By Lukanga Samuel
The Bible displays a sense of proportion concerning Satan which we should seek to gain and then maintain. The Scriptures tell us all we need to know about Satan, and no more. Given Satan’s key role in the plan of God, his great power, and his cunning ways, we might expect to find more about Satan in the Bible than we do.
God neither wishes to flatter Satan with too much publicity nor desires that we become preoccupied with him. Satan fell because of his insatiable desire for prominence, desiring the glory which belongs only to God. Satan should receive only the attention he deserves. God’s Word supplies the facts and perspective we need.
Uganda is well known as a presidential republic in which the President is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government business. There is a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government.
Legislative power is given to both the government and the National Assembly. The system is based on a democratic parliamentary system with equal rights for all citizens over 18 years of age, though a bill before the national government made homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
In this article, I’m engaged in the study of God’s eternal plan for creation, having previously considered God as the perfect Planner and then His plan as the perfect plan. This piece will consider Satan, who is literally hell-bent on perverting & preventing God’s plan.
One might expect i would start at the beginning of the Old Testament, where in the first three chapters of Genesis Satan tempts Adam and Eve, and the fall of man occurs. But my article about the temptation and the fall of man must wait until my next piece.
I must first go back in time–but forward in Scripture–to the biblical account of Satan’s creation and fall. Satan and the angels existed before the creation of the world.
From 1986 in a measure ostensibly designed to reduce sectarian violence, political parties were restricted in their activities. In the non-party “Movement” system instituted by President Yoweri Museveni, political parties continued to exist but could not campaign in elections (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum canceled this 19-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005.
Job was not present at creation. No man was, but the angels were. In Genesis 3, Satan is present in the garden, but he is already fallen.
Presidential elections were held in February 2006. Museveni ran against several candidates, of whom the most prominent was the exiled Dr. Kizza Besigye. Museveni was declared the winner. Besigye alleged fraud, and rejected the result. The Supreme Court of Uganda ruled that the election was marred by intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement, and other irregularities. However, the Court voted 4-3 to uphold the results of the election.
Undertaking a study of God’s plan for Satan reminds me of those occasional times I put on a motorcycle helmet and set out for a ride. I do so with mixed feelings; I look forward to the ride, but I remind myself of the dangers involved. This study is important, but we dare not be ignorant of Satan’s strategies, “in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
The most recent presidential elections in Uganda were held on 14 January 2021 featuring 11 aspirants comprising 10 men and 1 woman.
Satan begins with a question, raising doubts about the goodness of God, and ending with a flat denial of God’s words which imply that God is a liar. He changes Eve’s perspective, so that the God who graciously forbade eating from the forbidden tree is viewed as a God who withholds what is good from man for His own selfish reasons.
In the final analysis, Satan seems to achieve a total success by bringing about in men the same rebellion for which he was condemned. Satan approaches Eve as an ally, but in the end he is exposed as her adversary. The fall of man, and its resulting curses, are a direct result of Satan’s deception.
In 2021, the pop star-turned-politician Bobi Wine (also known as Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu), challenged the election results in the country’s highest court (Supreme Court) seeking to over-turn Museveni’s victory.
The highly contested elections was marred with violence, the European Parliament voiced outrage, condemnation and for sanctions against individuals and organisations responsible for human rights violations in Uganda.
Satan’s role in the Book of Job is a kind of microcosm, illustrating the place Satan plays in the overall plan of God. The role Satan plays in Job’s life illustrates the role Satan plays in the overall plan of God for creation.
Satan is the enemy of God. He is neither humble nor submissive to God. He challenges God, thinking that afflicting Job will result in Job’s desertion from the ranks of those who worship God. But God is sovereign in Job’s sufferings. Satan can only afflict Job with God’s permission – and only within the limits God Himself has established.
Job’s sufferings, while inflicted by Satan, are ultimately from the hand of God. Job may be asking the wrong questions, but he is asking the right person. After two chapters, Satan passes off the scene. When the story ends, Job’s faith has been deepened, and he is worshipping God.
Job’s final condition is far better than his first.
In spite of and because of Satan’s opposition, Job has been blessed, and Satan’s purpose has been frustrated. In the end, Satan learns nothing and gains nothing.
God gained a more intimate relationship with Job, an opportunity to instruct the angels, and an occasion to teach us about Satan, the spiritual war, and the gracious role of suffering in the life of the saint.
Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama, chair of the Electoral Commission, declared Museveni the winner of the presidential election on 16 January 2021, stating that he won almost 59% of the vote, with Wine taking 35%. Voter turnout was 57%. Byabakama said that it had been a peaceful election.
Speaking before the results were announced, Wine told reporters that it was “the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda” and also accused Museveni of putting him “under siege”, as security forces surrounded his home.
Satan’s purpose is always the same: he seeks to exalt himself above God by opposing God and men. While his goals are always the same, his methods differ greatly. We see this in the way Satan opposed our Lord at the time of His first coming.
As described in the Book of Job, what happened through Satan’s opposition to God and Job is exactly what always happens in the plan of God. Satan is allowed to manifest his rebellion and bring about that which he supposes will hinder God’s people and His plan. Satan is allowed to do only that which God has planned for His glory and our good.
He does nothing apart from divine permission. He does nothing contrary to God’s plan.
Through Satan’s opposition, God’s purposes are fulfilled, and Satan’s purposes are frustrated. In spite of his failures, Satan never learns. Instead, he hastens on in his rebellion.
Unwittingly, Satan serves God’s purpose. Satan’s efforts produced the opposite of what he hoped to achieve by inflicting Job with adversity and suffering.
While Satan is rebellious toward God and an adversary of Job, the suffering God imposed ultimately resulted in a deepening of Job’s faith and brought greater blessings to Job.
To all Ugandans, our approach must be one of soberness, for the issues at hand are life and death, heaven and hell. We should avoid levity and flippancy.
Satan is a serpent, and as such, he is not only deadly but often is so well camouflaged we do not see him. Some Christians see too much of Satan, as though he were behind every biblical bush. Others see too little of him. Some therefore give him too much credit and others too little.
As soon as Byabakama challenged Wine to provide evidence for his allegations of fraud, he withdrew from courts of law to what he referred to as people’s court.
Satan’s character and conduct do not change in the New Testament; they only intensify. Satan was quite successful in tempting men on the basis of his own fallen perspective, ambitions, and values.
Satan holds men and women captive to accomplish his will, often when they are not even aware of it.
Satan opposes the Gospel by seeking to keep men from salvation in Jesus Christ.
Satan opposes Christ by attacking Christians, seeking their downfall and destruction. Satan seeks to deceive and to distort the simple truths of the gospel.
But unlike Satan, Jesus was intent on doing the will of the Father and not acting independently. Jesus, unlike Satan, was willing to humble Himself, even to the point of death, to fulfill God’s purpose of providing the only means for man’s forgiveness and eternal life.
From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind of God’s interests, but man’s” (Matthew 16:21-23).
Satan also indirectly opposed the Lord Jesus Christ through his demonic helpers and through human instruments, including Israel’s spiritual leaders and two of our Lord’s disciples. But our Lord’s submission to the will of God was the basis for our Lord’s victory in the wilderness, as well as His victory at the cross over Satan, sin, and death.
Two Old Testament passages, Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, deserve solemn reading as they graphically portray Satan’s fall.
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The writer is an Ambassador of Humanity and a youth leader from Nakaseke District.
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