If God is all-knowing, why did God create Satan knowing he would cause evil?
This is a good question. Is God all-knowing? If so, why did he allow evil to exist in the first place? Here, we’ll attempt to answer that critical question biblically.
In the first five words of the Bible, in the book of Genesis, it reads, “In the beginning God created..” It goes on to explain God created the heavens and the earth. He created everything - all space, matter and time. The planets and stars, the earth and ocean, plants and people, and his angels. Genesis 1:31 says “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” And in creating all things, he also gave his angels and all people freewill. Why?
Take your phone, whether it be an iPhone or Android. Could you make your phone say, “I love you”? Sure. Could you make your phone say nice, loving words? Of course.
Could you make your phone love you? Truly, genuinely love you? No. It’s a machine. It does what someone has programmed it to do. It could mimic words of love, it could even write a poem if you programmed it to, but it could not love because love must be freely given.
You cannot make someone love you. You cannot program someone to fall inlove or command them to. Love, by definition, must be freely given. We see throughout the Bible that God is love and we see this over, and over, and over again. We even read in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.”
God didn’t want robots to follow him. He wanted his personal creation - angels and mankind - to choose to love him, that they might experience and express love with each other, and most importantly and foundationally with God through the freewill he gave them.
In his heavenly creation, there was an especially beautiful angel. Later when the opportunity arose, this angel used the freewill that God gave him to instead of choosing to love and worship God for who he is, he used that same freewill to choose to turn away from God. His heart changed and became filled with pride. He decided he wanted to be as important as God and take control of God's creation.
In Isaiah 14:12-14, we get a glimpse of what Satan said in his heart.
It reads, “You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the mount. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High God.”
Satan didn’t just say that he thought God was doing a bad job, he didn’t just say that he wished he was like God. No, he said ‘I will.’ I will ascend to heaven, I will overthrow God, I will sit in his seat and I will make myself like God.
In Ezekiel 28:12 we find what Satan was like before he fell.
Verse 12 reads “‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” The verses go on to explain how beautiful and perfect he was. He was amazing. If you ever sat in class with a kid who always got A’s or who was always the best at everything they did, that was him. He was THE angel.
But in Ezekiel 28:15-17, we see why he was cast out of heaven and separated from God.
15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16 You were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you. 17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.
Satan was a perfect and beautiful angel created by God, and he knew it. He used the freewill God gave him to not choose to love God and worship him as his creator, he chose to love himself. To think highly of himself. He knew he was perfect and beautiful so much so, he believed he should be God. And that belief, that self-obsessive love for himself, turned to sin and violence and eventually, the willingness to try and overthrow God.
However, Satan wasn’t just cast from heaven to earth and sat there feeling sorry for himself. He wanted mankind to fall also, to be separated from God - and we see in Genesis he did just that.
In Genesis 2, we see God commanded Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
And then, in Genesis 3, we see our very first ancestors, Adam and Eve sinned because of Satan tempting them. In verse 1 it reads, He [Satan] said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Did you notice what Satan said to them? “And you will be like God..” This is the exact same thing Satan said in his heart that we saw in Isaiah. “I will make myself like the Most High God.”
Satan didn’t tempt Adam and Eve with delicious food or breaking God’s command for the fun of it, he tempted them with pride. Satan used the same sin that caused him to fall to cause Adam and Eve to fall. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death came to all mankind, because all sinned (Romans 5:12). And in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Of course, God knew all along that Satan would go against him. He permitted this to happen, but it is all part of an amazing plan in store for all of us. In fact, we see in Titus 1:1-2 and 2 Timothy 1:8-9 that God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ was laid out before He created time.
In Colossians 2:13-15, when the writer of Colossians is talking to fellow Christians, it reads, “When you were dead in your sins, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the record of our debt, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the devil, he made a public spectacle of him, triumphing over him by the cross.” And in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Ever since Adam and Eve, Satan has wanted all of mankind to sin because the result of sin is death, being forever separated from a holy, righteous and just God. And yet, through his immeasurable love, God the Father sent God the Son into the person of Jesus of Nazareth, a historical person, and intervened into human history. This sinless Jesus paid our debt of sin with his sacrifice, defeating Satan’s plan of destruction. God himself provided the unearned gift of salvation to all who would choose to believe in Jesus’ finished work on their behalf. We see this John 3:16-17.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
So, who is Satan? A beautiful angel created perfect who was cast out of heaven, separated from God, because he used the freewill God gave him to instead reject Him. Why did God create him? Because God is love. He wanted his personal creation not to be robots, but to freely choose to love Him and each other through the free will He gave them. Even though He knew mankind would sin - separating us from Him - before time began, God laid out a plan of eternal salvation to those who would choose to belivie in Him and what he has done, through the historic death and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf.