Lesson 2

Cosmic Crisis: The Disruption of God's Established Order

(Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14, Genesis 3, Job 1)
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Introduction: Many people ask "How could sin arise out of perfection?" Since I doubt I'll ever figure it out with my human brain, I prefer to ask "Why did sin arise in a perfect place?" If we figure that out, it might help us to be more alert to the sin problem in our life. The Bible gives us some strong clues as to the main reason why sin arose. What would you think if we learned that the root cause of the sin problem was not considered to be a serious sin today? Let's jump right into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. How Sin Began


    1. Read Isaiah 14:12-14. Who is this text speaking about? (If you look at Isaiah 14:3-4 you will see this refers to "taunt[s] against the King of Babylon.")


      1. Look again at Isaiah 14:12. Was the King of Babylon ever in heaven? How can the verse say he was "cast down to earth" if he lived here?


    2. Read Ezekiel 28:12-17. Who is this text speaking about? (Verse 12 says "a lament concerning the King of Tyre.")


      1. Look again at Ezekiel 28:13. Was the King of Tyre living in Eden with Adam and Eve?


      2. Look again at Ezekiel 28:14. Was the King of Tyre once a "guardian cherub" who lived in heaven? (This guy really gets around!)


    3. Did sin begin with the Kings of Babylon and Tyre? In our study about the origin of sin, why do we care about the Kings of Babylon and Tyre? (Two things. First, Bible commentators customarily link these texts to Satan. Some do it without even bothering to acknowledge the link to these earthly kings. However, the questions we discussed show that these verses cannot simply refer to earthly kings. Second, it seems reasonable to conclude these texts refer to the power behind these earthly thrones. That power is Satan.)


      1. Why doesn't the Bible just plainly say "This is Satan?" (God wants us to seek the deeper meaning in the Bible. Peter does a similar thing when he explains that King David's comments - which are mostly about himself ( Psalms 16:9-11)- refer to Jesus( Acts 2:25-32). Just as Jesus was the power behind the throne of David, so Satan was the power behind the throne of the Kings of Babylon and Tyre.)


    4. Since these texts in Isaiah and Ezekiel refer to Satan, let's look at them more carefully. Compare Ezekiel 28:12-14 with Isaiah 14:12. What kind of position did Satan have in heaven? ( Ezekiel 28:14 tells us he was a "guardian cherub" "on the holy mount of God." This must have meant he held a very high position in heaven. He worked, as it were, in the throne room.)


      1. Was Satan a created being? (Yes. Ezekiel 28:13.)


      2. What kind of being was Satan? ( Ezekiel 28:12 tells us he was "the model of perfection." That he was "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." He must have been something special because Isaiah 14:12 calls him "morning star, son of the dawn.")


    5. Compare Isaiah 14:13-14 with Ezekiel 28:15&17 to see what we can learn about how evil began. How did evil begin in a high-ranking perfect being, in a perfect world? (It sounds like pride. Ezekiel tells us specifically that Satan's beauty and wisdom caused his heart to become proud. Isaiah tells us that Satan decided that he was entitled to be like God.)


  2. The Temptation of Eve


    1. Read Genesis 3:4-6. Next week we are going to discuss in more detail the fall of humans. However, looking at how sin occurred on earth might give us a clue about how it began in heaven. What is at the bottom of the temptation made to Eve? (Pride - specifically, wanting to become like God.)


      1. Why would Satan take this approach with Eve? (This tells me that Satan has now recognized the nature of his sin. If he sinned because of pride, why not appeal to the pride of these humans?)


        1. What does this tell you about the sin of pride? (It seems that pride is the root source of sin.)


      2. Has anyone in your church ever been disciplined for pride? Or, do you make the proud people the leaders of your church?


    2. Can we even recognize the sin of pride? What are examples? Can you think of any examples in your life?


      1. Have you ever said, "I know what the Bible says, but I am too sophisticated and modern to follow that advice?"


    3. When I was a young man, the fight in the church over wearing jewelry was just starting. When I became a church elder, I recall being asked to refrain from wearing my wedding ring to church board meetings. I complied to avoid "offending" those who were obviously "weaker" brothers. (See Romans 14.) Read again Ezekiel 28:13. Who gave Satan all this "jewelry?" (It must have been God!)


      1. What was the affect on his life? (It added to his pride.)


      2. The fight in our church over jewelry is now over, and jewelry won. Do you think the fight was much ado over nothing? (If you wear your jewelry to show you are better (richer) than others, then it is an important issue - it is part of the deadly sin of pride.)


      3. Should we also discuss our homes, cars and clothes? Or, is that enough "meddling" for one class?


  3. The Rebellion


    1. Read Revelation 12:7-9. We have again a reference to being cast down to earth. What did Satan's pride lead to? (It lead first to him converting other angels to his rebellious, proud views. After he had enough followers, he engaged in open battle with God.)


      1. What was Satan's goal? (To take over the rulership of the universe! Isaiah 14:13-14.)


      2. How could a created being think that he could do that? (He knew more than God. Ever see people like that today? Ever examine your own life for that attitude?)


    2. Read Job 1:8-11. What, really, is Satan's charge against God? (People serve God for what they can get.)


      1. Is that a wrong motive? Before you answer, skim over Deuteronomy 28, Malachi 3:10-12, John 14:2-3, Matthew 19:27-29. Why would God appeal to our sense of "things" if it were wrong?


    3. Satan takes away all of Job's things. Let's see how Job reacts. Read Job 1:20-22. What does the Bible suggest would be sin for Job? (Thinking that God had done something wrong by allowing Job's "stuff" to be taken away.)


    4. Consider all of this. God appeals to us with stuff. Satan says "They serve you for stuff." When Job loses his stuff, heaven sees the issue as whether God did something wrong. What does this teach us is the real test for Job? (Whether he trusts God.)


  4. Choosing Sides


    1. We see arguments, debates and rebellion all the time. The Bible was written from God's point of view. As they say, "winners get to write the history books." How can we know God was right and Satan was wrong? Is it possible that Satan's pride was based on a genuine ability to do things better?


    2. Read Genesis 4:1-8. This is the first big event after Adam and Eve have chosen Satan over God. How does God act towards Cain's disobedience?


      1. How does Cain act towards his obedient brother, Abel? (This showcases the difference between the two sides. God reasons with Cain. Cain kills Abel as a result of anger and pride. When Satan gets the upper hand, death follows. Jesus broke that cycle by dying in our place.)


    3. Read Matthew 22:37-40. What is God's own description of the primary rule of His kingdom? (Love. Not death. Not anger. Not pride.)


    4. Friend, do you see the thread of logic running through the cosmic rebellion? Pride is trusting yourself. Proud Satan thought he could do better than God. He did not trust God. When Eve was told God had withheld knowledge from her, she did not trust God. Her pride said she was entitled to be like God. When Job lost everything, the real issue was whether he would trust God. Pride versus trust. Works versus faith. God's kingdom is a kingdom of love and trust. Will you place your faith in God and trust Him whatever happens? Will you trust Him when the(American)stock market drops 777 points?


  5. Next week: The Fall Into Sin.

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