Would it not have simplified matters if God had destroyed Lucifer instantly? Would not this have stopped the spread of sin, and made unnecessary the untold misery and multiplied millions of deaths that have followed?
On the contrary, it would have made matters more complex. Fear would have spread to the utmost limits of the universe. There would have loomed the possibility of the entire creation living in doubt as to whether God was a God of love, and His law a law of love. Why?
Lucifer had questioned the wisdom, love, and justice of the divine administration. God’s created beings had never lived under any other form of government. The fact that a great host of the angels followed Lucifer into rebellion is full proof of what terrible possibilities lay ahead.
Had God completely crushed the rebellion, there could easily have arisen a question, even with the loyal subjects of God, as to whether Lucifer might not be correct in holding that improvements could be made in God’s government.
God had but one wise choice. The stability of the universe for ceaseless ages was at stake. He must permit Satan to demonstrate his kind of government. There was no possible short cut. It would take time. It would take patience. It would take sacrifice.
“He that ruleth in the heavens is the one who sees the end from the beginning – the one before whom the mysteries of the past and the future are alike outspread, and who, beyond the woe and darkness and ruin that sin has wrought, beholds the accomplishment of his own purposes of love and blessing. Though ‘clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and judgment are the foundation of his throne’ (Ps 97:2 RV). And this the inhabitants of the universe, both loyal and disloyal, will one day understand. ‘His work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he’ (Deut 32:4). From ‘Patriarchs and Prophets’”.
Taken from “God Speaks To Modern Man” by Arthur E. Lickey, publ. Review and Herald Publishing Association, Copyright 1952.