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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Fifty-Fourth (Why?)

Have you ever gotten caught in a child's "why" loop? No matter what answer you give, their response is, "why?" Maybe you've even perpetrated the why loop yourself! For an innocently questioning child, this is a means for them to learn things, and it's actually been found so effective that there's a method developed from it to enable getting to the root cause of issues. It's called the "Five Whys" method.

As an adult, we still desire knowing the whys for things that happen or things we see around us. Like, why is the sky blue? Or, why do tides happen? Many times, collectively, man seeks to answer the whys and ends up coming to a faulty conclusion due to inadequate, or simply false, assumptions. Other times, an answer is reached and may be valid but it is so cold and unemotional that it removes the possibility of wonder, amazement, awe, and worship of YHWH that He included in His creation and pointed out in His Word (Romans 1:20, Psalm 19:1, Job 37:14-16, Psalm 95:3-5).

For example, we've talked about the sky and sunsets/sunrises before. They believe the reason we see the colors we do is based on light refraction through the atmosphere. Seems to make sense, and perhaps it's true. However, it overlooks the fact that YHWH, as the creator of everything, didn't have to make it that way! He could have made the sky brown and sunrises and sunsets just a fade into and out of darkness. And if He had, there would be a valid explanation as to why that was the case.

We have to be discerning and let the Holy Spirit lead our endeavors at understanding scripture and the whys of things in it and in the universe as a whole. One why that is commonly asked is why Satan is still around. I saw a video of a Christian apologist answering that question with his belief on it, and I started to think about it myself, because most of the time just taking someone's word is not as meaningful as finding it out for yourself.

If we start at the end, we see that eventually he will end up in a place called the lake of fire to be tortured for all eternity (Revelation 20:10). We also know that this lake was prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41). So, YHWH knows what the judgment for Satan is already, and He decided to schedule it for the end of the first heaven and first earth (the one we're on now!). The question then remains, and may be even stronger knowing that: why wait?

Now let's jump back to the beginning. The first man and woman were created by YHWH and had the ability to choose, just like every person that has come after them. Clearly, angels were also created with the ability to choose because one of them chose to rebel against YHWH (Revelation 12:7-9, Genesis 1:3,14-15, Isaiah 14:12-15), and he tempted Eve to sin. Because of this, she chose also to rebel against YHWH, as well as Adam (Genesis 3:6) who had no excuse but was simply convinced by his partner.

Why not dispose of Satan and his angels even before this event in the garden? (Assuming his rebellion occurred prior to this and this was not the initial act of rebellion itself) Here's where we have to delve into a bit of conjecture since the answer isn't actually written anywhere. I don't know about you, but with over 7 billion people in the world right now, and billions more that have lived and died since the beginning of time, I believe the chances are slim to none that with the ability of choice absolutely none of them would have sinned...regardless of whether or not Satan was there to instantiate it. Someone would have grabbed that fruit and ate it at some point.

Really, choice is what gives meaning to any relationship, let alone ours with YHWH. You can create things like sculptures and paintings, but other than the creativity and amount of work you put in there's really nothing there. And if you love whatever it is, really you're just loving yourself because you're the one that created it. If you have children though, how does it feel when they choose to hug you entirely on their own? How about when a pet chooses to lay their head in your lap? Those events are meaningful. They give a reason for a relationship.

We looked at the end and the end and the beginning, so let's finish with the middle. For everyone created or born since the beginning (including you and me!), YHWH knew who they were going to be (Jeremiah 1:5). He made each and every one of us (Zechariah 12:1, Genesis 2:7, Psalm 139:13, Isaiah 44:24), and He did so knowing not only that we could rebel against Him, but also that we would. And He still did it! Now, He is a just God (2 Thessalonians 1:6) and there are consequences to actions (Revelation 20:3, Romans 2:6, Jeremiah 32:19), but He is also gracious (Psalm 145:8) and provided a way to be forgiven of our sins (1 John 1:9). He desires us all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), knowing that some choose not to be.

Satan and his minions are still around in order to be a tool used by YHWH for man's choice of whether or not to follow Him. Everyone has the same opportunity to choose, and when Satan has outlived his usefulness he will be thrown into the lake of fire. Those that choose YHWH will live forever with Him. We must also not forget that we were created to be eternal beings from the beginning. Physical death is simply a consequence of sin (Romans 6:23), and all will be resurrected eventually in order to be judged (Revelation 20:11-12). However, if someone so chooses, YHWH will oblige with a second, permanent death (Revelation 21:8).

There is a why for everything, and hopefully this one resonates with you. Sometimes we take the easy road and say, "because God wanted to." In some cases, we have to do that because we don't know the whole picture like He does. For this topic though, I think He gave us enough information to have a pretty good idea of the why behind it.

Shabbat shalom and YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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