God, Why Did You Create the Devil?
by Rich Murphy
It seems that every believer I know is struggling with attacks from the devil. Some are having bigger struggles than others, but all are having struggles. Sometimes, those struggles are so severe, that it seems that there is no way for the believer to win.
Have you ever, in the midst of one of those struggles, asked the Lord, "Why did you create the devil?" I know I have. It seems to me that life as a believer would be much easier if we didn't have to put up with constant attacks from the enemy.
But, I have to tell you, God sees things a little bit differently. He isn't as concerned with our comfort as He is with our character. He isn't looking to see how "blessed" (with material blessings) we are, He's looking to see the condition of our heart. More than anything, God wants to see us grow and mature into the full stature of the image of Christ Jesus.
Believe it or not, Satan is actually a provision of God's love for us. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. Since God created everything, that means that he created Satan as well. If He created Satan, there must have been a purpose, the question is "why?"
First of all, we need to truly understand that God created Satan. Isaiah, chapter 54, verse 16 says: "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy." "The waster" mentioned in this verse is a name for the devil. God is telling us, through the prophet, that He created the devil. He's also told us that He created the weapons that the devil uses to attack us, when He mentions the smith (blacksmith). But, let's take a look at this verse in context:
God starts out in this passage by talking about establishing righteousness. Then, He goes on to talk about enemies, weapons, attacks, and victory. After that, in what is probably one of the most commonly used verses about spiritual warfare, he tells us that those weapons and enemies shall not prosper against us. In other words, He's telling us that His creation of the enemy, and His allowing of those weapons to be formed against us must have a purpose; a purpose for our benefit. Finally, He goes back to talking about righteousness. So, that purpose has something to do with establishing righteousness within us.
Destruction is a natural part of growth. If we look at the life cycle of a forest, we see destruction as a part of that cycle. When fire comes, whether it is started by man, or by lightning, it causes new growth. The old trees die off, and new trees, of different types, grow up. In fact, certain types of pinecones (which are seeds of pine trees) need fire in order to open. If the fire of destruction didn't come, they would never bring forth new life.
God created Satan because He knew that if we didn't have an enemy to fight against, we'd never grow and mature; we'd only stagnate and remain spiritual babies. Since God wanted us to grow, He needed to provide us with an enemy we'd have to struggle against.
Look at it this way; if someone wants to have strong muscles, they need to exercise, so that the muscles can grow and become strong. Likewise, if someone wants to be a great warrior, they need to practice using the weapons of their warfare. Or, if they want their mind to grow, they have to study, think, and work, so that their ability to use their mind increases. It's the same with the spirit. If we want our spirits to grow strong and mature, we need to work and fight so that they can grow.
Just as the best gold is purified in the crucible of the fire, and the strongest steel is tempered in the fire, the greatest believers are forged in the fire of affliction. If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego hadn't passed through the fire of affliction, we would not know of them. Their greatness came about through their ability to rise above the attacks of the enemy, and through their faith, triumph in what appeared to be impossible circumstances.
When we are faced with impossible circumstances, we too need to rise above them. Instead of allowing them to become stumbling blocks, we need to use them as stepping stones, to climb higher. It may very well be a struggle to do that, but it is those struggles which will help us grow into all that God wants us to be.
Copyright © 2005 by Richard A. Murphy, Maranatha Life. All rights reserved.