A question was once posed to the late pastor and theologian, R. C. Sproul.
“Why did God create sin and Satan,
knowing there would be a violation of His will?”
This question has baffled humanity since the beginning of creation. Who has not asked themselves why they have acted in a foolish, self-centered, and harmful way. Who has not asked why there is a Devil. What is the origin of evil in the universe?
In part, Dr. Sproul gave the following answer.
The Bible does not say that God created moral sin, or Satan. God did create man, who sinned by transgression of the Law of God, and God did create Lucifer, who became Satan because he revolted against the Most High, and tried to overthrow Him. The story is told in Isaiah 14:12-14.
There is a passage in the KJV Bible, Isaiah 45:7, that says God does create evil.
“I form the light, and create darkness:
I make peace, and create evil:
I the Lord do all these things.”
However, the text is a Hebrew parallelism that expresses a contrast. God said,
“I bring prosperity,
I bring catastrophe.”
With that being noted, God did know more about what would happen in His creation than simply permitting the Fall. Before the foundation of the earth a Plan of Redemption was agreed on within the Godhead.
“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:19-20).
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
Augustine said that God ordains freely, and immutably, whatsoever comes to pass (in a certain sense). While there is a mystery to this, because there is sin, because there is a Devil, the conclusion must be drawn that God ordained there be sin, and there be a Devil, for because of God “we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11).
God ordained that humans would sin, which is not the same thing as saying God sinned. God is the Author of all things, but not the actor.
Now, an individual might stand in judgment on God, and say that it was wrong for Him to create sin and the Devil, but that would be inappropriate, and impertinent, because no creature is as wise as God, and understands His purposes. What can be said, based on revelation, and reality, is that a place for sin and Satan has been made in God’s universe.
What God forbids, is to call evil good, or good evil. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Evil is evil; it is not good, but it is good there is evil, it is good there is a Devil, because against the black backdrop of sin and Satan shines forth the glory of God, as He manifests grace, mercy, justice, and love.
Ultimately, all that God ordains is good, meaning, pleasant, full, kind, and gracious, when the word is used as an adjective. Study Proverbs 15:23; Genesis 30:20; 1 Samuel 25:15
When used as a noun, the term “good” means primarily God Himself (Mark 10:18). The Bible also speaks of God’s works, gifts, and commands as good (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:28-32).
For now, it is enough to know God has a purpose for all that is, including sin and the Devil.
Thoughtful and difficult questions do need to be asked, and studied, always considering Scripture.