Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6–7
From this passage, we see that our enemy, Satan, is indeed alive and well on planet earth. Therefore, the question is: What is he doing? The answer: a whole lot more than most people realize. Let’s look at some of the devil’s activities in the world.
The Natural Realm
First, we will consider the devil’s activity in the realm of nature. The Bible teaches that the devil has a certain degree of power over nature. Consequently, many of those things that we would glibly refer to as “natural disasters” or “acts of God” are actually manifestations of Satan’s work. Now I’m not saying that every catastrophe is the result of satanic activity, but when you consider the death and destruction that result from these calamities and the subsequent blame that is generally placed upon God, it is valid to assume that many of these events are satanically orchestrated. At the very least, Satan attempts to manipulate “natural disasters” to destroy, discourage, and defeat the work of God in the world. A biblical basis for this view comes once again from Job 1:8–19.
War Against God
In Job, we see a classic example of Satan manipulating nature in his war against God. The fire that fell from the sky and destroyed the flocks and the servants and the wind that caused the house to collapse on Job’s children, killing them, were a direct result of the devil’s activity. Yet, the messenger referred to the fire as “the fire of God.” Satan destroys lives and then seeks to put the blame on God. He still does this today.
Victims of earthquakes, fires, floods, or storms will often imply that God is somehow responsible for their misery. Reports in newspapers and on TV usually echo the sentiment that God is somehow to blame. Though outside the realm of “natural disaster,” this kind of accusation was seen and heard frequently following the terrorist attacks upon New York City and Washington, D.C. As was the case in the life of Job, I believe the real culprit in those attacks was the devil.
To Kill and Destroy
The word devil means “slanderer or accuser.” Satan will stir up the forces of nature, bring death and destruction, and then accuse God of being responsible for the whole mess. The tragedy is that most people believe him. Am I saying that earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes are the work of Satan? My answer: not always, but perhaps more often than we think. When you consider Satan’s goal—to kill and destroy—“natural disasters” provide for him an excellent arena in which to work.