“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” ~ Isaiah 14:12-15
It’s really interesting to know that before history was written, Satan was God’s right-hand man. As it describes in Ezekiel 28:12-15, Satan was “the model of perfection” ~ which means that not only was he “drop-dead gorgeous,” he was also wise, kind, a great conversationalist, anything that you might interpret “perfect” to mean. He was a guardian of God’s throne and had access to every presence of God, something that not many people (or heavenly bodies, I suppose) have.
But tragically, and in great storytelling fashion, Satan started to realize his perfection, and became prideful. He began to think himself as great as God. He thought he could rule just as well or better as God could, and he started recruiting other angels as his own personal minions ~ though whether they honestly believed it or he deceived them, I can’t tell you. And because of this, Satan was no longer perfect, and he and his followers were banished. And I can’t help but draw the similarities between this and Lord of the Rings. Yes, you should have seen it coming. But to be honest, Lord of the Rings was based on situations from the Bible, and the Satan of this timeless classic is Melkor.
Melkor was the first of the Ainu (angels) created by Eru Iluvatar (God) in the Timeless Halls (heaven). He was the most powerful and most knowledgeable of all the Ainur, and was gifted in every area. He wanted to make things like Iluvatar did, but he couldn’t find the Flame Imperishable (which was Iluvatar’s power of creation), or Secret Fire, because only Iluvatar had it. Melkor spent a lot of time alone, and he began having ideas that none of the other Ainur had. He wove these ideas into the music that he and the other Ainur regularly sang for Iluvatar, and it caused discord. Some of the Ainur attuned their music to his, while the others stuck to the usual stuff. When the song ended, Iluvatar rebuked Melkor, and Melkor was ashamed because he considered his discord an improvement. And when Iluvatar created Middle-earth, Melkor continued putting his evil wherever he could fit it.
Eventually, the Elves were created. Melkor captured some of them and made them into Orcs. There was a War of Powers, and Melkor was defeated by Tulkas (possibly Jesus) and imprisoned and renamed Morgoth, or “Dark Enemy,” the first of the Dark Lords.
When Morgoth eventually escaped, he held a grudge against the Valar (the Elves), just like Satan and his demons hold a grudge against us, because we gain for free what they failed to gain by force ~ the kingdom of God. For this reason, you constantly have demons waiting to attack you, but luckily there are ways to protect yourself from them: avoid tempting situations, stay close to Christ by reading the Bible, and remain in a constant state of prayer, which takes some practice.
Satan had a list of things he wanted to do ~ goals, if you will ~ and they’re all listed in the verse at the beginning of this post.
1) I will ascend to heaven (that is, God’s presence).
2) I will raise my throne above the stars of God (I will become greater than God).
3) I will sit enthroned on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain (I will be the greatest being).
4) I will ascend above the tops of the clouds (I will rule over everything).
5) I will make myself like the Most High (I will be like God).
It sounds to me like Satan really thought he could overthrow God and take over heaven, but it’s obvious that his goals are the result of a deceived mind because nobody can be like God, and we all know it. If I had to describe Satan’s sin in this passage, I would describe it as twisted pride. The scary thing is, I think we have all struggled with this same sin at some point in our lives, some more than others. I can think of at least one way it applies to me. How does it apply to you?