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Satan’s Limitations

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.
–Ezekiel 28:15

I am going to give you a pop quiz. Don’t worry; it only has one question. Here it is: Satan is the opposite of God–true or false? Amazingly, many Christians would answer “true” to that. They think of Satan as God’s evil twin, as if he and God are in this eternal tug-of-war contest while we sit on the sidelines and just hope that the best man wins. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Satan is not the opposite of God. Unlike God, Satan is not omniscient–that is, he does not know everything. He is not omnipresent–he cannot be more than one place at a time. He is not omnipotent–he is not all-powerful. He is a limited creature.

We see Satan’s limitations in Ezekiel 28. The first ten verses are a warning against a human leader, the king of Tyre, who was acting in opposition to the will of God. But look at verses 12-17: “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. . . . You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God. . . . You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. . . . Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.” Obviously, God was not speaking about the king of Tyre here. The king of Tyre was not covered in the seal of perfection, he did not live in Eden, he was not the anointed cherub, and he did not have access to the holy mountain of God. God was addressing the power behind the king–that is, Satan.

From Ezekiel’s words here, we can piece together something about Satan’s background that is important to understand if we are going to successfully do battle against him. I want you to notice four facts about Satan that emerge out of Ezekiel 28. First of all, Satan is a created being. Again, verse 15 says, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.” God reminded Satan that he is not the Creator but the creature. Unlike God, who is eternal, Satan has both a beginning and an end. In Psalm 90:2, Moses said about God, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” God has no beginning and He has no end. But neither can be said about Satan. A disgruntled deacon in my first church once said to me, “I was here before you got here and I am going to be here long after you are gone.” God can say the same thing about Satan–he has both a beginning and an end.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Purpose-Driven Strife” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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