Understanding good and evil is often difficult for people as they tend to to associate the two principles as black or white and in relationship to oneself. I wanted to take the time to discuss the relationship between God and Satan from a Biblical and philosophical perspective. I have spent many years on this subject, and still find it to be an overwhelming misunderstood topic.
Genesis 1:1 gives us the beginning of Earth’s creation, but the battle between good and evil, light and darkness, the Jedi or Sith if you will, is far older for the simple purpose that you cannot have one without the other. I believe it would be naive to assume that mankind is the only intelligent species in our solar system or universes.
However, Earth is one of the “most special” planets in the sense that is a hunting ground where both good and evil co-exist for the sole purpose of giving us a choice. This is almost a fairness pact between God and Satan, if you will, as Lucifer was said to be the most beautiful of angels and was certainly close to God at one time.
All things considering, God and Satan have a reciprocal relationship. The Bible tells us that prior to man’s creation, Lucifer was a high-ranking angel of God who challenged God’s authority and convinced a third of the angels to follow him in rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:13-16; Revelation 12:7-9).
Because of Lucifer’s rebellion, his name was changed to Satan, meaning “adversary.” His followers, fallen angels, became known as demons.
The oldest book in the Bible is Job, and one of the few books that gives us insights on how God and Satan communicate with one another.
Job 1:6-12 One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7The Lord said to Satan,‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ 8The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.’ 9Then Satan* answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? 10Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’12The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
In this passage, I see God and Satan engaging in a debate. Here, God asks Satan why he he has not considered Job (Satan was obviously roaming the earth to look for someone who he could use an as example against God). I see Satan rolling his eyes saying, “Well of course Job loves you! You gave him everything!” By the end of the conversation, God grants Satan the power to take everything away from Job so long as he spares his life.
Well, Satan is one thorough adversary. In one day, all of Job’s livestock, servants, and ten children have all died. Job then gets a boils all over his skin and to make matters worse, his friends blame him for the cause of the punishment.
However, in the end, Job passes the test and God restores everything he had plus some.
In reality, both God and Satan do in fact view Job as blameless and upright.The fault of Job and his friends lies in trying to explain the nature of God with only the limited information available to human knowledge, as God himself notes when he roars from the whirlwind, “Who is this that darkness counsel / by words without / knowledge?” (Job 38:2).
The reason things happen is not always related to matters of which we can understand. Both God and Satan understand this, but human minds like to point the blame or create explainable versions of events that are truly unexplainable.
However, what will shock some to read is that I do not see humanity as any different than Satan with the exception that we can choose between the trains of thought. God created Satan with the power of choice no different than us. When sin entered the world, we are put in no different of a position whereby we have to choose between the differing viewpoints. It is a test of strength and character. After all, who wants to spend eternity with people so unlike oneself?
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
–John Milton, Paradise Lost
Not my choice, but hey, at least one can see the logic.