Monday Musings for March 05, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

I came to Christ at the beginning of my adult life… and with no knowledge of the Bible. I was pretty good at natural theology, though, so I had figured out a few things along the way — and I had a lot of ideas about the devil… most of which weren’t biblical. But my biggest surprise came when I read the book of Job and discovered that Satan had access to God — even after his fall!

But his chutzpah amazed me most. This angel, who had already thumbed his nose at God, walked boldly into God’s presence, and when presented with an example of faith, he looked God in the eye and challenged him.

Now, if I know the end of Satan’s story, then Satan surely knows the end of his story… so why does he continue with the rebellion? Here’s what I figured. There must be a side-effect to arrogant pride that eclipses the fear God… and this is what today’s questioner wants to know: does Satan fear God? So my answer is… or make that one of my answers is… no, apparently not!

A little fear can be just what the doctor ordered for us human beings, though… the right kind of fear, that is. If Satan had enough of the right kind of fear he might have subordinated his pride. Now, there’s nothing wrong with pride itself. It’s a natural part of our being self-aware. But there’s everything wrong with arrogant pride… and that was Satan’s signature sin.

And look at its cost: it was not good for him; it was not good for us; it was not good for the unregenerate — and it sent Christ to the cross — what a mess! … and it all could have been prevented with a little reverential fear.

Some kinds of fear are counterproductive, like fear of failure. Learning from our failures is how we advance as a species. Prudent fear is also helpful. That’s the kind that kept me alive when I was young. There were countless things I thought about doing… but then thought better of it — and I’m here to tell the tale! But there are many people who aren’t here because they have become the tales themselves.

The word fear shows up a lot in the Bible — over 2000 times, in fact — and it can mean different things in differing contexts. My personal favorite is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom …” from Proverbs 9:10. This isn’t a cowering type of fear; it’s a reverential fear — the good stuff! We should all fear the Lord this way. If Satan did — and if he did it enough — he wouldn’t have fallen.

When people fear God in a reverential way, they do not have to fear him in an afraid sort of way. But we are not Satan… and in my opinion, Satan doesn’t fear God either way. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think God and Satan are equals… nor do I think that Satan thinks he can win the ultimate fight. It’s just that the Bible shows him as being bold in the presence of God.

That in itself is a reason for us to be humble when we enter God’s presence, whether it be in prayer, in study or in service. If you’re like me and can’t seem to attain Christ-likeness, at least we can resolve not to be like Satan by remaining humble.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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