Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: First (as in original) (01/10/05)
TITLE: Original Author to Lose Copyright
By Donna Morton
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“Where is the justice?”
The question was posed by my sister, two months after the death of her son, a young man taken by terminal illness.
Praise God, her son was covered by the blood of Jesus. My sister knows that believers never say good-bye to one another, that Heaven hosts reunions. (1 Corinthians 13:12). She has that to look forward to.
But for now she remains on earth, facing each day as a mother who can’t hug her son—her only son, her first born.
Tears fill her voice, but don’t spill. A retaining wall of anger holds them at bay.
“Who is paying for this?”
She knows the answer before the question is completed.
Nobody is paying for this.
Not yet, anyway.
We live in a world with much to celebrate—and much to weep over. Pain, loss, tragedy and evil come in all forms, run the gambit in intensity and, like everything, have their origin.
My finger points to Eden, but doesn’t hover on Adam and Eve. I’m trekking farther back, to the first Screw Up of All Screw Ups, the one so charmed by his own splendor that he got himself booted right out of Heaven.
Satan, that ancient serpent, is the one Jesus said came to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10).
Satan is the reason we live in a weeping world, a Paradise Lost. The roots of our tears can be traced to his hissing heart. If he hadn’t been a wicked, prideful creep in the first place, he wouldn’t have been slithering around Eden. He would not have done, and continue to do, that which stirs rebellion against God.
As it is, he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Among his tools are temptation, deceit and fear…whatever it takes to kill, steal and destroy. The “bad things that happen to good people”—terminal illness, war, accidents, terrorism, natural disasters just to name a few—are reality because Satan is on the planet. Jealousy, greed, lies, arrogance and hate all go back to him being here.
Satan is the first author of all that is wrong with this world. He wrote the book on bad and holds the original copyright. No matter how it’s instigated or manifested, he plots and outlines it all.
Certainly, this doesn’t alleviate us from the responsibility of choosing God’s way. It grants no permission to say, “The devil made me do it!” God gave us free will and His word equips us with the armor needed to fight Satan and his crew of demon brown nosers. (Unlike God, Satan isn’t omnipresent, all-knowing and all-powerful. He needs help to complete a manuscript.)
When unfair, heart-wrenching losses and events seem to just happen, God assures us that He won’t leave us. He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3).
God is just. Copyrights expire and when such is the case with Satan’s—rejoice! It won’t be renewed.
Revelation 20:10 describes his doom. A lake of burning sulfur, 24/7 torment, forever and ever.
And that is when he’ll pay. For every tear shed by grieving parents, for every soldier who didn’t come home, for every plea of a crime victim. For every bruise on a battered wife, for every honest man cheated by a foe, for every alcoholic who never sought help. For every untimely death, persecuted believer, chemo patient, abandoned child, suicide bomb and false prophet…for every heart that rejected Jesus.
Satan will pay. He will pay in hell, the place originally created for—but not exclusive to— him and his angels. (Matthew 25:41.)
As he’s belly-flopped into the lake—the one he tried to convince us was only a fable—how will believers respond? Will we cheer, like football fans do when a good call is made? Will we sigh relief, like courtroom observers do when a justified guilty verdict is read?
Personally, I don’t think we’ll waste much thought on Satan, author of the worst book ever written. When his work is finally shelved, we’ll be caught up in another story.
We’ll be praising God as He wipes away every tear from our eyes; we’ll be celebrating the end of death, mourning, crying and pain (Revelation 21: 3-4).
What a precious, glorious day! It’ll be a book we won’t want to put down.
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