People are increasingly ignorant or dismissive of the notion that there is a being called Satan. When Jennifer Senior recently interviewed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for New York magazine, she was taken aback when Justice Scalia said, “I even believe in the Devil.” She reacted as if Justice Scalia’s belief in evil were strange and arcane.
So, what is the truth? Is there evil? Is there a devil? If so, who is responsible?
The Bible discusses the subject of evil and lays the blame at the feet of a supernatural being God calls the devil and Satan. It may shock or mystify you that an all-powerful God would tolerate an adversary that is evil. But if you look deeper into this enigma, some startling facts are uncovered. The Scriptures tell us in the book of Ezekiel that Satan was not created to be wicked and evil. Rather, God first created an angelic being named Lucifer in perfect splendor and goodness, who eventually turned into a perverse and evil enemy of everything God stands for.
How could this happen? To understand that, we need to move ahead in the story of humankind. It was God’s plan to create temporal beings—humans—who would be allowed to flourish on a utopian world called earth. Our Creator desired to nurture and educate these humans to be like Him. He wanted them to have love for one another and show reverence toward Him. His long-term goal was to have His creation join Him at His level—the God level—to enjoy their company and to explore together the expansion of His realm.
God knew very well that it would be impossible to implant His character within a created being. Character—the ability to know good and evil and to consciously choose good every time—is something that cannot be gifted. This is where Satan enters the human equation. To answer the question posed earlier, Satan is the epitome of evil. He was created without sin, but he chose evil in his rebellion against God. Satan and his ways are a constant example of living in opposition to the way of God.
God, on the other hand, is good for all eternity.
Humanity, beginning with Adam and Eve, had a choice: listen to God or listen to Satan.
Humans chose of their own free will to discard the teachings of their Maker. In so choosing, humans have left a river of tears and sorrow etched in history. This stark contrast of good and evil has been with us every day since humans were banned from Eden. Now we must make a choice: Live the loving, abundant life that God intended or rebel against His way of life and choose evil.
Justice Scalia is right—Satan and evil do exist. God wants us to choose His way of life, but we will never be compelled against our will. He ultimately wants us to join Him in the Kingdom of God.
Isn’t it time for you to look deeper into the way of God? Look around you and learn from history. Do you see love and peace flourishing in a world influenced by Satan? You can begin to recognize evil and reject it. Dig into this treasure house of knowledge right here on the Life, Hope & Truth website. Make the choice today to discover what good can do to change your life—to a life of joy and abundance.
For Life, Hope & Truth, I am Britton Taylor.