This is Part 2 of 5 parts answering the question, “Who is the one who started the suffering that God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 3 through 5 will be posted on succeeding days.
The Beginning Began Before Man (cont.)
God asked them if they were around when He created the earth? Were they part of the architects or builders of the foundation? The answers were a resounding, “No!” And then God added verse seven, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” The term “morning stars” (plural) is found only once in all of Scripture. The term “morning star” (singular) is only found three times. In two of the passages it refers to Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 22:16) and in one other passage it is used as a reward for the believer in the church age who overcomes and keeps the Lord’s work until the end (Rev. 2:28). The term “morning stars” is set in parallelism with “sons of God.”
The term “sons of God” is found several times in Scripture – five times in each of the Old and the New Testaments. In the New Testament it refers to believers who are following after Jesus (Rom. 8:14,19), because they are led by the Spirit and creation looks to the future return of Church Age saints at the Second Advent of Christ. The phrase is used of those who have trusted in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26). In Matthew 5:9, those who are peacemakers are called “sons of God.” And finally, the term is used for those who are in the resurrection in Jesus (Luke 20: 36).
The Term “Sons of God” Helps Us Understand Suffering
In the Old Testament, the phrase is used five times in three larger passages. The phrase is found in three verses of Job. In the first passage, Job recorded, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan1 also came among them.” (Job 1:6 NKJ) We know from Scripture that Satan is an angelic creature and the “sons of God” were part of the angelic creation also. Again in Job 2:1, Job recorded, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.” (Job 2:1 NKJ) The most natural interpretation is that this refers to angelic creatures.
The phrase is found twice in Genesis 6, where the phrase refers to angelic beings, who see the daughters of men and impregnate them (Gen. 6:2, 4). Moses wrote, “the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” (Gen 6:4 NKJ) Jude gives us clarity that these were angelic beings, who left their domain and entered into the human race (Jude 1:6). Peter recorded that it was angels who sinned, by leaving their domain, and were cast into Tartarus at the flood for their special judgment (2 Pet. 2:4-5). Moses uses the term “sons of God” to refer to angelic creatures.
The final place the expression is found is in Job 38:7, where it is used with the phrase “morning stars.” The natural interpretation is to take it in the same way the expression was used in Genesis 6 and Job 1 and 2 – as angelic creatures.
Now if the angelic beings were there when God made the world, there was something that existed prior to God’s creation of planet earth as we know it today. The purpose of this chapter is not to establish that answer, but to show that there was one before Adam that started the suffering that God allows. That person was Satan, who also caused the fall of one third of the angels.
Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.