Love and Servanthood: Lessons from the Edge of Eternity

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The writing of my next book, Edge of Eternity, has taught me a great deal about the character of God which I believe is at the heart of why Satan rebelled; thoughhe was externally very similar to God (his appearance) he refused to demonstrate love through laying down his rights, and becoming a servant to others.

The following summary is woven into a story in the final product. Please pray for the publication of the book, its being made into a movie, and financial support along the way. Thanks!

 

All the things God made and gave to his sons were very good! (Gen 1:31). He was so powerful that there was nothing he could not do yet despite all of his limitless power, his glorious appearance, and his knowledge of all things, he was not able to inherently impart the one quality that stood out from the rest which was his compassion, his affection, his love. (I John 4:8; Exod 34:6-7; Ps 86:5; Ps 86:15; 2 Cor 13:11; Eph 2:4) The quality of love had to be reciprocal for it to be real and it had to also be gratuitous and uncompelled.

Thus even though he could easily give anything and everything to the angels and Adam, if they were to reciprocate, then they had to be afforded the opportunity to reject not only his gifts, but even the fellowship with him. This is why God created them with the capacity of self-determination; that is, the potential to choose something that God he did not delight in (Isa 45:7, 66:4) would never choose evil.[i] (Isa 66:4) He afforded them a chance to be like him through choosing something pleasing to him or something displeasing to him. (Isa 45:7) Only if the chance for rejection were real, could the opportunity for love be real.

Yet, if they could truly express love as he did, (which required serving and giving), then there could be an authentic, worthwhile and meaningful relationship between God and his creatures. Unlike human kings throughout our history that have lorded their authority and power over others demanding submission and obedience, (Matt 20:25-28) God, has not forced anyone because love simply never demands its own way. (1Cor 13:5) It is this quality, that Satan rejected.

God stated that whoever desired to be first among his peers, needed to be the slave – something that God proved he himself was willing to do. He proved it by washing the feet of others (John 13:14-15) and for the rebellious sons of Adam, he emptied himself, making himself of no reputation and gave his life-force in exchange for many. (Matt 20:25-28; John 3:16; Rom 5:8; Phil 2:7)

Thus the angels including Satan, whom God had created greater in strength than Adam, were free to choose[ii] their own path by conforming themselves to God’s great characteristic of love They could choose to cherish like he did by humbling themselves through serving Adam who was weaker than themselves or they could choose pride and self-exaltation. In either case, exercising a choice proved that they were like their creator, something he desired. (Gen 3:22) However, only an alignment with his will and rejecting the choice he did not desire evil could they enjoy pleasures at his right hand forever (Ps 16:11).

Through the life of Adam, the angels were also provided an opportunity to show love by serving someone lesser and weaker than themselves. Their role was to be helpers to those who were at the point of inheriting salvation. (Heb 1:14) Adam and Eve had need of taking of the tree of life (Gen 3:22) in order to live forever. Once they had taken of tree of life then they would be as strong as the angels (Luke 20:35-36) and yet greater because they were created body and soul and infused with God’s Spirit. (Mat 10:28; Gen 2:7; John 20:22)

Thus, the angels’ role was to watch over them (Dan 4:17) and guide and serve them in that endeavor or in any way needed. (Ps 91:11, 103:20; Dan 6:22; Mat 4:11) God had provided everything for Adam to make a choice that he might cherish in return and he afforded the angels with the opportunity to show love by serving one who was both weaker and younger than themselves and thus fulfill God’s fundamental, deep-seated character and constitution that there is no greater happiness than to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) All of his sons could now be truly like him and a worthwhile relationship could develop between an almighty, all knowing, all powerful King and his finite sons made in his image.


[i] Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology defines evil in the following manner: “what is right was what was ordained by God, and what is wrong was what was proscribed by him, deviation from this paradigm constitutes what is ra.” Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (1996): Ra. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) notes the noun “ra, evil” is defined as “being that condition or action which in his (God’s) sight is unacceptable (Jer 52:2; Mal 2:17; cf. Neh 9:28),” (TWOT רָ֔ע ra).

[ii] For ‘Adam the choice would come through the agent of eating or refusing a certain fruit on a tree.