The One Behind all Quests for Power
Isaiah 14:13-17, You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ (15) But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. (16) Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, (17) who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’
Many students of the Bible believe that this one who is on a quest for total power is more than the historic King of Babylon. They think that Scripture may also be speaking of Satan – of the nature of the sin by which he fell. Whether this is true or not, these verses certainly describe the satanic nature of the wicked man’s quest for power, control, and domination. I will be like the Most High. Above everyone. Above God Himself. Those who know the mind of the abuser will recognize this lust. It is ultimate idolatry. It is the deification of self.
We see it in the first chapter of Romans as well –
Romans 1:21-25, For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (24) Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, (25) because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Worship of the creature in place of the Creator. And in the case of the abuser, that creature, that idol, is self. We all have an element of this in us. Even Christians must, by the Spirit, put to death the sinful self. But when self is unbridled, without conscience, without empathy – you have a virtual incarnation of the devil. We should not be at all surprised then, as we study the mentality and tactics of the abuser, to find ourselves frequently impressed with how devilish this evil is.
Realizing that abuse is a particularly satanic manifestation of sin makes a number of things start to fall into place. For example:
- The confusion it creates in its victims. Satan is the master fog-making machine. He’s an angel of light. He’s a roaring lion. He is a quoter of Scripture. He is a perverter of Scripture. He is a deceiving, crafty serpent.
- The murderous nature of abuse. Abuse is murder, just as surely as slow, progressive mercury poisoning is murder. Satan by his very nature was a murderer from the beginning – John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
- The accusatory nature of abuse. Satan is the accuser of the brethren.
- The abuser’s common disguise of Christianity. Satan wears sheep’s clothing. He works to destroy his victim’s faith in God -“Indeed, hath God said?”
- The abuser’s lust to be worshiped, just as the devil attempted to get the Son of God to bow down to him.
- The abuser’s complete lack of empathy for his victims, even if they be children. Satan was behind Herod’s slaughter of the infants. He was also the force behind Baal worship, in which parents sacrificed their children in fire.
And on we could go, citing even more parallels. The sin of abuse in particularly satanic.
Understanding this is vital. Here we see the dangerous naivete of Christians and the church as they deem themselves “competent to counsel” abusers and their victims. They are dealing with the devil himself, and yet they are absolutely ignorant of it. They are facing principalities and powers, but doing so with weapons of the flesh because they think that the flesh is all that they are up against.
And here is the outcome, though most are blind to it –
Acts 19:13-16, Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” (14) Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. (15) But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” (16) And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.