Angelology Part 5 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:396 (Oct 1942)
Article: Angelology Part 5
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Part 5

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: This, the last instalment in the series on Angelology, will be followed by a special article in the next issue, which is the Centennial Number. After that a new series begins on another division of Systematic Theology.]

Satan’s Motive

Whatever may have been the motive which has actuated Satan from the beginning of his career, there is a more fundamental problem which lies back of all the evil in the universe. It is the motive that has actuated God in permitting evil to be present at all. That He could have hindered it needs no defence; being, as He is, the Absolute One-Creator and Promoter of all that the universe comprises. Various suggestions have been advanced as solutions of this problem. Doubtless there is truth in all of them, and when all are assembled and accepted it is even more probable that the aggregation is no more than a fraction of all that actuates God. One of the obvious motives of God which has been advanced has immediate application to the theme in hand, namely, that, as seen in the various dispensations and in instances of personal relation to God, He evidently, and as a general rule of procedure, puts the propositions which the creature proposes to an experimental test. This Jehovah did in the case of Satan’s assertion that Job, under sufficient stress, would repudiate Jehovah. This claim could have been denied, for Jehovah knew it to be untrue of Job. However, Satan was given authority to put the untruth to an experimental test. This method cost much indeed, but none will doubt that the victory gained was abundantly worth the price that was

paid. It is possible that Job serves as a type or representation of the larger issues now being brought to consummation in the entire cosmos. This theme is extensive and proffers much light to the one who will follow it through the entire Bible.

Granting the truthfulness of the claim that God does put the creature’s assumptions to an experimental test, it becomes clear that Satan’s determination-which constituted his initial sin-to build a vast structure of independent relationships around himself as the center and wholly autonomous as to the Creator to whom all allegiance and obedience rightfully belong, was permitted of God to be experimentally tested to its tragic end. As to the wisdom of such a stupendous procedure on the part of God, no creature could ever be placed in a position wherein he could possess a sufficient number of related facts, or attain to a perspective from which he could sit in judgment. The observable actualities point in but one direction: Satan did propose such a course; God could have hindered him, but He rather all...

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