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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lucifer's Sin...

Admittedly, there are matters in the Scriptures difficult to understand. One of these, certainly, is the reason for the sin of Lucifer. Doubtless, both he and the angelic host were endowed with a free will ( Free moral agency). Yet, how it is possible for him, a being "full of wisdom" and "perfect in his ways" to sin so grievously against God is one of the major mysteries of all time.

A striking passage in Isaiah 14:12-17 seems to suggest the sinfulness of Satan and the enormity of his rebellion against God:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north;

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

"They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

"That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the house of his prisoners?"

The beginning of Isaiah 14 has to do with the restoration and blessing of Israel and the world. Suddenly, however, the spotlight is turned upon the underlying cause of sin and suffering, which is embodied in the person of Satan. He is addressed as "Lucifer," meaning bright and shining one.

Some Bible scholars believe that this Isaiah passage is prophetic, from the point of view of that coming time when Satan will come to know the full punishment of the wrath of God for his rebellion and transgression against His throne.

The particular interest of this passage lies in the minute examination of the innermost heart of Satan. Here is the key to his sin. Here exposed are the motivating forces which caused his mutiny against God.

We must bear in mind that this rebellion occured long before the time of Adam and Eve, apparently long prior to the period when the earth lay "without form and void" (Gen. 1:2). Open conflict raged between Satan and God, in heavenly places.

The character of the sin of Lucifer may be divided into five parts, all progressing from the lesser to the greater. Essentially, the nature of the sin was the desire for self-will. Lucifer wanted his own way instead of the way of God. Essentially, this is the root of all sin.

In striking contrast to this was the will of the Lord Jesus Christ when He came into this earth. During His ministry here, He declared His desire for the Father's will rather than His own.

The diffrence is sharply outlined when we note that Lucifer five times used the declarative statement, "I will." Against this we note our Saviour's earnest words, "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt"; "I come...to do Thy will, O God" (Matt. 26:39; Heb. 10:7 ).

It seems evident that the commission of Lucifer had been to direct the angelic hosts in their various tasks over the universe. His was also the high honor of guarding the throne of God. Yet, this did not satisfy him. As the scripture outlines Lucifer's sin, the desire of his heart seemed to be to rise to ever greater achievements, even to displacing God from His throne. (Sounds like "Suvivor" huh? You know with all of the competition and deceit stuff...)

Note that the first "I will" suggests that Lucifer coveted permanent residence in Heaven ( Isa. 14:13). The next "I will" indicates that he wanted precedence above all of God's creation. The term "stars of God" evidently refers to similar mighty angelic creatures, such as the archangle Michael and the might friend of Israel, Gabriel.

The third "I will" of the devil reveals that this creature sought even further recognition and exaltation in a particular part of heaven known as the "mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north." Perhaps it was in this place that the very high throne of God was located.

All of this wickedness led on to its inevitable conclusion. Lucifer, so generously endowed with beauty and wisdom, would not be satisfied with anything but the highest honor. He wanted to "ascend above the heights of the clouds." In fact, he plotted to be like the Most High. In this aspiration lay a naked desire to dethrone God, for no one can be like the Most High without displacing Him.

Although hidden in the heart of Lucifer, these virulent ambitions were known to God, before whose eyes all things are "naked and opened" ( Heb. 4:13). Swift judgement followed. Lucifer was cast down from his high position to become Satan, the deceiver, the adversary, the archenemy of God and the people of God. His final doom is sealed, but the execution of that eternal sentence awaits the time and place appointed by God.