Suffering: What kind of suffering from God’s perspective does He allow? Part 3

This is the third part of answering the question, “What kind of suffering from God’s perspective does He allow?” in the large project of answering the question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 1 and 2 were posted in the previous two days.

Demonic Evil

Demonic evil is the harm and suffering caused by Satan and his demonic organization. He is alive and at work creating confusion, chaos, division and resultant suffering. Hence, people often suffer because Satan is that vicious enemy who hates and is out to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a). There are some people who blame every problem on Satan and ignore personal and corporate moral evil as well as natural evil. However, Satan and his demons are ones who murder (John 8:44), torment (Acts 5:16), cause bodily harm (Acts 8:4-8), create false wonders and miracles (2 Thes. 2:9-10) and accuse the saints before God (Rev. 12:10).

Satan gained ruling status of the earth when Adam sinned. Satan is the god of this world as Paul noted, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded…” (2 Cor. 4:3-4 NKJ) It was Satan who offered the kingdoms of this world to Jesus in hope that He would bypass the cross,

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matt. 4:8-9 NKJ)

Jesus didn’t argue whether or not Satan had some kind of control over the kingdoms of the world. He instead was focused on going to the cross and would receive ultimate control.

The book of Job clearly explains the Divine permission granted to Satan to wreak havoc on even a righteous man. Job was described as blameless, even offering sacrifices for his own children, “in case” they had sinned (and all people do). Yet there is a reason why God allowed Satan to destroy Job’s business, kill his ten children and then inflict a horrible skin disease on him. Job records the Divine challenge to Satan,

8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” 9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:8-11 NKJ)

God never explained to Job why He allowed that suffering (Job 42:1-6). We understand what He did and it was through demonic evil that Job suffered, at least until his self-righteous friends began unjustly accusing him of all sorts of wickedness. This will be discussed in greater detail in chapter three.

The final part four will be posted tomorrow.

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