The Bible Insights Weekly e-letter is freely available upon request.

Yes! Please Subscribe Me

Bible Insights Weekly

Enrich your spiritual thinking.

UCG IA Bible Insights Thursday, September 29 2022

Did God create the Devil?

Angels—spirit beings God created—already existed when God made the earth, and in Job 38:7 they are described as having “shouted for joy.” God here reveals information man could not know, as there was no human being present at creation. He even asked Job, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?"(Job 38:4).

At creation God described the earth as so perfect all the angels shouted for joy, but we learn in Genesis 1:2 that sometime after its creation the situation dramatically changed, and the earth is described as "without form, and void" or, as Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible translates the Hebrew words tohu va-bohu, "waste and void."

In Isaiah 45:18 God tells us He did not create the earth " in vain," and the same Hebrew word, tohu, is used. If God did not create the earth in a state of waste, how did it come to be in that condition? Part of the answer is indicated in Genesis 1:2. The Hebrew word hayah, translated "was," can also be translated "became," as it is in Genesis 2:7 and 19:26. The earth was not created waste and void, but became that way at some point after its creation.

In Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, Genesis 1:2 appropriately reads, "Now the earth had become waste and empty." God then reshaped the earth into a home for Adam and Eve, as recorded in the remainder of Genesis 1. Something happened between the first two verses of Genesis that is recorded in Isaiah chapter 14, which references the angelic rebellion and identifies its ring leader.

In Isaiah 14:4 God addresses the "king of Babylon" who acquired his wealth and power using violence and bloodshed. Then, iin Isaiah 14:12, the subject shifts from the physical king to Lucifer or Satan, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;...I will be like the Most High'" (Isaiah 14:12-14). The ‘stars’ mentioned here symbolize angels (Revelation 1:20), and we are being told that Satan dared to challenge God for rulership of the universe.

Ezekiel 28 adds to our understanding of the events mentioned in Isaiah 14. In Ezekiel 28:2 God addresses the "prince of Tyre" who had grown haughty and presumptuous. Then, in verse 12 He begins to address "the king of Tyre" rather than the prince, and God's description makes it clear He is not speaking of a physical human being: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering.…" (Ezekiel 28:12-13).

In the next verse we are told: "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God…" (Ezekiel 28:14). The "cherub who covers" had an important position at God’s throne in heaven. Hebrews 8:5 tells us the tabernacle the Israelites carried with them in the desert was "a copy of what is in heaven" and, at either side of the "mercy seat," representing God's throne, was a golden cherub with wings extended to cover the mercy seat (Exodus 25:18-20). These two cherubim represented real angelic beings.

The being God addressed in Ezekiel is called the "cherub who covers," indicating he had once been one of these great angels. Many other scriptures tell us God "dwells between the cherubim." (1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalms 80:1; Isaiah 37:16).

God also tells this cherub, "You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you" (Ezekiel 28:15). This once marvelous being sinned and was expelled from God's throne in disgrace (Ezekiel 28:16-17). Millions of other angels joined him in rejecting God's authority and leadership. We find this symbolically described in Revelation 12:3-4: "And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon...His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth." Revelation 12:9 identifies this dragon as Satan and a third of the angels followed Satan in this rebellion and were cast down to the earth with him.

Jesus said Satan "[fell] like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18). It seems likely that this titanic struggle is what brought about the chaotic and wasted condition of the earth described in Genesis 1:2. God then renewed the surface of the earth in preparation for human habitation, as described in the rest of Genesis 1.

To aid His purpose in developing righteous character in human beings, God has allowed Satan and his minions to remain on the earth for the time being. Thus Satan was permitted to tempt Adam and Eve and continues to deceive humanity today, but God tells us that His faithful angels watch over us and are "ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:14).