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Don Stewart :: Why Did God Allow Satan to Continue after He Rebelled?

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Don Stewart
Several questions are usually asked about the original rebellion of Satan.

1. Why Create?

First, why did God create this angel if He knew that he was going to rebel. Since God does know everything, He certainly knew that this angel would eventually sin against him. Why, then, was he created in the first place?

2. Why Allow?

Second, why did He allow this angel to rebel? Even though God created this angel, He could have kept him from rebelling against Him. Steps could have been taken to make it impossible for any type of Satanic rebellion. Why didn't God take these steps so there would be no angelic sin?

3. Why Not Destroy?

Finally, after this angel sinned, and became Satan, or the adversary, why didn't God immediately destroy him? So much pain and suffering could have been avoided if his original sin had been immediately judged. Why didn't God do it?

Not Answered

Unfortunately, the Bible does not give us any specific answers to these questions. We are not told the answer to these "why" questions.

Not The Main Story

Part of the reason why these questions have no answers has to do with the nature of the Bible. Scripture is God's revelation about His dealings with humanity-this is the main story. Satan and his angels are only incidental to the message of Scripture. Consequently, much about him, and his deeds, are not explained. Neither does God explain these "why" questions with respect to him.

Much Speculation

Though the Bible does not give us any specific answers to these "why" questions about Satan, this has not kept people from speculating. The problem with this type of speculation is that no one is able to know the right answer. For whatever reason, God has not told us "why." We should leave it at that.

What We Do Know

Rather than speculating about what we do not know, we should concentrate on what we do know.

1. God Does Know Everything

God certainly did know all these things would happen. He is all-knowing - nothing escapes His notice. Jesus said.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Matthew 10:29,30).

2. Not Told Us Everything

The Bible also says that God has not told us everything about Himself, or His plan.

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).

3. His Ways Are Not Our Ways

The Bible makes it clear that God's ways are beyond our ways.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9).

Because His ways are not our ways, they are past finding out.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past tracing out! (Romans 11:33).


There are several questions about the origin, fall, and continued existence of the Devil that we would like to understand. God has not revealed to us the answers to these questions. Much of this has to do with the main message of Scripture - God and humanity. Though people have speculated as to why God allowed these things to happen, ultimately we do not know the answer - He has not chosen to reveal it to us. We do know that God has all knowledge, and that He did know that this angel would rebel and would cause so much grief and suffering. Because the Lord tells us that His ways are past finding out, we should rest in the fact that God has an overall plan that took into consideration the rebellion and the sin of the Devil.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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