Why Did the Devil Attack God?

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Why did the devil firmly believe he could attack and replace God as ruler of the universe (Isaiah 14:13 - 14, 2Thessalonians 2:4)? Did he really think he had the raw power to overcome, and possibly kill, his Creator? What role did other angels play in the rebellion of Lucifer?

The Bible records that all the angels, long before Lucifer turned himself into the devil, witnessed the limitless power of God when he willed the universe into existence (Job 38:4 - 7). This singular act not only made possible what we refer to as space and time, but also created all the mass and energy contained within it. When the angels saw this expression of God's omnipotence they sang praises and shouted for joy!

When Lucifer rejected the truth, and turned himself into the devil, his thinking became warped but not totally detached from reality. He clearly understood that God made possible not only the lives of all the angelic spirits but also gave them their abilities and powers (Colossians 1:16). The devil also knew his own authority and power, though great, was still limited.

It therefore seems incredibly unlikely that God's adversary foolishly thought he and the demons who followed him had the combined power to unilaterally attack and conquer their Maker. There was something, however, related to his early experiences with God which would lead him to take the audacious move to elevate his throne above all others (Isaiah 14:13).

Michael fighting the devil and his demons
Michael fighting demons
Albrecht Durer, 1498

A little background

Lucifer was blessed, right after his creation, with the unique privilege of being next to God's throne as a covering cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). He saw firsthand how he exercised perfect love. He continually witnessed his incredible generosity, mercifulness, gentleness, meekness and humility.

Lucifer, before becoming the devil, understood God's selfless dedication to enhancing the existence of all others and to maintaining the greatest relationship possible with each of them. As a cherub, he upheld his Creator's way as the one and only path to the greatest existence anyone could experience.

A radical change

Lucifer's views on everything changed when he filled himself with vanity, sinned, and turned himself into the devil (Ezekiel 28:17). His exalted view of himself led him to create a unique, and diametrically opposite, way of thinking than what God had originally given him. The new philosophy of life he adopted flipped his dedication to selfless love into a hardcore fixation on loving himself.

The Bible reveals that the devil filled his heart with violence (Ezekiel 28:16). This led him to conclude that God's way of love, which he had seen firsthand, was his greatest weakness. He felt certain that if an attack was launched that the Eternal's selfless character would cause him to forego using his power to defend himself. Instead of exercising his authority, Satan surmised, God would meekly surrender his throne in order to avoid a conflict.

The devil and his risky stealth attack on the throne of God failed miserably (Isaiah 14:15 - 19). His understanding of perfect love proved to be fatally flawed. The Eternal ultimately used his omnipotent power to eject both Satan and his demonic army out of heaven with the speed of a lightning strike (Luke 10:18)!

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