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ASK BOB: Why Did God Create Satan Knowing He Would Be Evil?

by Bob Russell

Occasionally people email me asking for my opinion on various personal or church issues. I recently received the following question which I have reprinted below, followed by my response.


Pastor Russell,  God created Satan and God is also omniscient so He knew that Satan would rebel.  Why did God create Satan when He knew that Satan would rebel and corrupt all of creation?  Further, how can God be considered good for doing such a thing?


Your questions about why God permits evil and why He created the Devil are not easy ones to answer.  And my response will not be comprehensive. Other minds are much more capable of answering these tough questions than I, but since you’ve asked me, I’ll try.

Someone said if we could explain everything about God then we would be equal with Him…and we are not.  The Bible says God’s ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts…as high as the heavens are above the earth so are God’s ways and thoughts higher than ours.  So we will never be able to fully comprehend His ways while we are in the flesh.  Therefore much Biblical truth has to be accepted by faith.

The Bible teaches God created a perfect world.  The Garden of Eden was a sinless place.  Adam and Eve were created perfect and the angels were created perfect.  But the creation was not without risk.  Both human beings and heavenly angels were given free will.  We have the capacity to choose right or wrong. Adam and Eve chose evil and fell into sin.  Satan, an archangel of God also chose rebellion and was cast out of heaven.

In explaining why God permitted evil consider these two analogies:

When a mother gives birth to a child she knows in advance that the child will bring her pain, physically and emotionally all her life.  Yet she joyfully brings the child into the world anticipating that the positive experiences will far outweigh the painful ones.  God knew in advance that Satan and Adam would fall into sin, but perhaps the joy of those who choose fellowship with Him far exceeds the pain of disobedience. And His plan for redemption would, in the end, make all things right.

When a father takes the training wheels off a child’s bike, he knows in advance that the child will probably take a spill and get hurt (and probably blame his dad), but the father takes the training wheels off anyway knowing the thrill of riding a two-wheeler and the maturity that comes with taking the risk are well worth the temporary pain.  If the dad is overly protective the child will not grow to maturity.

The bottom line is that God didn’t create us as robots or puppets on a string.  We are created in the image of God and we have the freedom to make personal choices.  That makes life risky but meaningful.

Thanks for honoring me with your question.  I hope this helps a little but remember we will never fully comprehend God, yet we can’t live without Him! The French philosopher Blaise Pascal said, “There is a God-shaped hole in every heart that only God can fill.”  Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”


                         Bob Russell is retired Senior Minister of the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY



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If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8