Another explanation for why bad things happen in this world is that Satan is seeking to destroy the things of God.
Satan is Legalistic
Satan knows that it is we whom God loves, that it is we whom God created this world for, and it is we with whom God seeks to have fellowship and relationship. So as an attack on God, Satan seeks to attack and destroy us. He does this through a variety of means. Sometimes Satan accuses us, condemns us, and brings charges against us before God, demanding that justice be served (Rev 12:10). Satan is the ultimate legalist and seeks to destroy our lives by demanding that the punishment required by the law be brought down upon our heads.
Satan Encourages Harm to Nature
Aside from seeking our destruction through a legalistic application of the law of God, Satan also uses his power and influence in this world to create chaos and conflict, inspire hatred and hostility, and instigate violence and bloodshed. All the wars, murders, rapes, and abuse in the world have been influenced by Satanic forces in some way or another. Certainly, much of the blame for these things lie at the feet of mankind, but Satan encourages these destructive behaviors and fans the flames of proud and arrogant men arguing over land, possessions, privilege, and power. Satan seeks only to destroy . War, bloodshed, and fighting are among his favorite methods.
When possible, Satan also uses natural forces to cause death and destruction. It is not likely that Satan can control the weather, or cause earthquakes, hurricanes, and famines, but Satan certainly knows more about the conditions and requirements for such natural disasters to occur, and does what he can to tempt mankind and encourage natural forces toward these destructive storms and natural disasters that are often unleashed upon us.
Satan is Allowed to Kill Humans
Finally, there are certain times, places, and events where it seems that Satanic forces are allowed to directly touch and destroy human lives. Ideally, this would probably be Satan’s preferred method for causing death and destruction, by simply killing humans and taking their lives. If given free reign upon humanity, this is what he would do in an instant, but thankfully, God restricts the destroyer from fulfilling such desires. But sometimes, when a person or group has been drawn so far down the path of sin, they effectively remove themselves from the protective hand of God. When this happens, sin, death, and destruction are allowed to have their way with that person or group of people.
God Restrains Satan
The very fact that the sun rises every morning, and we are not killed this very instant is because of God’s good graces. Of course, it is not He who is holding Himself back from killing us all, but rather, He holds back Satan from doing what he does best: to kill and destroy (John 10:10; 1 Pet 5:8). One of God’s primary tasks in the world is holding back and restricting Satan from obliterating humanity. If God were not actively blocking Satan at all times, the entire world would crumble into destruction and decay almost immediately.How can a God who says "Love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44) be the same God who instructs His people in the Old Testament to kill their enemies?
These are the sorts of questions we discuss and (try to) answer in my online discipleship group. Members of the group can also take ALL of my online courses (Valued at over $1000) at no charge. Learn more here: Join the RedeemingGod.com Discipleship Group I can't wait to hear what you have to say, and how we can help you better understand God and learn to live like Him in this world!
Chuck McKnight says
“Sometimes Satan accuses us, condemns us, and brings charges against us before God, demanding that justice be served (Rev 12:10).”
This is quite true. It’s interesting, though, that the saints around the throne demand the same thing. “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:10).
Jeremy Myers says
Interesting connection… Revelation is tricky though!
Ah yes, Satan, Evil personified; the Great Accuser, he who accuse us; he who accused Christ; he who accuses God himself; the Liar. God is not guilty. Nor is Christ. We may be guilty, but not necessarily as charged. We are the Beloved.
Do we not link arms with the Accuser when we accuse one another? Who has whispered the Lie in our ears that accusing one another is love? Who told us to love one another? They are not the same.
Who says “Your skirt is too short? Weren’t you drinking beer? You were caught in the very act of adultery? You will burn in hell!” Who says “Where are your accusers?….Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”?
Jeremy, do you think Satan is a personal being? Or is Satan one form evil takes?
It always puzzles me how people say things about drinking beer or other alcohol as if it were a bad thing. If doing that was a sin, then Jesus committed a sin by enabling many people to get drunk at a wedding by giving them a few barrels of the finest quality they had ever had. Let alone the fact that he probably drank the stuff every day of his life.
After having this explained to them, the ignorant person will usually then proceed to say something along the lines of “the wine was watered down grape juice”, which is an absolute lie. Anyone who knows anything about fermentation or history will tell you that it is a lie, yet I still have heard pastors make the remark often.
Jeremy Myers says
So you having a beer while writing that comment? Ha!
I’m with you though….
Yeah, I most definitely was! haha. Honestly, as a “former” mega-church attender, I heard the grape juice argument too many times to count. I just wish more pastors would just stick to the facts, or at least admit that they don’t have all of the answers. That is why I love your blog though. You present your arguments well, and don’t pretend to be all-knowing. Even when I disagree, I feel like I need to reconsider the evidence presented in your articles. Cheers!
Jeremy Myers says
Thanks, Altair. Your words are very encouraging. I know I am wrong in many areas, and REALLY appreciate the input and feedback from other students of Scripture like yourself.
Jeremy Myers says
I do think Satan is a being…. a spirit maybe…
Truthfully, the Bible tells us next to nothing about his origin or existence, so this is another doctrine I hold quite lightly. I don’t think Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are talking about “Satan”…
But you are right…. God is not the accuser. Satan is. Yet we so often think that God is the one accusing us of sin. Tragic!
Vince Latorre says
It’s very true that that God is often blamed for things that are the result of a sinful and fallen world, including of course the activity of the first fallen being, Satan. But it is a credit to the genius of God that He “works all things after the counsel of His will”, and so even allows some evil to take place in order to achieve a good thing. I’m thinking of Joseph, for example. God didn’t approve of what his brothers did to him, but he nevertheless used it to bring Joseph to Egypt to become a great leader. And of course the men were held responsible who crucified Him, but nevertheless they crucified the Lord of Glory and so served God’s will in spite of themselves.
I think it is amazing how God chooses to work with billions of beings who all are free to choose also, and despite this voluntary limitation accomplishes His will. But of course He is often misunderstood by us because of our own limited understanding. So we can’t blame Him as the cause of evil, but we still have to trust His judgment when he allows it for a season.
Yes! “trust His judgment when he allows it for a season.”…. or even “for ever and ever.”… or properly translated, “from age to age.”
Jeremy Myers says
It truly is an amazing testimony to the wisdom and resourcefulness of God! This shows true “control.”
Also, the way God defeated the principalities and powers even as they were trying to defeat and kill Him is truly shocking! They never saw it coming, but it is what God planned from before the world was created. Amazing!
Erp Thompson on Facebook says
Again with the “It’s not my fault!” … The Devil did it …
Jeremy Myers on Facebook says
Erp, whoa there! Settle down, buddy! No one is blaming the devil. If you happened to read the post and some of the other posts in this series, you would see I am arguing for the exact opposite.