Suffering: Who is the one who started the suffering that God allows? Part 5

This is Part 5 of 5 parts answering the question, “Who is the one who started the suffering that God allows?” of the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?”

God’s Judgment on Satan

When Satan thought those things in his heart, God cast him out of heaven and the most likely place is what Scripture says. Isaiah recorded,

15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. 16 “Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you,  saying: `Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, 17 Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’ (Is. 14:15-17 NKJ)

Satan was cast down to the Pit, just as he will be cast into the Pit, when Jesus returns at the Second Advent. John recorded in Revelation 20,

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-3 NKJ)

Before the creation of the world, Satan was cast into the Pit? Why? Because, when God judged him, he went berserk like a rebellious child, who did not like the discipline of a godly parent. He went nuts as Ezekiel 28 recorded, “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, and you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.” (Ezek. 28:16 NKJ) He was filled with violence and God stripped him of his rank, his position and his function. He threw Satan in the Pit after he turned the earth into a wilderness. When God cast him down notice the description,

17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. 19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.” (Ezek. 28:17-19 NKJ)

Satan was proud because he was the exalted creature, but it went to his head. He had allowed the great influence he attained over the other angelic creatures to puffed up his thinking. The judgment was harsh so that all the other angelic creatures would be shocked with horror. Because of his pride, he would never again have that prestige and position he enjoyed.

Satan is the one who started the suffering that God allows today.  He is the one who was somehow released according to the justice and holiness of God to tempt and deceive Eve, who then gave the fruit to Adam. Adam, knowing what he was doing, took the fruit and willfully ate it in rebellion against God. Satan’s rebellion started the consequence of suffering in the world. Satan’s suffering led to Adam’s rebellious choice to sin and begin suffering in the human race. God IS just, but it would be wrong to assume that in a fallen world, that is under Satan’s rule (2 Cor. 4:4), that life is fair.3

Looking Ahead

We live in a world of suffering. That is most clear. We’ve also seen that man deals with suffering in many different ways, and most of the time he chooses his own foolish ways  rather than God’s humble way. But what is the reason that God continues to allow suffering? If there is a God, a loving God, who allows it there must be a reason. Part Three will answer the question of why there is suffering.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What were some of the first forms of suffering you remember?
  2. In a general way, can you recall choices other people made that caused you suffering? Can you identify those things without blaming others or putting anyone else down?
  3. If Satan sinned first and began suffering, why did that get passed so quickly into the human race?
  4. How is Scripture like a puzzle? How does comparing Scripture with Scripture give us answers that we might not normally understand?
  5. All Scripture must agree with itself. That is called the Analogy of Faith. Why must Scripture agree with itself?

1Waters, Larry, Elihu’s View of Suffering Relative to the Theology of God BIBLIOTHECA SACRA 156 (April-June 1999): 143.

2Bramer, Stephen. “Suffering in the Pentateuch,” Why, O God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), p. 88.

3Waters, Larry, “Reflections on Suffering from the book of Job” Bibliotheca Sacra, 154 (October-December, 1997), p. 447.

This concludes this chapter.


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