Satan is veiled in the Old Testament. He is directly referred to only three times and all of those examples occured in books that were either written or canonized very late. We don’t clearly learn that the snake in the Garden of Eden is Satan until the book of Revelation. The references to Satan in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are also veiled as the King of Babylon and the King of Tyre. By contrast, Satan comes out of the woodwork again and again in the New Testament. As Sigve Tonstad has pointed out, the book of Revelation is not only a revelation of Jesus, it is also the Dragon’s story.
For the reader of the book of Job, Satan is the clear villain, but not for Job. He was never told about the conversation between God and Satan that was the cause of his suffering. Job was only told about a mighty beast, Leviathon:
“His pride is invincible; nothing can make a dent in that pride. Nothing can get through that proud skin – – impervious to weapons and weather. (41:15,16) When it raises itself up the gods are afraid; at the crashing they are beside themselves (41:25) Nothing on earth is his equal – – a creature without fear. He looks down on all that are haughty: he is king over all that are proud.” (Job 41:33,34)
Elsewhere Leviathon is refered to as a “slippery” and “twisting snake” that God will destroy. (Isaiah 27:1)
The book of Job is the clearest example in the Old Testament that focuses the blame for all suffering on Satan. It provides us with the DNA, the drivers license, and the finger prints at the scene of the crime – – overwhelming evidence that, “An enemy has done this – not God!” (Matthew 13:28)
Taking Satan out of the equation for the problem of human suffering is like trying to explain the Holocaust to someone while denying the existence of Hitler. It is Star Wars minus Darth Vader and the Emperor. Did Hitler personally pull the trigger for the millions of people killed in war? No. Did Hitler personally turn the valve the for people killed in the gas chambers? No. But yet, the Holocaust reveals the nature of Hitler’s kingdom. It is the outworking of Hitler’s principles. In the same way, while we don’t need to put Satan in the fault lines of every earthquake and bomb, we can still say that all of the violence and suffering on planet earth reveals the nature of Satan’s kingdom for he is “the prince of this world.” (John 12:31, 14:30) Our earth is dominated by Satan, “the god of this age”, and “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). Unless we consciously recognize that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19) we will not have a satisfactory message to the world about how a good and all powerful God can allow the countless injustices on our planet.
In the video below, Dr. Brad Cole narrates his powerpoint slide presentation.