (Job 1:8-12 & 2:2-6). A war in heaven is described between the dragon (called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world) and his team of angels and Michael, the archangel led the heavenly forces. Devil was defeated and he along with the rebel angels was cast down (Revelation 12:7-10). If this is a future battle then it is only after this that Satan’s access to God in heaven will be finally cut off.

         On being presented before God’s throne after his rebellion against God, the possible line of argument would be similar to the one offered by Adam and Eve in blaming the serpent and Adam blaming Eve, ‘the woman whom You gave to be with me’ (Genesis 3:10-12). Satan would have also blamed God for creating him with such beauty, wisdom and all other traits that it was natural for him to be filled with pride for every other created being was less than him.  Archangel Michael is a warrior, Gabriel is messenger of God and other Cherubs and angels are equipped for their specific roles only. With that expected argument from the devil, God could either unilaterally destroy him or prove him wrong. A just God has to prove the devil wrong and then punish him and other angels who had rebelled against God.

          God created man in His image and likeness to operate in the spiritual and material both realms and gave him dominion over everything after providing everything that he would need for his life on earth. If man succeeds in living a righteous life, Satan fails and must be punished but if man fails then the devil would not only receive dominion over the earth and all that is in it but also more time. Adam and Eve failed and Satan received the authority and power and with man even the earth and nature were also cursed.

          Why did God permit testing of Adam and Eve? – Satan must be proved wrong and God must be proved right and this would continue to happen till finally the devil is defeated and bound for a thousand years. During this interim period Satan and his demonic spirits have a chance to repent, surrender and return to God. Test is basically a means of assessment, firstly, testing the skills, knowledge, intelligence, capacities or aptitudes of an individual or group.  And secondly, it is a procedure, reaction or agent used to identify the real substance or characteristic of the one being tested. Testing is, thus, a means of learning something about the person being tested.

        But why does an ‘All-Knowing God’ needs to test someone either directly or through someone else? – The Hebrew word for ‘test’ is ‘nisayon’ which is derived from its root word ‘nes’. Nes has multiple meanings and the first one is raising ‘a banner’ and God’s name ‘Yehowah Nissi’ is from this. A test would then also mean ‘raising a banner’, displaying and showing to the world the amazing qualities of the one being tested. Lord Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is about this. Nes also means a ‘miracle’ and the link between test and miracle is very important. Test is of two types, one is ‘bechinah’ like the school test to test a student’s knowledge and the second is ‘nisayon’ which is about how the obstacle and struggle of the test would lift the individual being tested to grow beyond his natural ability. Thus a test offers the individual to perform a miracle to achieve the impossible and through that grow into something greater.

        The testing of Adam and Eve comprised of multiple layers and it was to measure their commitment to God, and then to demonstrate that commitment to the devil and all of creation by raising a banner. And finally it was about breaking out from their own life constraints and become beyond their own limits of possibility, a miracle of sorts. But they failed in all three aspects

        This is now the story of journey of each and every person on the earth.  God forms and covers a person in the mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and He takes a child out of the womb into the world (Psalm 71:6). The birth of an individual is about leaving the peace of the mother’s womb into the chaos of this world ruled by the devil and his forces of evil. A child is born with his fists closed, holding on to God and His protection and God desires this all throughout the life. But like Adam and Eve we tend to let go of God’s hand to grab worldly things, first the parents hand and then everything else.

        The test for every soul is to see the strength of its connection to God, to see its commitment to self in the face of challenges and temptations and to see its use of its inherent capacity to overcome the darkness of the world and transform it into light. The test is not about using existing and God given traits only but to use these under God’s guiding hand to create and experience a miracle. We ‘raise the banner’ to demonstrate to self and the world that through overcoming the challenges one can achieve the miracle of exponential spiritual growth. This is achieved through strengthening the bond with God to a greater and higher plane every day.  God’s Son had to undertake the test to raise the banner before the world and on the cross He Himself became the banner of God’s glory. God used a bad situation into good by using the devil to test the faith of His chosen ones by permitting Satan to tempt them through various trials, sickness and temptations.

         God permitted the devil to afflict Job but to ‘spare his life’ (Job 2:6).  Satan tried to shake the faith of Job through various ways but failed and God restored double of what Job had. God does not turn His eyes from His people and is always ready to step in to help us when we continue in faith. Trial and Testing of the Savior Lord, its reasons, effects and Satan’s plans for the believers we will discuss in the next program.

         Satan is not opposed to us to grab something that is within each one of us but only because all believers belong to God’s family. Prophet Elisha prayed to God to open the eyes of his servant Gehazi to enable him to see the forces of heaven that were deployed around then in far greater numbers than the enemy forces. In fulfillment of His promises, God is holding every believer’s hand to strengthen and encourage him in this battle. When God the Creator is with a believer, what can the devil to him?

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