And if the Devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack
From a very young age, we learn that Satan is our enemy, even satirizing him in the songs we sing, or the cartoons we watch:
But if the Devil’s in the way
We will roll right over him!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48 ESV).
Jesus called us out to love our enemies, even men such as Adolf Hitler or the members of ISIS. Therefore, I ask this–does this mean that we called out to love Lucifer?
Please, do not misinterpret me, Satan is our enemy (Mtt. 13:39), there is no denying it. He is: Adversary (I Peter 5:8), Deceiver (Rev. 12:9), Tempter (Mtt. 4:3), Evil One (John 17:15), Father of Lies and Murder (John 8:44). The word ‘Satan’ itself comes from the Hebrew word שָׂטָן (satan) which means ‘adversary’ or ‘accuser.’ Satan is evil. When I mean love, I do not mean that we should love him the same as we do our God, for there are many kinds of love. Nor do I believe that we should overly sympathize with him, which is easy to do with Milton’s Lucifer in Paradise Lost. Doing so is dangerous, for we risk of being ensnared by him through our emotions. However, he is our enemy, and as awkward and wacky as this sounds, according to Jesus, we should love him, for is he not also a creation of God?
Do not be mistaken, Satan does not love nor will he ever love you, he hates you, Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8 ESV). He was the serpent in the Garden of Eden, who tempted man to fall (2 Cor. 11:3, Rom. 16:20). However, are we not called out to be better, challenged to rise above our enemies?
This, is one of my favorite scenes from Harry Potter. Voldemort, the serpent, is Harry’s enemy, yet in this scene, Harry shows him pity. No, that does not make Voldemort any less of Harry’s enemy, it doesn’t change what the snake has done, the people he has killed, or the fact that he wants Harry dead, but it shows that it’s possible to rise up, and be better than those who hate us.
To love, does not mean to lower your defenses, to have hope that the Devil can be converted, for to do so is dangerous. But, it is a challenge from our Lord, to love the Enemy. For God is love–Lucifer is His creation too–therefore I believe that God still loves Satan. Yes, he is God’s enemy, so were we once. Yes, he has sinned, so have we. Yes, he has done terrible things, and we have too. But God . . . God loves; therefore, in order to be like God, so must we love. We must love even our greatest enemy, Satan.
[Again, be cautious in love. Do not let it draw you dangerously close to the Devil, nor close at all. Love, so that energy is not wasted on hatred, but do not let your love blind you. Satan is the enemy. He will not love you. Be cautious. Love, but carefully.]