Believe it or not, the Devil is real. By comparing scripture with scripture, we can see a basic outline of his history and future, as well as answer the question, What does this have to do with me?
Long ago, before the earth as we know it even existed, the Lord created a beautiful angel. He was one of many, but he was exceptional in that he was highly honored of God. The Bible tells us that his name was “Lucifer”, day star, son of the morning. God created him as a beautiful, perfect being; then He annointed Lucifer as covering cherub–the Lord’s “right-hand man”, rather literally. (See Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:14,15)
Somewhere along the line, that honored angel began to let thoughts of pride and discontentment creep in. He coveted the place that only the eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful God is fit to occupy. Through his lies, he managed to steal the allegiance of a full third of the angels in heaven, and odd thought: there was war in heaven. (See Isaiah 14:13, 14; Revelation 12:4; also, Revelation 1:20; Job 38:7)
Lucifer was fighting a losing battle from the start of it. He had chosen to set Himself against the Life-Giver. Lucifer, with a new name, was cast out of heaven–he and all of his misled sympathizers with him. He would no longer be known as “Lucifer”, but “that old serpent…the Devil, and Satan.” And he was determined that as long as the Life-Giver suffered him to live, he would not rest his selfish cause. (See Revelation 12:7-9; I Timothy 6:13)
From the creation of this earth and all of its inhabitants, that old serpent has been set on drawing as many followers from humankind as he possibly can. He started with Eve in the Garden of Eden, and his deceptions have not ceased since. His pride has grown into intense hatred. He hates God and he hates man, created in the image of God. It became strikingly evident at the cross, where Satan inspired men to brutally treat and finally kill the humble, loving Son of God. (See Genesis 3:1-8; John 8:44; John 18:37-19:18)
Yes, Satan is real. He would love for us to be ignorant of the fact, or to imagine him as some long-tailed, horned, red beast. But he is not. He is a fallen angel, superior in strength and might–but hardened by selfishness and pride. He cares for no man, but will use force to collect followers. We need to see our danger and fall on the strength of our Creator, God, who loves us and only asks for willing obedience.
The war that began in heaven is being waged now on earth. We see the power of God moving in changed lives: hearts of compassion that once were hard as stone, peace where once was turmoil and fear, joy that is calm and enduring where once was only gaiety and mirth, and hope where the outlook before was bleak and dark. However, the enemy is not giving up his prisoners without a fight. Until the Son of God returns to take His children home, we shall see death, suffering, sorrow; and praise God for the day when our feet shall be lifted off this earth, never to be tempted again!
Yes, Satan is real, but he is conquered. Satan accuses us with the law of God, which he himself has driven us to break: “All have sinned“, “Sin is the transgression of the law” of God, “The wages of sin is death…” But the precious Son of God pleads His sinless life and blood in our stead: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16; see also Hebrews 2:14, 4:15,16; I John 3:4-8)
Sure, the accusations are perhaps somewhat true–but they are incomplete. For “now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”
*** VBS—The Land of Milk & Honey talks of God’s law, the Ten Commandments, and of some of the Israelites’ experiences on their way to the Promised Land—and the bigger picture, including the fall of Lucifer and our Heavenly home ahead. Find it here. ***