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He’s a loser. And a major brat. (And I’m not talking about the Grinch.)

But he doesn’t want you or me to know it. Or anyone else. Which is why he never sleeps and has spent thousands of years roaming the earth, attempting to keep you from learning the truth, and trying to convincing both of us he’s not to blame for all the bad things in the world.

But he is.

Even though some of you will find this hard to believe. And although some refuse to believe, there are a few who have thought about this and would like to know. So for those who do ask, and in case you’ve ever wondered, here’s the back story:

Once upon a time, in eternity past, before time began…

Somewhere near Let there be light, beyond heavens and galaxies far away, the Eternal One created a multitude of angels. Among these angels He created one most radiant angelic creature. With beauty and brilliance unsurpassed, and seated as second-in-command.

But envy and pride and discontent sprung up within, and he started resenting his position in the Kingdom. He had the top spot over all created beings, second only to the Almighty. But it wasn’t enough.

He wanted more.

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(Some say he got mad when God created Adam and Eve. Didn’t like being replaced as the favorite.)

Lucifer – the shining one, the morning star and bearer of light, coveted the place only God could hold. The place he felt he deserved. To be enthroned above all.

I will ascend… he said (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28)… I will be like the Most High…

In desiring surpassing glory, in lifting himself in pride and reaching for a role unavailable to those fashioned by the Creator, and worthy only of One, he forfeited position and honor held by no one else. And he lost it all.

Everything.

Tumbling from the heights and destined to reside in the lowest depths, he is and has been known ever since as the Deceiver and the Adversary. Not only the Adversary of believers, but the Adversary of all.

And this Enemy has spent these past millennia since his fall and since Eden’s fall, creating havoc to cause you and me to fall. To persuade every human since Adam and Eve, that he got a bad rap.

Barred from the privileges of Heaven and no longer welcome as one who belongs, he wanders back and forth across the earth. He and his minions know of nothing but how to destroy. Their anger and arrogance, humiliation and resentment spewing on everything and everyone they come into contact with.

Now their only ambition is to convince the world that God is not good, is not fair or just, isn’t right or true or worthy… because God is not a God of love.

And don’t we see it?

When a man with a gun turns bullets loose and innocent die… who gets the blame?

When elements of nature disrupt, and winds blow hard swirling through neighborhoods, or waves roll high slamming buildings into rubble and bodies to their deaths…

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or lightning strikes and fire engulfs, the ground shakes, pavement splits, freeways crumble and structures turn to dust…

When those bent on terror are allowed to bomb their way through crowds of living, breathing, flesh and blood dads, moms, sons, daughters, cousins, co-workers, friends…

Where do we look with fingers pointed and tones accusing, demanding to know why?

Or when a young pastor comes home to find his wife’s body lying on the floor, bleeding, dying, from a robber’s aim? And two days later he and his son are alone, and the baby conceived will never be born…

What will people think…

About a God who would allow evil to not only take what doesn’t belong, but to triumph over those who are good?

This God who says He is love?

This God who asks us to worship?

If this is the way your treat your friends, no wonder you have so few, the Catholic nun remarked, after falling off her donkey into the mud and injuring her leg.

Yes, this is why so many lost souls find it hard to believe in a God who allows madness to destroy. Nature’s wrath ripping through villages and homes, prophets sawed in half, believers mauled by lions as sport, preachers and scholars and Christ followers burned alive…

His own Son beaten and tortured on a cross? Not because He did something wrong, but because I did?

No wonder people find it hard to believe.

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The news caption caught my eye the other night, just before saving my documents and closing computer programs for the evening:

A pastor’s wife was shot.

Lying in bed minutes later I wept for a husband and father and his young son – a family I’ve never met.

The Blackburns in Indiana are now half a family. Amanda, wife and mom, 28 years old, was pregnant with their second baby. An intruder entered the home for reasons unknown, and shot her in the head. Her son wasn’t harmed. But what did he see and hear? And what agony did she go through, worrying about him while lying helpless before someone found her, anxious about her husband, her sister, parents, friends, church family, her baby unborn?

The life she had previously known was suddenly changed, and had serious potential to change her future and the futures of those she loved in huge and irrevocable ways.

This is the work of the devil. But he wants you to think it’s God’s fault. That evil exists because God stands by uncaring and indifferent. That God could do something to stop it, but won’t.

But Satan has always been a master at showing us only part of the truth.

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Like the one little boy telling on his brother for hitting him. But if the mama knows her boys, she knows how to get to the source. And what did you do that made him want to hit you?

After God said, No, Satan threw a major temper tantrum. And if you haven’t noticed, he’s still at it.

A bully, a whiner. Ungrateful, immature, spoiled rotten, lying, thieving, deceiving, hateful, arrogant, self-absorbed, filled with greed, the meanest and cruelest, entirely evil, most wicked being beyond anything human minds can comprehend.

And from the moment he decided God wasn’t fair, the world hasn’t been the same.

To be continued…

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