If God is all-knowing, He must have known that the beautiful angel Lucifer would sin and rebel against God’s government. So why did God create Him?
That’s the question someone asked on our Facebook page this week, and it’s like the similar question, “Why did God create Adam, if He knew that Adam would sin?”
Can we visualize a scenario of God starting to create Lucifer then seeing that He would start thinking of self, saying, “Oops! Not this one!” and trying another version … and another … and another … till He saw one that wouldn’t sin??
If God began to create someone but trashed that angel when He saw that he would sin, would He really be allowing free will?
Think about that for a bit.
Now let’s consider why free will is so very important. We may all be disappointed at times in the behavior of loved ones. They hurt us. They betray us. They say unkind things to us. But consider the alternative: All our family members and friends are programmed to only say kind things, to be unfailingly loyal, etc. They have no choice but to “love” us!
Is love without free choice even possible?
I don’t think so. I think love is possible only if there is a choice not to love. What about you?
Love is meaningful precisely because it cannot be forced. It is meaningful precisely because it is a choice. Our friends, mates or lovers don’t have to love us, but they do. And that is what is so exquisitely satisfying! My husband loves me! My daughter loves me! Conversely, no one compels me, but I choose to love my husband, my son, my friend. Etc. etc.
I believe that freedom of choice is of infinite importance to God because He wanted a love relationship with the angels and people He created. He wants a relationship with people who can reason with Him. (Isa. 1:18) That’s why He took the awful risk of giving us free will.
Furthermore, Christ’s death on the cross demonstrates how important free will is to God. It was a terrible price to pay. In the process, Christ risked heaven itself, because He could have failed. He willingly took the chance of never seeing heaven again, of never again being adored by all the holy angels, of never again feeling embraced by the Father’s love, of never again experiencing the sweet harmony of infinite love – all because He values a love relationship with you and me.
You see, God could technically have dealt with the sin problem a different way. If He had just zapped Lucifer out of existence when he began to sin, the other angels would have served Him out of fear, and that would have spoiled the love atmosphere of heaven.
But what if He zapped Lucifer out of existence and then created another beautiful angel just like Lucifer and modified all the angel memories so they wouldn’t know that He had zapped Lucifer out of existence? Technically that would have left the loving atmosphere of heaven intact, wouldn’t it? The angels wouldn’t know what God had done.
But God would know. He would know that He was not being transparent with the creatures whom He loves. He would know that He was not acting in a trustworthy manner. And God wants an open, loving, transparent relationship with His creatures. The Apostle John tells us that the essence of the character of God is love. In fact, he goes so far as to say, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
That should make us think seriously about what it means to be a Christian, what it means to serve God. Is a love relationship all about following a set of rules? Do you judge your relationship to a loved one by checking off a list of rules? Do you feel loved if you give your loved one a set of rules to check off, and that person checks off every rule for the day?
So how do we judge whether or not we are followers of Christ? Do we check off a list of rules? The Ten Commandments? Or do we ask these questions:
Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to talk? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies?
If we are followers of Christ, our thoughts will be with Him, and our sweetest thoughts will be of Him. All we have and are will be consecrated to Him. We will long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things. That’s what it means to be a Christian. (Compare Steps to Christ, p. 28) 1
As Seventh-day Adventists we have often placed much emphasis on the law and preached the law until our souls are as dry as the Atacama desert that has no dew and goes without rain for years. But the Law of God is only intended to show us what love looks like in action. If we love God supremely, we will naturally keep the first four commandments, and if we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not harm our neighbors in any of the ways described in the last six commandments.
On the other hand, if we conform to the outward demands of God’s Law but do not love God supremely and our neighbors as ourselves, we have missed the whole point of the Law. And we are missing a relationship with Christ.
To get back to our beginning point: God created Lucifer in spite of knowing that he would sin because He values a relationship with His created beings so much that He was willing to take on the risk of eternal loss so that He could have a forever relationship with the beings He had created.
God wants a love relationship with you and with me! And we can have it this very moment by surrendering ourselves to Him and choosing to trust Him completely.
In case you missed it, also see “Did God Create the Devil?”
- Steps to Christ is one of my very favorite books it spells out the foundations of the Christian life and is worth reading, re-reading and re-reading again and again. You can read it online or get your own copy in Kindle or hardback format at Amazon. I treasure my much-marked black leather-bound copy, but it’s hard to find this online. ↩