Why Create Lucifer?
by Bill Dawson
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
I've been pondering this question for quite awhile now:
God has foreknowledge. That said, why would God create Lucifer, knowing that he (Lucifer) would totally defy and reject Him, and become the instigator of such vast suffering and destruction?
Please note that I said "instigator", not "perpetrator". Man is the perpetrator.
I have my own thoughts about this question, but I'm hoping you have something to say that might offer me some guidance, or at least offer a challenge.
Thank you for your time, and God bless you.
Satan was created and given the role of covering cherub as we are told in Ezekiel:
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.' (Eze 28:14)
That meant that he had a position at the throne of God, in God's very presence. Interesting that He "walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire" (verse 14) but that is another topic.
Of course, your question goes beyond that and it is a very good question. Yes, God has foreknowledge. This verse certainly is saying that:
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isa 46:10)
His disciples said of Jesus that He knew all things:
"Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God." (John 16:30)
"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." (John 21:17)
We know that was not quite true. Jesus, in His incarnation, revealed that He didn’t know all things:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matt 24:36)
But what of the Father in heaven? Doesn't He know, as you ask, everything? I have always liked to think of God in the most extreme way - the omnis. (omnipotent - all powerful; omnipresent - present everywhere; omniscient - all knowing). Like He knows where every atom He was created has been or will be at any point in eternity. He knows every thought that will ever be thought in the future by anyone etc.
But then there is that quite legitimate question: why would He create Lucifer?
Sometimes we have to, as the saying goes, "think outside the box." Let's go somewhere (humbly) with this question that perhaps we are hesitant to go and see where it leads. Let me make it very clear that the object of doing this is not to try to lessen our concept of God or His greatness. God is truly great, an awesome God but we want to understand Him correctly. Perhaps as we reason this out we will find that He is truly greater than we have imagined in yet other ways.
Here is a question: what does it mean to know all things? What is a thing? A thing is anything that exists or that has occurred. It can include words, ideas in our heads, our very thoughts. It turns out that thoughts are things in a sense that even modern neuroscience is starting to be able to "see." Brain scans reveal that our thoughts actually leave a track of physical connections in our brain. So even our thoughts are things.
But here is the next question: is the thought that hasn’t been thought yet a thing? Does God know that? If the answer is yes we are left where we started but still with that question why create Lucifer? However, if the answer is no, then we need to deal with a few issues:
* How can one predict the future (as God clearly does) without knowing everyone's future thoughts and decisions?
* What about God's many very-detailed predictions?
* What effect does this have on our evaluation - "How Great Thou Art"?
* And what about Lucifer?
If you know all things (that are things, that have happened) and have an IQ in the zillions it is not hard to make some very-detailed predictions. Even we can reason from cause to effect sometimes quite accurately. Also, God, having the power He does in so many ways, can work to bring things to pass according to His plan.
Here is the really knew thought, the one that can really effect our evaluation of God. If God does not know the future in every detail, the outcome of every possible situation, then He wouldn't have known for sure that the mission of His Son to planet earth to bring about the plan of salvation would be a success.
Jesus was tempted - the Bible is clear on that. Temptation is not temptation if there is no possibility of failure, of making the wrong choice. Had Jesus sinned (its hard to even imagine the implications) the plan to save mankind would have failed. Would Satan then have had permanent control of planet earth? Would Jesus have been raised from the tomb? Would the Godhead have broken up? It's far beyond me to understand that.
But here is where God still looks good, perhaps even better. He loves the human race, you and I, fallen, wretched mortals, so much He was willing to take the risk of eternal loss; the risk that His only-begotten Son might have failed in His mission.
Young couples take a risk when they bring children into the world. They do it out of love, they hope for a good result but always there is the risk of some genetic disease, of some severe deformity, even of the child maturing and turning out really bad, even of turning against the parents.
Jesus Himself, the Son of God, Who, with His Father, created the vast universe, was willing to take the risk of being blotted out of existence in order to undertake the rescue mission. Now that is self-sacrificing love!
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
So why create Lucifer or anyone else for that matter? God is love, selfless, agape, always-put-others-first love. He created angels and other intelligent beings so that He could bless others. I have said a number of times to our little group that meets each week: "God's ultimate goal is to make as many people as possible as happy as possible for as long as possible."
We ask "why so much suffering in the world?" Not to diminish that but several billion people for just a few thousand years is a pretty small part of the big picture. Even science now is telling us that there are possibly a hundred billion galaxies with 100 - 200 billions stars in each with the possibility of a very, very great many inhabited planets. There could be billions of people on many of those planets living for eternity.
God did not want to create mere robots who could do nothing but love Him. He actually created us with the capacity to not love Him, to choose to go another way. Love is only love when there is another option. We were not designed to sin but we were designed with free wills which opens up the possibility of sin. Unfortunately, one being - and it seems perhaps the highest created being in the universe - choose that route.
See my page about Jesus character
for thoughts on why sin has been allowed to continue - there is a logical reason. However, it will come to an end.
So that is how I understand the subject. Remember that, to a degree, I am speculating on the nature of the God of the universe. In reality, He is far beyond my comprehension. I would be interested to hear your thoughts or anyone else's. A deep subject indeed.