The Devil’s Cleft Foot

You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty…. From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways.—Ezekiel 28:12, 15

New Christians often ask: just who is the Devil, and where did he come from? The seventeenth century poet John Donne wrote that there were two things he could not fathom: “Where all the past years are, and who cleft the Devil’s foot.” The origin, existence, and activities of the Devil have always been among man’s most puzzling problems. The books of Isaiah and Ezekiel give us a very clear picture, however, of what someone has called “The Rise and Fall of the Satanic Empire.”

Jesus said one day to His disciples: “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a lightning flash” (Lk 10:18). Before he was known as the Devil, Satan was called Lucifer and was created as a perfect angelic being. The passages before us today show him to have been a beautiful and morally perfect being. “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty…. From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways” (Ezk 28:12, 15).

Upright, beautiful, brilliant, and with an enormous capacity for achievement, the angel Lucifer was entrusted by God with the highest of all the offices in the interstellar universe: “You were an anointed guardian cherub … You were on the holy mountain of God” (Ezk 28:14). In his heart, however, arose a rebellious thought: “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa 14:14). Five times that phrase “I will” is used in this passage. Those two little words—”I will”—reveal what lies behind the awful blight of sin—a created will coming into conflict with the will of the Creator.

Prayer

O Father, now that I see the real issue that lies behind sin—a created will colliding with the will of the Creator—help me constantly to align my will with Your will. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.

Further Study

Pr 3:7; 16:1-18; 26:12

What comes before a fall?

What attitude should we guard against?

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