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My God, My God, WhyÖ?

Part 4 - The man eater

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(8/9) Introduction: The turn of the 20th century (115 years ago) saw two men named Jim Corbett rise to fame. One was a boxing instructor, turned pro, who beat the much heavier and more famous champion, John L Sullivan. Errol Flynn played Gentleman Jim Corbett in the movie. This Jim Corbett became an actor, and boxing exhibitionist.

The second was a British man, raised in India who went on to be a famous hunter and hero in India. In fact, there is a National Park in India named after him. This Jim Corbett became famous for hunting and killing man eaters; that is Leopards and Tigers that found man as an easier prey than animals. Most of these would stalk humans as they worked their fields or left their huts or doors open. The cats that Corbett killed were responsible for killing over 1500 people and two of the cats he hunted and killed were alone responsible for over 800 deaths. Jim Corbett refused rewards for his service.

Corbettís method for hunting the cats was to tie a goat or some other animal at the bottom of a tree while he climbed the tree and built a blind or just sat on a limb, all night alone, with just his rifle and a flashlight. The light would remain off and he would remain motionless until he detected movement or heard a sound usually just a few meters or yards away. His life and the lives of the people he wanted to save, depended on his alertness, diligence, and soberness.

What a vivid picture of what Peter is telling us in 1 Peter 5:6-11. Peter describes Satan as a man-eater.

Today, our question is a difficult one: Why would a Good God, an Omniscient God, an Omnipotent God, create a being which He knew would rebel and bring sin and suffering into a world he had created for His pleasure and Glory? Why Satan? Why the Man-Eater? Or, "If Satan is in the plan of God, then surely sin must be in the plan as well. How can a holy God include sin in His plan? I donít know if you have ever asked that question and if you have, if it left you puzzled?

A Simple Lesson. Letís begin by reminding ourselves of a very simple lesson. There are some mysteries we simply cannot comprehend at this stage of our life. Our finite minds cannot grasp the infinite mind of God! "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts," (Isa 55:8-9). Paul says in Romans 11, 33 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!" Itís exactly like this: Try explaining calculus to a 3 year old, or to 64 year old preacher. He or she will not get it and will ask, "Why?" There are a lot of things that make a small child ask why and we know that we cannot explain it to them because they, at this stage of their lives, are unable to grasp it. Likewise, there are things that we will not understand about the plans of an all wise, all powerful, and everywhere present God until we are glorified, and maybe not even then. A 3 year oldís response would beÖÖWhy? And, so is ours with this subject.

We are going to attempt to answer the question that is begged, "Why would a good God allow an evil angel to wreak havoc on His creation?"

What we are not going to do, is an exhaustive study on Satan and his minions. That would take weeks or months of teaching. This is simply to try and understand, just a little, why God has allowed Satan to exist and destroy the beauty of Godís creation. Do you understand this? Should you respond like a child and askÖ.. "Why?" The answer is, "Because, I said so." No, really, the answer is that there is not enough time. In fact, we have to approach this in 2 parts, as it is. The Reality of Satan is part one, and The Plan of God is part two. Letís begin.

I. The Devilís origin.

A Good Creation. Look with me at Rev. 4:11, "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." This affirms what the Bible has said from v.1 of Genesis 1, God created everything. And He created it by His will. He willed everything that He created. The Old KJV says, "and for thy pleasure they are and were created." His will was for His pleasure. All of creation brought joy to the heart of God, and that includes the angels of Heaven. Genesis 1:32 reminds us that when He finished His creation, He said, "Everything was very good!"

Look again at our call to worship Deut. 32:4, "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice;

Righteous and upright is He." God is carrying out a perfect work, a perfect, and just plan.

Job may be one of the very first books of the Bible written. Scholars believe Job lived about the time of Abraham; long before Moses. Look at Job 38:1-7.

