“In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28
God knows Satan. He knows his every move, how he reacts under pressure, what’s important to him. God knows everything about him. However, Satan doesn’t know God quite so well (1 Corinthians 2:8).
I was reminded of this when I watched the movie, Oceans Eleven, the story of a casino robbery. The reason why the robbery was successful was that the thieves knew the casino owner so well. They spent time watching his every move. They watched how he reacted under pressure. They knew what was important to him. By the time the robbery was in progress the thieves were able to manoeuver the owner into being where they wanted him to be, seeing what they wanted him to see. The owner thought he had a foolproof security system but it was thwarted by the thieves’ superior knowledge.
God knew that Satan would orchestrate the death of his Son. So much so that God would prophesy about it decades before it happened (Isaiah 53). It wasn’t that God initiated the death of his own Son but rather he gave Satan an opportunity.
The sun doesn’t cause darkness but rather it’s when the sun withdraws that we’re in darkness. In a similar way sometimes God withdraws his light and Satan has an opportunity. We also see this in the book of Job when God withdraws his protection from Job.
We can live securely in the knowledge that God is never the initiator of evil. He sometimes allows evil but only if he can bring good from it. We also know that God is never taken by surprise, he never says, “Oh, I never thought of that.” Our lives are safe in his hands.