Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Have you ever wondered why there is such fierce opposition to those who love and serve God? The Scriptures speak of this fact frequently. And my experience, and that of many others I know, confirms it. This is why the writers of Scripture call that powerful spirit the devil (“tempter”) and satan (“accuser”).
I have been reading again C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters. I had forgotten just how brilliant and insightful this book is. Lewis makes the following series of observations about the motives and goals of the demons and of the living God (representing the perspective of the demons).
“To us [demons] a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.” (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters [HarperOne: 1996], pp.38-39; italics in original)
This paragraph holds a wealth of insight. The primary word that comes to me as I have reflected on this is “envy.” The demons are envious and they do not understand (indeed they cannot accept) what they know to be true about the Creator’s purpose and intentions for us human creatures.
I obviously have no idea what it is like to be an angelic being but it seems reasonable to me to conclude a few points. One, if the general notion is true that angelic creatures are intelligent and they can (and have made) choices of allegiance to either God or satan then some decision-making process is behind this undying hatred of the demons for us humans. Before satan revolted in rebellion with God and took one-third of the angelic being to his side to go to war with God he must have thought and devised a reason for this.
This is where Lewis’ speculation becomes quite helpful. Yes, I know that he is merely making his best (well informed) assessment of the aim and motives of the demons but this makes a great deal of sense. Further, I think Lewis observations certainly do line up with the general picture that Scripture gives of the demons and of Satan. Thanks be to God our Lord Jesus overcame them all by giving himself on the cross! (see Colossians 2:15)