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 2 "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. 4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Because of his sufferings, Job has been begging for an audience with God. He wanted an explanation for his losses and pain. But, Heaven seemed silent. Job wished his friends had remained silent and God would have spoken. Finally, God did speak. Before I answer you Job, I also want some answers from you. Who do you think you are? Where were you when creation began? Who told me how to make the earth or how to hang it in space? Where did the blueprints come from? And where were you when all the sons of God shouted for Joy? In the words of John Fogerty, God said, "I wanna knowÖ." All the sons of God are the angels. Perhaps celebrating the completion of Godís very good creation, His masterpiece, of which they were part. Perhaps especially, the creation of man in Godís very own image. When God stepped back from it all and said that it was finished, they shouted for joy. Just as they still do when someone repents and comes to faith in Christ and receives His grace (Luke 15).

All was well in Heaven and earth until one of the sons of God started a rebellion. His name was the light-bearer, or bright one. He was/is Lucifer. Not the Morning Star because Jesus is the Morning Star. Though he appears in the 3rd chapter of the Bible and various places in the Old Testament and in almost every New Testament book, we donít find out about his rebellion until 6 and 8 hundred years before Jesus was born.

First, letís look in Isaiah 14:3-15. Our Lord is addressing a king, a human king, a future human king of Babylon. However, it is clear that God is speaking not only to the man but a being in and behind the man. Compare this to 2 Thess. 2 and Rev. 13, and you will see that this is the future Antichrist. He has fallen from heaven (v. 12) and is the bright shining one. He is the one who wanted to be like God and be seated above God. This is not the man, but the evil one controlling the man. Both of whom will be condemned to an eternal hell.

Turn to Ezekiel 28:12-17. Again, notice that an earthly king is being addressed, The King of Tyre. But also, notice that no human being can possibly fit this description. There is an entity influencing this King. Who but Lucifer or Satan:

o Had, the "seal of perfection" and was "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty," in "Eden, the garden of God" (Ezekiel 28:12-13)?

o Was, "blameless" when created (Ezekiel 28:15)?

o Was, "the anointed cherub" (Ezekiel 28:14)?

o Was, on the Holy mountain of God

o Was, blameless or created without sin (Ez. 28:15)

One author summed these chapters up like this: "He was created wise, beautiful, and powerful. His beauty, splendor, and power led to his downfall, because he did not receive these as a gift from God. Instead, he took pride in what he was given. Ambition grew in the soil of pride, and Satan was no longer content with what he had. He wanted more. He wanted that which rightly belonged to God. Because of this he was cast down, and his position was taken from him. So it would be for those kings who walked in his steps. They too began to develop a "god complex," puffed up with pride and ambition because of the position and power given them." (Bob Deffinbaugh) I would also add, that pride and power are among the biggest problems man deals with. It is why we are not to have novices as leaders in our churches. 1 Timothy 3:6 says, "Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil."

Revelation 12:9, reminds us along with these texts, that the Dragon, called Satan was cast out of heaven along with 1/3 of the angels who followed his rebellion. And thus, he began his destructive assault on Godís creation, especially on mankind, that was created in Godís own image. He became the man-eater!

Although his presence is implied throughout the Old Testament in the sinful temptations of men and their idol worship. He is rarely mentioned specifically.

II. What Satan has Done in the Old Testament.

Besides the obvious implied texts in Isaiah and Ezekiel, he appears specifically:

ē in the serpent off Eden in Genesis 3

ē the 1st 2 chapters of Job, accusing and attacking Job

ē 1 Chronicles 21 to David, tempting David to number Israel

ē Zechariah 3:1-2 as he accuses the priest named Joshua.

In the New Testament

ē He is the Tempter of our Lord Jesus

ē He is the betrayer in Judas

ē He is called the prince or god of this age

ē He lies to and wants to destroy truth and Godís creation

ē His minions inhabits, possesses, and torments many in and around Israel

ē He opposes the Gospel throughout the New Testament

ē He tempts Godís Children

ē He appears as an angel of light

ē He is the dragon who will try to destroy Israel and all Christ followers in the Revelation of the end times.

Bob Deffinbaugh summarizes Satanís description in the book of Job, with 8 points.

"(1) The Book of Job introduces Satan as an adversary, in the context of suffering, early in the history of mankind. While Satan may not be prominent in the Old Testament as a whole, he is clearly introduced early on as Godís enemy and manís adversary. (Satan means Adversary)

(2) Satan is counted among the "sons of God" and is thus still included among the angels.

