My older daughter texted me from university with this question, “Angels can suffer right? Like feel pain or die or be sad?”
“Well”, I said. They were created by God but I don’t know about them dying. I don’t think they can die because they are in heaven with God. Although Satan was found to be wicked and got kicked out of heaven, but he’s still alive causing destruction on earth. I don’t know if Satan feels like he is suffering or not as a result of God casting him out. He rules the world and probably feels very successful in that sense. I am guessing they can feel. Satan is described as the most beautiful angel, esd ordained by God and believed he should be higher than God. He must be able to feel in order to be so prideful. I am guessing he can feel because he hates us and it must make him happy to hurt us or why not just follow God?”
My daughter responded, “He got kicked out because he was jealous of God’s love of humans and because of that disobeyed right?” Then she asked another totally unrelated question about coming home this weekend and we didn’t talk about it further. I followed up with her a couple of days later to see if she figured it all out and what prompted the question. It was for a debate she was working on in her Philosophy class. She had to respond in an atheist point of view.
I don’t know how you respond to a question about angels in an atheist point of view except to say they don’t exist but it got me thinking about Satan. I remembered how in Job he was “roaming in and out of the earth” and when I read it again (Job 1-6) it says in the NIV that he was “going back and forth on it.” I wonder how many times in the past few years Satan has been going back and forth over my life. I honestly don’t think there is anything he can do to me to shake my faith in God, or God’s love for me, and promised plan to prosper me (favourite scripture has always been Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.) but I sure don’t want to tempt Satan to bring it on! I feel like I’ve had enough.
As I write this, the song in the background repeats, “If I lose myself I lose it all.” (Naughty Boy, ‘Runnin’ ft. Beyoncé)
I remember talking to my husband about his affair in a spiritual light. I reminded him that after Satan tempted Jesus while he was in the desert for 40 days that he was unsuccessful and left until a more “opportune time.” (Matthew 4: 1 – 11) I suggested that Satan knew everything going on in Dave’s life, heart and mind–probably because he was whispering in his ear, and it was the opportune time to trip him up. I reminded him that Ephesians 4:27 commands, “…and do not give the devil a foothold.” Dave let the door open for Satan even just a crack. That was all Satan needed to stick his foot in and kick it wide open. Dave responded to me saying, “Or maybe we just did a lousy job at taking care of our marriage.” I didn’t think so.
If you think spiritually and stay spiritual and have spiritual people guiding you and supporting you in your life, there are spiritual solutions for infidelity. Not easy ones because although I can’t respond for angels I know for sure that as humans we do suffer. We do feel sadness and we do feel pain. We do die physically and can feel like we are dying of a broken heart. We can still be alive but experience spiritual death, separation from God, which for a Christian is supposed to be more painful than physical death. I think that is why as much as the bible makes it clear that God hates divorce, knowing us as humans, he allows infidelity as the only reason for divorce to be granted. How hard it would be to stay with someone who betrayed you.
Comfort on earth in all of this–angels! I have had many angels show up in various forms to me during these last 3 years. And it is confirmed in Matthew 4:11. When Satan failed to tempt Jesus, Satan went away at Jesus’ command. When Satan left Jesus, “angels came and attended him.”
Praying that we all experience the attendance of angels in our life, especially after Satan has played with our lives directly or indirectly.