This is an age-old question: “From whence evil?” Many skeptics have used it as reason to doubt. Many theologians have used it to believe. The question of evil and suffering are very difficult subjects to navigate through. We need to be very precise in our wording and very cautious to not say something that is heretical or blasphemous. God did not create evil. He did not create the devil. From that which is absolutely pure, no evil can come.
But this, of course, sparks the long asked question? From where did evil come? Who did create the devil? I would like to attempt to clarify a little bit. God created Lucifer. The name itself means light bearer. He created the angel. This is made clear in both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. But God looked at His creation on day 7 and said it was very good. Just when did Lucifer fall? We see in the book of Job that the angels rejoiced at the laying of the foundations of the earth. That took place on the third day. So before the third day, God must have created the angels.
God rested on the seventh day. There is no way that we can say that Lucifer fell on the seventh day. If that were true, then God wouldn’t have rested. Genesis chapter 2 is a reiteration of the sixth day. So when we reach chapter 3, we are now reading of some time not announced. It is possible that Adam lived in the Garden for 100 years before taking of that fruit. He was 130 when he bore Seth. We don’t know how old Cain was when Seth was born, and we don’t know how old Cain and Abel were when Abel died. I say this to make the point that we really can’t give conclusive answers to when Satan tempted the woman. The best we know is that it was probably within that window of after day 7 and before Adam was 100. I have a theory on how it happened. It doesn’t necessarily tell us when. Darkness was present at the beginning, but God did not eliminate the darkness. When there was void (emptiness), He filled; when there was chaos, He created order. But darkness continued. I’ve already ventured into this thought a little bit.
God set up lights to govern the darkness. The sun was to govern the day, and the moon was to govern the night. We see in Isaiah 24 that they are ashamed and confounded at the end of the age. They allowed the darkness to continue to creep in and overtake God’s creation. I speak of light and darkness as though they have personality. I don’t believe this is mere personification. I think that words escape us on this description. We are left groping for proper language. I don’t think that the physical light and physical darkness is what is being expressed here. When I read the writings of John, I am captivated by the usage of these words. I don’t think they simply mean physical light and physical darkness. John’s gospel gives to both light and darkness personality. Darkness has a power to blind and to cause people to stumble. Light has power to set free and to release from the blindness and stupor that the darkness has brought.
Jesus is called the light of the world. John refers to Jesus at the very beginning of his gospel as the light; “the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” In Jesus was life, and that life was the light of men. This life that is the light of men shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. Do you see what I mean by John personifying light and dark? It is almost as if these are actually two different powers of two different kingdoms. And here is where I think the answer lies. I can’t help but wonder if maybe Lucifer saw the darkness and was captivated by it. Something about the darkness might have enticed him, and he allowed it to overtake him. The power of darkness that was being governed over and held at bay now became the force by which Lucifer tried to establish himself as the Most High.
In this we have much that needs to be discerned. Is there a difference between sin and darkness? Sin has a power. It is more than an action. There is something about sin that actually binds and blinds humanity. We cannot get free from its grip. To stop performing actions that God calls abominable is not enough to make it to heaven. Our righteousness is not enough. There is still something within mankind that is not up to par. I think this is especially true after the fall. In Adam we all die.
The power of Satan is the darkness itself. It is by this darkness that he blinds us. What it is about darkness that causes humanity to be in a stupor, I don’t exactly know. Sin is only a side effect of this. I don’t mean to make it less than what it is. As abhorrent as sin is, the real fight is against darkness itself. To fight against that darkness is to fight against everything that is opposed to God. God originally used darkness as a cloak. It was originally permitted for a season.
The darkness originally had a sense of mystery and cloaking, but that does not mean that there was evil contained within it. What Satan did was took that mystery and cloaking and held it over the man and woman. He proclaimed as one who has secret knowledge that the woman knew nothing of. When the serpent went to the woman, he did not tell her to eat the fruit. Not one time did the serpent tell her that she should take and eat of the fruit. He was much more crafty than that. The serpent started by asking a question that denies God’s innate goodness. Is God really after our best interest? Does He truly want our success in the highest sense of the word? Does God, as a Father, so love us that if He withholds information from us it is for our good, and never for our downfall? This is what the serpent attacks.
He came along and started to speak words that challenged whether God really does desire our benefit. Because God has hidden this knowledge from you, how can you be sure that He isn’t holding more from you? How can you be sure that He isn’t withholding something that is essential to you? This is the way the serpent twists and mocks. He took the darkness – the mystery and the unknown – and he used it to then confuse and deceive the woman. Thus, the darkness, though it was originally intended for good, was forced to perform something wicked. The darkness was for our benefit. That mystery and the hidden knowledge was for our good. If it was essential that mankind would determine for self what is good and what is evil, then the fruit of this tree would not have been forbidden. However, our morality and our knowledge of right and wrong do not come from our own perception. It comes from something deeper than what we think. Our morality as Christians is to come from God and God alone.
God had kept the darkness at bay by having the two great lights to govern it. Satan then took that darkness and yielded it for evil. Something in the darkness must have enticed him and consumed him with pride and envy. So, by manipulating the very creation that God had made, the devil brought in evil. Mankind’s fall was not contained only in humanity. It was a cosmic fall because it brought darkness into all aspects of creation. That which was at the first made to dwell in light has been now cast into darkness. The darkness had a power intrinsic within it. That power that enticed Satan to behold and become prideful and full of envy was the very spiritual factor that would have caused the universe to revert back to formlessness, emptiness, and chaos. That power is the very power of sin. It is the working of death. To name it, it is a corrupted wisdom.