You and I right now are living out the next act of this unfolding story. Satan has an object and it’s what God loves. What does God love and send his son to die for? People. God loves people and in creating man, God gave Satan an object upon whom he’d be free to project all this hostility. All the sufferings and the agony which have flowed from from that moment God said “Let there be light” leads us to that ultimate question: Why didn’t God nip it in the bud? Why didn’t he cut it off right there? Why let it roll and create all this pain and suffering over time and through the centuries? If you are like me, you can’t look at the Holocaust in Nazi Germany or look at the genocide in Rwanda or look into the eyes of eight to ten year old girls who are being sexually trafficked or a myriad of other senseless evils throughout history and not, if you’re a thinking person, ask this question about good and evil.
Here’s the other thing you’re also not gonna very easily get your arms around the answer. The reason God didn’t immediately deal with evil was you. Yes, you are the reason he didn’t nuke Satan from the get-go with a simple word from his mighty mouth. That’s all it took and it’s done, Satan’s gone. It’s not that he couldn’t, didn’t feel like doing it or was sympathetic toward a former employee. It’s because there was a larger consideration, there was an X Factor. And that X Factor was his future sons.
In this time between one eternity and the coming eternity is us. If God had obliterated Satan in that moment, he could have never created another being as magnificent, able to be seated with God, possessing a will to worship but never a will to rebel and that being is you. God is permitting evil limited success so that out of this age – this age between forevers – come sons who are able to share his glory. The Bible teaches that God’s sons will rule with God from a position higher than that of angels. They will have prominence and dignity exceeding Lucifer’s. They will hold powers higher than he ever had. They will hold prerogatives and responsibilities higher than his and they will never ponder rebellion.