“….the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” –I Corinthians 2:8
There are more things going on in our universe–above us, underneath us, in the spirit world surrounding us–than we can imagine.
God is always at work. The hosts of Heaven are constantly serving Him in ways we can only imagine, and in ways we could not begin to imagine. But so is His arch-enemy at work, along with his minions. We see this in Scripture.
Bear in mind that Satan is the enemy is all that is good. Anything that would benefit mankind and bless God’s creation, he works to undermine and weaken.
But God is not stymied by Satan. God loses no sleep worrying about him. Satan’s doom is settled, his fate is sealed, his days are numbered.
“On earth is not his equal,” said Martin Luther about the devil. We are no match for Satan, true. But through Christ we are more than conquerors.
God is constantly handing the devil defeat after defeat. We see it in life and we see it throughout Scripture.
Case in point: The First Christmas.
Here’s some background to the story.
- Satan did not know what God was up to.
First of all, understand that Satan is a created being. He shares none of the attributes of Almighty God—not omniscience, omnipresence, nor omnipotence, meaning that he is limited in knowledge and space and power. When it comes to predicting what God is going to do next, he has to rely on what he can figure out, what he remembers from the timeless past when he resided in Heaven as a favorite angel, and what he reads in Holy Scripture. Since the Holy Spirit does not enlighten his understanding, he sees as the world sees, not with the mind of Christ. Once we understand this, a hundred puzzles fall into place.
2. Satan was fooled.
The Apostle Paul pointed out that had the enemy known what God was up to, he would never have crucified Jesus. One might say that God pulled the wool over the devil’s eyes and fooled him. On that first Easter Sunday morning, an imp rushed into the presence of his satanic majesty, interrupting the two-day celebration over the death of Jesus. The demon breathlessly announced that the tomb was empty, the body gone, and the soldiers looked like they had seen a ghost. Satan spewed out his champagne and cursed. He had been had and he knew it. He had played right into God’s hands and was defeated.
3. Satan was often fooled in Scripture.
Sometimes in biblical history, we see that the Lord manipulated Satan, as in the cases of Job and Joseph. Sometimes, God gave him a good comeuppance as at Mount Carmel when Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal in a fire-calling contest. At other times, the Lord used subterfuge to fool His enemy. Christmas is one of those times.