What is it that Satan and the demons don't get about God's mercy?


A friend of mine and I are discussing Satan and His rejection of God’s mercy, and we are wondering why since Satan has greater knowledge of God than all of His creatures, what is it about God’s mercy and love and goodness that he does not understand?


Satan desires to be equal with God. He is not after His mercy.

But he knows he is never going to be equal with God, he knows God better than any other creature, so why is he such a moron. He’s the greatest genius God ever created but he’s such an idiot, doesn’t he know how stupid he is acting? What is wrong with him? What is his problem with God, when he knows he is going to be miserable? Does Satan even know that he is a miserable loser, and can 't get what he wants?

When you find a satisfactory answer to the question let us know. It’s something alot of people have been wondering, me included.

They rejected God before the angels were given the Beatific Vision, so they, like us in this life, have never truly intellectually “seen” God as He is. If they had, they would certainly not have rebelled, but God wanted them to have a free choice of whether to serve Him or not, before the Beatific Vision was granted. Satan and the demons are the angels who chose pride and rebellion over love and obedience. I dare say they know at least as much of the theology about God’s goodness and mercy as we do, though I don’t know if they believe it, or if they believe anything, really.

Much like many humans, knowledge, prior to the beatific vision, is not enough; we must also accept God with an act of the will. Many, probably most, of the angels did this, but not all.

I think you underestimate the potential for pride and despair to, when mixed together, drive a person to deliberate self-destruction.

Also, according to conventional thought on the subject at least, the angelic intellect works differently than ours. When a pure spirit thinks about something it, according to this line of thought, instantly perceives everything about it that is within the scope of its ultimate intellectual ability, including all its implications. Thus, when Satan and the other demons chose to reject God, they fully knew all the logical consequences of that choice, including eternal torment in hell, and chose it anyway. Their knowledge was so complete and their decision so firm (because that’s just how angels naturally think and will things) that it is impossible that any of them would ever change its mind. They already know everything they ever will on the subject, and have made their final decisions.

I don’t think Satan has greater knowledge of God than all God’s creatures. Pride is a kind of denial of God’s existence. Satan denies God’s existence or at least his proper place in existence. Remember, God is existence itself and is the source of all existence. Pride is when you think of yourself better than someone else and in doing so you are no longer focused on God who is above all. Instead you are focused on yourself. Satan is focusing on himself instead of God. He can not possibly know God or his mercy the way a repentant sinner can since a repentant sinner is focused on Him.

To hold out hope for Satan to realize God’s mercy is fruitless because spirits can not change their mind once it is made up. Human’s have a body that is subject to change. Whereas a spirit is purely simple and has no parts. It can not change. Therefore, once a decision has been made there is nothing to change its mind. A human on the other hand can get tired or feel differently about something and change his mind.

The Angelic Host, including those that fell from grace, were part of the created order. Therefore their intelligence and knowledge does not approach the infinite perfection of intelligence and knowledge found in God. Satan does not know everything by his essence. However God does by His uncreated divine essence. Remember that Satan did not even know Jesus was God incarnate when he tested him in the desert. :slight_smile:

Below are two excerpts from the Summa Theologica on the subject of Angels

The angel’s essence, however, does not comprise all things in itself, since it is an essence restricted to a genus and species. This is proper to the Divine essence, which is infinite, simply and perfectly to comprise all things in Itself. Therefore God alone knows all things by His essence. But an angel cannot know all things by his essence; and his intellect must be perfected by some species in order to know things.

The future can be known in two ways. First, it can be known in its cause. And thus, future events which proceed necessarily from their causes, are known with sure knowledge; as that the sun will rise tomorrow. But events which proceed from their causes in the majority of cases, are not known for certain, but conjecturally; thus the doctor knows beforehand the health of the patient. This manner of knowing future events exists in the angels, and by so much the more than it does in us, as they understand the causes of things both more universally and more perfectly; thus doctors who penetrate more deeply into the causes of an ailment can pronounce a surer verdict on the future issue thereof. But events which proceed from their causes in the minority of cases are quite unknown; such as casual and chance events.

In another way future events are known in themselves. To know the future in this way belongs to God alone; and not merely to know those events which happen of necessity, or in the majority of cases, but even casual and chance events; for God sees all things in His eternity, which, being simple, is present to all time, and embraces all time. And therefore God’s one glance is cast over all things which happen in all time as present before Him; and He beholds all things as they are in themselves, as was said before when dealing with God’s knowledge (Q. 14, A. 13). But the mind of an angel, and every created intellect, fall far short of God’s eternity; hence the future as it is in itself cannot be known by any created intellect.

When I run up against a person who communicates that they are the best and everyone around them is something less - they don’t always see reality as it should be seen.

he knows God better than any other creature, so why is he such a moron.

Given that he was the greatest (or one of the greatest) angles in heaven - his intellect exceeds ours by a large margin. Maybe he has figured something out that we don’t know yet. To some degree, we have the benefit of hind sight. Jesus came and destroyed death, so we can see the score after the game was played. Perhaps Satan felt he could out wit God, for whatever reason.

He’s the greatest genius God ever created but he’s such an idiot, doesn’t he know how stupid he is acting? What is wrong with him? What is his problem with God, when he knows he is going to be miserable? Does Satan even know that he is a miserable loser, and can 't get what he wants?

Will Satan get his own kingdom in the end? No doubt, Satan is an ugly disgusting beast, capable of unspeakable horrors. Once it goes that far, it seems hard to see how he comes back from that. We will, however, get a better understanding ourselves if we (hopefully) make it to heaven.

How painfull must have been Job experiment for Satan’s pride.
He was proven wrong in his judgement and words.
And he doesn’t give up to the end, though he knows from the Book of Revelation what is going to happen. I didn’t know about this insight, which looks to give the explanations.

Not sure what you’re talking about. Job 1:9-11 clearly states Satan suggesting that if God were to not grant Job such blessings as he had received to that point that maybe Job would not praise God. He never asked to be the one to inflict ills upon Job, God is the one to make the offering to Satan in Job 1:12. And God is the one who brought up Job in the first place (Job 1:8). If anything it was God’s experiment to test Job. For there is nothing Satan can do that is not permitted by God.


Do you think that satan just enjoys making people suffer? Do you think he just likes to have sick fun hurting people to keep them from God?

Possible but I doubt it. I doubt Angels would be created with the capacity for such sick desires. Unless God wanted them to have such desires.

YES! I think he works night and day trying to create as much suffering as possible.

God created angles perfect - just as we are created perfect. But, we inherit original sin from our parents, and we take it further ourselves with our own sin after that. The fallen angels decided, on their own, to reject the perfection as they were created.

Satan is the creator of evil, he spreads it as much as he can, and will fight anyone trying to push back the edge of darkness.

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