Stewart Gomeza, Harare, Zimbabwe
It has been explained elsewhere that the devil or satan is not a personal being or monster, but rather refers to the sinful tendencies innate within human nature. If we accept that there is no such being, then it surely follows that demons, who are held to be the servants of the devil, also do not exist. Many people seem to think that God gives us all the good things of life, and the devil and his demons give us the bad things, and take away the good things which God gives us.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is the source of all power, and that He is responsible for both the good things and the bad things in our lives:
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isa. 45:7);
“Evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem”(Mic. 1:12);
“Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” (Am. 3:6).
Therefore when we get trials, we should accept that they come from God, not blame them on a devil or demons. Job was a man who lost many of the good things which God blessed him with, but he did not say, “These demons have taken away all God gave me”. Listen to what he said:
“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21);
“Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10).
Once we understand that all things are from God, when we have problems in life we can pray to God for Him to take them away, and if He does not, we can be assured that He is giving them to us in order to develop our characters and for our good in the long run:
“My Son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He (not demons!) chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all
are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons” (Heb. 12:5-8).
God: Source Of All Power
God is the source of all power:
“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God (the Hebrew word for ‘god’ essentially means ‘power’) beside Me” (Isa. 45:5);
“Is there a God beside Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any”, God says (Isa. 44: 8);
“The Lord He is God; there is none else beside Him” (Deut. 4:35).
Such verses occur time and again throughout the Bible. Because God is the source of all power and the only God, He is therefore a jealous God, as He often reminds us (e.g. Ex. 20:5; Deut. 4:24).
God gets jealous when His people start believing in other gods, if they say to Him, ‘You are a great God, a powerful God, but actually I believe there are still some other gods beside You, even if they are not as powerful as You’. This is why we cannot believe that there are demons or a devil in existence as well as the true God. This is just the mistake Israel made. Much of the Old Testament is spent showing how Israel displeased God by believing in other gods as well as in Him. We will see from the Bible that the “demons” people believe in today are just like those false gods Israel believed in.