Is God Responsible for Satan’s Evil?

C8A148CC-CB52-4B3C-AD4A-521E73395049Today’s tough question:

“If God is omniscient and created Satan knowing ahead of time that Satan would become evil, does that not make God responsible for all of Satan’s evil?”

Let’s affirm some things the Bible teaches about God.

First, God is all powerful. “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

Second, God is all knowing.You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:3-4)

Third, God is purely and completely good.God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

Does knowing that Satan would be evil make God responsible for Satan’s evil? Let me ask: Does knowing that you and I would sin make God responsible for our sins?

God created angels and humans with the ability to make choices. Every good choice is a reflection of His goodness. Every bad choice is a denial of His goodness. For every good thing, to God be the glory. For every evil thing, the blame falls on the perpetrator, whether human or angelic.

Satan is a fallen angel. God created Satan to be good. Known in heaven as Lucifer (Isaiah 14:13-14), the devil’s ego got the best of him. He rebelled against God and was cast to the earth. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)

Did God know all of that would happen? Yes, God knows everything. Is God responsible? No. God is never the author of evil.

As I pondered this question, a word came to mind: risk. God is a risk taker. Every time He creates a living being, He takes a risk that things will go sour. Yet He continues to take that risk. Every time a baby is born, it’s possible the baby will grow up to be another Hitler. Or the baby could grow up to be another Billy Graham, preaching the Gospel to millions.

Something we need to remember: God is never on the hot seat. His hand is never caught in a cosmic cookie jar. He’s never busted in a “gotcha” moment. He never slips up.

We do. That’s why the key question about Satan’s existence is not “How is God implicated?” but “How do we resist the devil’s evil schemes?”

Key point: Jesus defeated the devil on the cross. Our job is not to defeat him. That has been accomplished. Our job is to resist him. With God’s help, we can.

We resist Satan aided by our all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly loving God. God does see around every corner, and so He sees Satan’s tricks before the devil tries to pull them. The Lord goes before us into battle. Through faith in Jesus, God prepares us spiritually for the attacks of the evil one.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

Previous tough question: Will We See Our Pets in Heaven?