Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.
Job 2:1 (English Standard Version)
Ever listen to Christians when problems arise, or they commit some gaffe? What’s one of the first things they say?
Oh, the devil’s busy! or That old Satan’s on my track!
Or lest we forget the all time classic-thanks to the late Flip Wilson:
The devil made me do it.
It’s almost guaranteed those catch-all phrases will be uttered; and I ought to know: I’ve used it myself. It appears that Christians are so busy obsessing over Satan, the Devil, “the Enemy”, Ol’ Scratch, Lucifer, etc, you’d think that He (or She) was the star of the Biblical show. We’ve turned the devil into our whipping boy/girl for all our woes and our sins.
However, when you take a closer look at the Bible-especially in the Old Testament, you notice that Satan was an obedient servant of God. There was no diabolical agency at work. In fact, the famed Lucifer verses in Isaiah were about a human king-of Babylon-not about some spiritual demonic creature. It wasn’t until the New Testament, and its Greco-Roman influences we get introduced to the Bible’s “Bad Boy”. Throughout the Old Testament we see every calamity that befell the wicked-even to Job-came from God.
My take is that when Greek (and other) philosophies were mixed into Judaism and early Christianity with their pantheon of gods and goddesses that the “Evil One” started to take shape.
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve turned “the devil” into our whipping boy/girl. Instead of being mature followers of Christ and accepting responsibility for our actions; or realizing there’s good and bad in the Universe; we blame “the devil”, thus being immature in our spiritual development. We become like the religions that Christianity is supposed to be “superior” to-trusting in blind superstitions from our benighted spiritual past, rather than trust in our own God-given powers, and in God Him/Herself.
We need to grow up and trust the goodness of the Divine as manifested in our Universe. End this fearful childish belief in some “prince of darkness” cut from whole Pagan cloth.
So next time we make some gaffe, or find ourselves in a sticky situation; before we go and jump on the “ol’ devil” bandwagon, let’s step back and see if it were us, or it’s just a quirk of life itself.