(3) Satan has freedom to go about the earth and even has access to heaven and the throne of God.

(4) Satan acknowledges Godís authority, but he does not respect it or fully submit to it. Satan knows he cannot afflict Job without Godís permission. He acknowledges that for him to afflict Job is ultimately for God to afflict him (Job 1:11; 2:5).

(5) Satan is arrogant toward God. Satanís retort, "Skin for skin," in verse 4 of chapter 2 may not be fully understood, but the attitude behind it is obvious. Satan shows no respect for God.

(6) Satan assumes that men are like him--that they strive for success and shun suffering. Satanís words reveal his belief that men only serve God when it serves their own fleshly interests, and that they will turn from God when suffering comes into their lives. Satan cannot imagine anyone worshipping God for who He is, rather than for what He gives. He thinks men must be bribed to worship and to serve God. His view is: "Take away the success, replace it with suffering, and saints will turn from God."

(7) Satan never learns. Satan is not teachable. Nothing changes his mind. While God acts in a way that could instruct Satan, he neither learns nor changes.

(8) Unwittingly, Satan serves Godís purpose. Satanís efforts produced the opposite of what he hoped to achieve by inflicting Job with adversity and suffering. While Satan is rebellious toward God and an adversary of Job, the suffering God imposed ultimately resulted in a deepening of Jobís faith and brought greater blessings to Job.

Satanís role in the Book of Job is a kind of microcosm, illustrating the place Satan plays in the overall plan of God. The role Satan plays in Jobís life illustrates the role Satan plays in the overall plan of God for creation. Satan is the enemy of God. He is neither humble nor submissive to God. He challenges God, thinking that afflicting Job will result in Jobís desertion from the ranks of those who worship God. But God is sovereign in Jobís sufferings. Satan can only afflict Job with Godís permission--and only within the limits God Himself has established. Jobís sufferings, while inflicted by Satan, are ultimately from the hand of God. Job may be asking the wrong questions, but he is asking the right person. After two chapters, Satan passes off the scene. When the story ends, Jobís faith has been deepened, and he is worshipping God. Jobís final condition is far better than his first. In spite of and because of Satanís opposition, Job has been blessed, and Satanís purpose has been frustrated. In the end, Satan learns nothing and gains nothing. God gained a more intimate relationship with Job, an opportunity to instruct the angels, and an occasion to teach us about Satan, the spiritual war, and the gracious role of suffering in the life of the saint.

As described in the Book of Job, what happened through Satanís opposition to God and Job is exactly what always happens in the plan of God. Satan is allowed to manifest his rebellion and bring about that which he supposes will hinder Godís people and His plan. Satan is allowed to do only that which God has planned for His glory and our good. He does nothing apart from divine permission. He does nothing contrary to Godís plan. Through Satanís opposition, Godís purposes are fulfilled, and Satanís purposes are frustrated. In spite of his failures, Satan never learns. Instead, he hastens on in his rebellion."

III. What Satan is Doing.

Satanís Devices Ė Briefly letís remind ourselves of what the devil is doing:

ē The Deceiver (His target-your mind) Satan is a liar Jesus said so in John 844; "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." He wants to destroy the truth, and your faith and trust and obedience in and to the truth. The mind is where God communicates His will and His word and where we decide to trust and obey God so his desire is to destroy the truth about God and Godís integrity and person, and Godís will which was given for you to experience the best in this life. So he fabricates his lies and doubts and half Ėtruths; just as he did in Eden with Adam and Eve.

ē The Destroyer (His target-your body) again John 8:44. Now, let me say, not all sickness or afflictions are by any means Satanic. Do you understand this? But it is clear, from the Bible, that Satan wants to destroy your body. Jesus said in John 10:10, "That the thief wants to kill, steal, and destroy." Whether it is through careless behavior and lifestyle, accidents, someone elseís bad judgment or behavior, or abusing drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or even foods, he wants to destroy your body. Job is an example, as is the lady in the temple with the hump back and Ö.. But he also wants to destroy your faith, your family, your future, and your effective testimony for Jesus.

