For the past week or so I’ve been pondering on the lifelong question that seems too obvious to ask: Who is the enemy of God?
Now for those who claim no religious credence or denomination affiliation, I understand this post may seem like blowing hot air into the ether and absolutely ridiculous.
Nevertheless, humor me.
The popular notion of a pitchfork-wielding red devil opposite of a winged angel baby on one’s shoulder may come to mind, but this is furthest from the truth.
These concepts date back to the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve walking and talking with God during the cool of the day. Eventually, as the story goes, Eve was tempted by the serpent, who was possessed by the devil himself, to eat of the forbidden fruit. This act of disobedience toward God’s specific command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil had eternal consequences.
(Queue the debate for the specification of “the original sin.”)
Many scholars have conceded pride was the original sin since it is not the action that defiles the person but that which proceeds from the heart (Matt. 15:18).
Shame came upon Adam and Eve. Both hid from the Lord as he descended upon the garden. Pretending to be unaware of the grave sin both had committed, God asked the two’s whereabouts and their reason for hiding. Acknowledging their nakedness, the Lord “realized” the two had violated the command to not eat the forbidden fruit. Adam blamed Eve who then blamed the serpent. The Lord cursed the serpent by depriving the reptile usage of his legs while casting the first humans out of the Garden of Eden.
Now one would observe, as many have, that the serpent was to blame. That darn serpent! Why did God have to create HIM? Well, this is where things get a little tricky.
Remember Satan, once known as Lucifer, in past time, stood in the presence of God as, I believe, a cherubim. Lucifer, overcome with–there it is again–pride, felt compelled to make himself like the Almighty. And since God is omniscient and omnipotent, He cast out Lucifer, now known as Satan, and the other angels, now known as demons, who encouraged this celestial “revolution.” This then raises the question: Where does pride come from?
Pride is evil. And evil is the absence of good. And what is good? For the sake of the post, we’ll agree God is absolute good. So, following this line of logic, evil consumed Lucifer. Not the other way around. And if the same evil that consumed Lucifer has consumed us, where does that put us?
Millenia passed and Satan’s attempt to thwart God’s plans fell short time and time again (e.g. Noah, Job). Fast forward to the death of Christ. Christ, God in the flesh has died. Who killed him? Many Christians mistakenly believe the devil finally got the upper hand and slaughtered his Maker. Others say, correctly, God (Isa. 53:10). But who carried out the physical crime of deicide?
There is only one choice left, and that’s us.
Throughout the Bible, Scripture encourages us to “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). In the Old Testament David succumbed into temptation and had an affair with Bathsheba and killed her husband. Nevertheless, God forgave. In Matthew 4 the devil tempted Christ in the desert and failed miserably. However, in 2 Timothy, Paul writes to “flee youthful lust.”
Throughout the entirety of Scripture, we are told to trust in God for he will provide and fight “the evil one” with the “armor of God” (Eph. 6:10-18). Now we are being told to flee from that which is inside of us.
So, who killed God? We, in accordance with God’s plan, did.
We are the enemy of God, YET Christ, knowing his very creation would rebel against his grace and mercy, provided a path to salvation. With this perspective, Satan and his angels, or demons, committed a lesser crime than we could ever commit, yet we were chosen to dwell in perfect peace with the one whom we gladly slaughtered on a cross.
After all, I presume we all know the enemy quite well.