Recently, I watched a presentation where the presenter, as he was building his main point, said that God needs Satan. Some other parallels we could use in this statement are men need women, women need men, heads needs tails (flipping a coin), a front needs a back, or a top needs a bottom.
While I understand and agree with the presenter’s main point, that oftentimes opposites need each other, he lost credibility in my mind because saying that God needs Satan is similar to saying that my body needs sickness in order to enjoy health. While our immune system grows stronger by fighting germs, similar to our muscles that grow stronger through resistance and increased weight/pressure, we can make the case that the bad in the universe does shine light on what is good. However, does that mean that good needs bad in order to be good? Some might say yes, but I disagree.
We read in Genesis that God began by creating a perfect world, perfect humans, and a perfect garden. I say perfect, because God is more detailed than we could ever be, and someone who loves us as much as He does would never cut corners. The only thing in the garden that was ‘not perfect’ in one sense of the story, was the tree of “knowledge of good and evil”. In order for God to ‘perfectly’ love us, He had to give us the opportunity to choose another path. However, while most people think this is the beginning of the story, they are mistaken, because much ‘history’ had taken place before this point.
Before humanity and earth came into the timeline of the universe, there was another conflict going on. Before humanity, God had created angels, and while we don’t know the details of this, we do know they also had the opportunity (the free will) to choose to reject God. We don’t know how much time passed between the creation of the angels and Lucifer beginning a rebellion, but we do know, logically speaking, that with the freedom that comes with any choice, eventually someone will choose the other side.
But back to the main question: Does God need Satan?
Would we know that God’s way is the best way if we didn’t live in a war-torn world (both spiritually and physically)?
Some might use the second question to prove that the first question’s answer must be a yes, but let’s look at the other question we posed at the beginning: Do we need periods of sickness to enjoy periods of health? If I ask people who haven’t been sick for years, what would they say? Do they enjoy their health less because they haven’t been sick?
Absolutely not. It’s because they haven’t been sick that they enjoyed health. Some may have forgotten what sickness feels like, but that doesn’t mean that they should balance their health high by purposely getting sick. That just doesn’t make any sense. Balance in health doesn’t mean that one must balance ‘getting’ sick with ‘staying’ healthy.
Perhaps we could look at this from a different perspective. If no one ever became sick, would society be better? In many ways yes; in some ways no. A whole health-care industry (including insurance) would no longer be necessary to the degree it is now. It may be 95+% smaller, because we would still have some need for assistance when cuts, scrapes, and other non-illness issues happen, but this would mean that millions of former doctors, specialists, nurses, and administrative personnel would ‘be freed to help in other areas of society’. While this would result in some short-term stress on those looking for a new career, most people would agree that in the bigger picture, no sickness would be beneficial to society.
We could say the same thing about Satan and sin. To the universe at large, eliminating sin and Satan is part of the bigger picture, because similar to sickness, they are not necessary. Just as heaven won’t need sickness for us to enjoy our health, there will be no need for Satan to remind us that God’s ways are best.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)
P.S. What are your thoughts on this question? Share them below!