4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. Revelation 12:4 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
Somehow I have a talent for stumbling upon people who are in the midst of deep theological conversation. This week I heard a young woman expounding on a subject I’d never considered. She said that only God is omnipresent — that is, the Creator is the only One who is able to be everywhere at once. Since Satan is not God, that means the devil is not omnipresent. And since Satan is not omnipresent, he can’t be attacking more than one person at a time.
I didn’t take the opportunity to force my way into this discussion. After all, I was eavesdropping on somebody else’s conversation. (And sometimes discretion is the greater part of valor. But, since you’ve signed on to read today’s column, I hope you don’t mind if I tell you my thoughts on this subject. And, trust me, they are practical as well as theological.)
Clearly, the young lady was correct that Satan can’t be everywhere at once because he is not God. But, that doesn’t mean the devil is not working all the time everywhere. Since he can’t be omnipresent, he uses another tactic. He has enlisted plenty of helpers to carry out evil work in the universe.
The Gospels and Epistles are full of talk about unclean spirits and demons. Indeed, Jesus’ ministry centered on delivering people from the work of these wicked entities. Most Bible students believe that demons are fallen angels who rebelled against God to do the work of Satan. And the sheer number of them is incredibly immense. The Book of Revelation seems to teach that 1/3 of the entire heavenly host of angels enlisted themselves to do the work of Satan.
So, Satan doesn’t need to be omnipresent (“present everywhere in the universe at once.”) Instead, it is enough that he is ubiquitous (“found everywhere.”) The best example I can think of to illustrate this concept would be cell phones. Cell phones aren’t omnipresent. But they are certainly ubiquitous. Think about it.
Since Satan has so much help, it certainly explains why there is so much trouble in our world. But even though fallen angels are working everywhere, we should never feel discouraged. The blessed angels are at work everywhere, too. Christian people are found everywhere. Prayers are being lifted up before our God 24 hours a day. These things are ubiquitous as well.
And most encouraging of all, we have the blessed knowledge that our Creator and Friend is omnipresent. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are available to care for us in every place at every time. Reach out to God today.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s a retired Mississippi public schoolteacher with grown sons, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the Preacher’s wife pointed out this week that he should live by the column he wrote last week and “not be so difficult.”) You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.