ē The Dictator (His target Ė your will) He rules over the world that does not follow God and he wants to rule over those who do. Notice the following: John 12:21; 14:30; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 5:19

His tactic or well-designed plan is to appeal to you the same way I try to appeal to whitetail buck; that is, to appeal to:

- the desires of the flesh or body with doe perfume., or the taste or effects of alcohol, or food.

- the desires of your eyes or mind with a doe decoy. Could be a car, Satan will use a person that seems better than your spouse, or pornography, or newer better stuff than you have.

- the desires of the spirit or pride Ė rattling horns or using calls that sound like other bucks in his territory. Bucks will often come looking to drive off the intruder and get an arrow or bullet as a reward. Satan appeals to your pride to destroy you.

His bait will always be the things of this world or the ways of this world, which is why John begs us in 1 John 2:15-17: I am going to make a deep statement and I want you to get it. Godís plan is usually to take us through tough times, pain, suffering, and difficulties in order to develop us and then to give us glory. Listen to Romans 8:18; and 28-30

Satanís goal is to offer you the goal you want, and the glory you seek without difficulty, pain or suffering, and then to destroy you. (Repeat this and think about it) Thatís what he did with Adam and Eve and what he attempted to do with our Lord and what he wants to do to you.

ē The Denouncer Ė (His target is your heart). Revelation 12:10 says, "He accuses the brethren day and night. He never lets up (Job 1-2, Zech 3). Listen, I believe that he not only appears before God to accuse you, but he also will constantly accuse you to you. He will put it into your heart, that you are not saved. You could not be saved and a child of God and do what you did or are doing. And, God cannot use you. You are not worthy. You messed up to bad. God might forgive others, but not you. You are disqualified. You are a hopeless case. You might as well keep on sinning because you will never change, you canít. God is looking for good people and you do not qualify and never will.

ē The Demise of the Kingdom of God (Rev. 12). This is just too much for today. But Satanís ultimate goal is to destroy Israel, the Church, demolish the kingdom of God, and destroy creation. That is why the Church, the Bible and one small nation, a pencil point country in the world are at the center of attack in the world. No other religion, no other book, and no other people are so hated and attacked as the Church, Israel, and the Bible. He wants to destroy everything God created for His Glory and our Good.

ē Now there may be a lot more, but this is enough to see what Satan is Hell bent on doing in this world.

IV. Satanís Doom.

From Genesis 3 to Revelation 20, Satanís doom is emphatically repeated. He is judged, condemned and sentenced to spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone. "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ĎDepart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matt. 25:41). In fact, the Revelation 12:12, reminds us that he knows His time is short and he is intensifying his assaults. Rev. 20:10 says, "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

V. Our Decisions in light of this knowledge.

Now, little of what I shared with you is new news. You know this stuff. It is simply a reminder of reality and a lead in to next weekís answer that begs to be given.

But I want to end with these few thoughts.

A. We should avoid levity and flippancy (1 Peter 5:6-11). Satan is a serpent, and as such, he is not only deadly but often is so well camouflaged we do not see him. Some Christians see too much of Satan, as though he were behind every biblical bush. Others see too little of him. Some therefore give him too much credit and others too little. He is a man eater.

B. We should remind ourselves every day of his devices. That is why our Lord tells us to pray, "Deliver us from evil or the evil one." (Matt. 6:13)

C. We should remind non-believers and casual Christians of Satanís devices so they can choose to trust God and receive Grace (2 Cor. 2:10-11)

D. We should resist Him by drawing close to and submitting ourselves to God. (James 4:6-11). You must spend time in the Bible regularly as a Diabetic takes his or her insulin. You must pray often and use the Lordís Prayer as model, that is why He gave it to us. Or your defenses will go down and you will be a prey for the man-eater.

E. Remind yourself that anytime you start to rationalize how this could be good or just a little wonít hurt, it is probably the bait if Satan designed to destroy you (James 1:12-15)

F. Lastly, remember that just like Jim Corbett was the British hero in India that hunted and destroyed the man-eaters. Jesus Christ our Lord came into this world to destroy Satan and His power (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8), and to condemn Him to an eternal hell. You can be free of the tyranny, attacks, and slavery to the man-eater by repenting and humbly receiving Godís forgiveness, grace and freedom in Jesus Christ.

Do you need to repent today?

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman