As we rode in the car, we discussed the fact that we all have questions about many things, but that God helps us find the answers by from the message He left us—the Bible—and by watching the world around us..
“I have a question,” she offered.
“Good!” I smiled, “Questions help us learn. What’s your question?”
She turned to me with a look of concern. “Did God make Satan?” I knew she needed not only the facts but reassurance concerning Satan and his power. Then she pulled out her iPad just in case she’d need it.
“Well, I know a little bit about Satan from the Bible….and from seeing a lot of the bad stuff that happens in our world.” I began. “Do you think God made Satan?”
Shrugging her shoulders, she concentrated on her iPad. She didn’t want to venture a guess.
“But Satan is bad, right?” To that, she nodded her head soberly. “And God’s only supposed to make good things, right?” This time, with eyes searching mind, she nodded her head slightly. “When God finished making everything, He stood back and looked at it and said, ‘See? It is very good!’. So when God made Adam and Eve they were good, right?” (Gen 1:31)
“I guess so.” Cautious now, in case this was a test.
“You are exactly right,” I assured her. “God made Adam and Eve and said they were very good. But did they do anything they shouldn’t have?”
“They ate the Forbidden Fruit!” She was glad to know the answer.
“They sure did! Why do you think they did that?”
She looked at me, studying my face for a clue. Then looking back at her iPad she said, “They were hungry?”
“Well, that could be one reason, but there was plenty to eat in the garden. God had given them lots of trees full of good stuff to eat. I think Eve got curious and went to look at God’sforbidden tree. And then you remember Satan talked her into eating what God had told them not to eat?”
“Oh yeah!” she said.
“Satan wanted them to do what he wanted and make them get in trouble,” I explained. “And Adam and Eve did get into trouble. They did something bad.” She was quiet now. I could tell she was mulling good vs. bad in the story. I continued. “But did God make them bad?”
“No, it wasn’t God’s fault,” she defended.
“You are right. God made them good, but they didsomething bad and they did get into big trouble. But God loved them, still, and the Bible tells us how He would help them get out of trouble again because He wanted them to be with Him.
“So did God make Satan? He’s bad.” She was ready to settle this.
“The Bible tells us that everything was created by Jesus, everything in heaven and on earth, everything we see and the things we can’t see, including everything in God’s world. Everything was created by God’s Son, and everything was made for Him. Satan was an angel that God had made that chose to become God’s enemy. He is jealous and angry and tricky.”
“Oh! So God did make Satan, but he was good at first and then went bad?”
“You understand! Good for you!”
“Can Satan make us go bad?” I felt for her young heart, remembering my own uneasiness about there being something evil out there that I didn’t understand.
“He tries all the time, but he can’t makeus do bad things. God promises to help us get out of trouble if we listen to Him, and when we become Christians He sends the Holy Spirit to live inside us and He’ll help keep Satan out, too. Then, when we listen to His word, the Holy Spirit teaches us how to live really well and how to make the world a better place, too.”
“So God made me good?”
“Yes, He certainly did. He made all of us good. But He knows we’ll get curious and do things that hurt Him, ourselves, and even others. That’s what it means to sin. We don’t listen to God. But God still wants us and will always help us grow better and better as we listen closer and closer to Him. So we need to choose God and try not to be selfish.”
At this, she smiled, bobbed her head decidedly and put away her iPad. “OK,” she said. “Can we stop for ice-cream?” She’d read my mind.
* * * * * * * *
Col 1:16 Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities. All things were created by God’s Son, and everything was made for him. CEV
Eph 6:10-11 Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. CEV
Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.