In Sunday School the talk turned to the council in heaven and Satan’s competing plan of salvation. Why, the teacher asked, does God allow Satan to try to sabotage God’s plan?
Several common-sense answers were suggested, mostly variations on the Mormon response to the problem of evil. God wants Satan to try us so we can learn and grow, God wants us to have evil offered to us so we can choose good, etc.
I raised my hand. “I think God lets Satan meddle with his plan to show how much better God’s plan is to Satan’s. Nothing Satan can do can hinder it. Satan is defeated utterly.” Silence. My perspective, apparently, was a unique one.
But I still cling to it, like I cling to my guns and my religion.
We’re told that Satan’s plan lost because he lost the vote in the council of heaven. But so what? Democracy isn’t how we decide on salvation. The real proof of God’s plan is that Satan is given every opportunity and every power to destroy it and Satan fails, completely, utterly, eternally. We have our finicky sensibilities these days, where we like to think of God as meek and kind and patient and he is all those things, but he’s not only those things. God is master, and he will prove it to the last soul and the last syllable. Two-thirds of the hosts of heaven is not enough. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. Christ shall put all things under his feet. Every devilish boast will turn to ashes in the devil’s mouth and every devilish plot will come to less than nothing.
Why does God let Satan try us? To crush him.