Why Would Satan Try To Defeat God?





People have often wondered why Satan and his demons would rebel against God if they knew God was omnipotent and they were not. Even if Lucifer thought it would be nice to be the Lord of the universe instead of Yahweh (God’s Hebrew name), knowing that Yahweh is omnipotent (Jeremiah 32:17, Jeremiah 32:18, Psalm 29, Job 42:2), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12, Jeremiah 23:24, Joshua 1:9, Matthew 28:20.) and omniscient (Jeremiah 32:29, Proverbs 5:21, Proverbs 15:3, Psalm 94:10), God is the greatest conceivable being, why in the world would anyone try to overthrow him? After all, Lucifer stood in the very presence of God! He was God’s top angel (Ezekiel 28:14)! Why would he pursue a goal he knew he couldn’t achieve?

This was one of the unanswerable questions I’ve had ever since I was a child. Through deeply reflecting on this issue, I have come up with some possible answers that seem rather plausible to me. Hopefully you will to.

I think that it could be that Satan was so deluded about his own abilities that he actually believes he can defeat God. This is why he chose to rebel in the first place. He knew that he was among the most powerful of the angels God had created. He knew he had extraordinary abilities, in addition to not being satisfied with being God's No. 1 angel due to his inflated ego, He actually thought his abilities could somehow supersede God's.

Basically, he's irrational. Here's an analogy. How many high-speed chases do you know of where the person actually gets away from the cops and ends up spending the rest of his life NOT in jail? I don't know of any. Maybe there are some that I don't know about. But all of the high speed chases I know of usually end with either the car crashing into something, the car getting a flat tire or something, followed by the guy getting out and trying to run away on foot. Once he starts fleeing on foot that's when I know "Yep. He's done for." AND YET, people still keep doing it!!! Why? It makes no sense! The vast majority of these chases end up in victory for the cops, so why do people keep trying to flee them? Probably for the same reason or reasons Satan keeps trying to win against God? Evil has an inflated view of its own abilities. The car jacker thinks he can get away from the cops even though countless people have tried and failed before him. Likewise, Satan and his demons keep pursuing their goal even though they haven't been able to achieve it yet, nor could they given God's "omni" qualities.

Another possibility is that Satan, while knowing that God is very powerful, did not know He was infinitely powerful and therefore couldn't possibly be overtaken by another being no matter how powerful this other being was, and it could be that maybe he thinks that because he's got an entire army of demons behind him that he stands a better chance at victory than he could alone. I find this latter explanation to be somewhat implausible, but it's still possible. But I think the more plausible explanation is that Satan simply isn't right in the head. In short, my answer is that Satan has the ultimate in delusions of grandeur.  

I think this would account for why Satan and his angels decided to rebel in the first place.

But then question arises, after thousands of years worth of failures, why does Satan keep raging against God? Why doesn’t he just accept his fate or try to repent? Well, John 6:44 and John 6:65 say that no one can come to God unless He draws them with His Holy Spirit. I suspect that God is not drawing on him with His Holy Spirit, not because God doesn’t want his angels back or anything, but simply because they’ve hardened their hearts so intensely (after all, they’re far more evil than any human being could ever hope to be!) that it’s not possible for God to bring him back unless He were to override their free will. And so, God has completely handed the demons over to their sinful desires like He did the people in Romans 1 (specifically verse 24). And so, He CAN’T do anything different…not unless He overrides Satan’s free will, which is something God won’t do. God won’t force anyone to spend eternity with Him whether they be human or angel.

God wants people and angels to spend eternity with him because they want to spend eternity with him. In order for love to be true, there must be the choice not to love. I’ve elaborated on this fact more in some of my older posts, like the post I did on the problem of evil/suffering.

When a computer hacks into another computer and causes that computer to get infected with a virus, that doesn’t make the computer evil. The computer is only doing what the computer USER it making it do. The computer has no will of it’s own. All it’s doing is what the person in control made it to. In the same way, if a human being does good, you can’t say that the human being is morally good in the absence of free will, it would only be doing what the puppet master (i.e God) is making him or her do. In order for good and evil actions to be truly meaningful, the one doing the action must have the ability to choose otherwise.

A child apologizing for kicking you in a shin is meaningless if that child’s parent forces him to apologize (which is why I’ve always wondered why some parents force their children to apologize over things that they’re obviously not sorry that they did). It’s only meaningful if they made the free choice to apologize. This is why God allows people the choice between good and evil, and also between loving Him or hating Him. He wants our love for Him and each other to be genuine. He wants us to do good because we chose to do good not because He determined us into doing good. Without the choice to do the opposite, the value of the action would diminish. We could no more commend someone for doing good, then we could CONDEMN a computer for hacking into another computer and stealing that person's identity. Unless the ability to be selfish, greedy, and cruel exists, then the commendability of the actions of selflessness, charity and kindness is lost.

I think the reason why Jesus commended the widow for putting her mite into the box (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4) is because she had the choice to do otherwise. That mite was all she had to live on, and yet she gave it up anyway. She didn't have to. She didn't have to, but she did anyway. I think we all share Jesus' feeling about her action. We commend her for this selfless act. But, if someone or something were controlling her, and made her do it without any possibility of the opposite action happening, I don't think it would have the worth and I don't think we'd have the same reaction.

In order for good actions to be praiseworthy and evil actions to be condemnworthy, there must exist the possibility to do the opposite. Likewise, in order for love or hatred to be meaningful, the possibility of the person doing the opposite must exist.

As C.S Lewis once put it, God “does not ravish, He only woos”.Satan will never repent because he can't repent either way. Even if God were to put a salvation plan out there for the fallen angels and try to woo them back to Him through His grace, it wouldn't matter because they're so evil, so hardened against God that they are beyond redemption. I'm not saying they're beyond forgiveness or anything, God can forgive any sin, but what I'm saying is is that due to the hardness of their hearts, God couldn't get them to repent without forcing them to. I know of no such salvation plan. And the fact that they're too hardened to turn may be why there isn't one. We know from Romans 1:24 that God gives people over to their sins if they're too hardened to turn. Satan and his army are probably among them.