“God’s Devil”

God is sovereign. He has ordained whatever comes to pass, even the sin and evil perpetrated in this world. However, God does not and cannot Himself sin, nor does He tempt others to sin. He is not the author of sin, but sin was and is a part of God’s plan. The description of Jesus as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world indicates that God ordained the death of Jesus for our sins before the creation of the world (Rev 13:8; cp. 1Pet 1:18-21).
Some have wondered how the devil fits into God’s plan. The great ministerial reformer, Martin Luther once said, “Even the devil is God’s devil.” The devil is subject to God. We see him, as it were, asking God for permission before he acted in the cases of Job (Job 1&2), and Peter (Luke 22:31). We also see in the Scriptures that God “uses” the devil to accomplish His good purposes. In the account of David’s sin in numbering Israel, the Chronicler wrote, “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). Concerning the same event, we read in 2Samuel, “Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah’” (2 Samuel 24:1). Which is correct? Both! The LORD used the devil to tempt David to number Israel bringing about God’s will. Also, after “the devil” wreaked havoc in Job’s life, with God’s permission of course, “Job said, ‘The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD’” (see Job 1:21). Though it was the devil who brought harm to Job, ultimately it was God Himself Who accomplished His purpose in Job’s life. And we too can be certain and take comfort that God has ordained whatever comes into our lives for His glory and our good!