In chapter one we got a glimpse into God’s divine family. We saw mighty angels, living creatures, cherubim, etc. We even saw the “sons of God” rejoicing and celebrating at Yahweh’s wisdom as he created the earth. The thing to understand about these descriptions is that God is a relational being and that he had a family even before he designed the earth or created mankind. The other thing to understand is that where God lives (Eden) is also where his family lives.
Keep in mind that what we are describing is all before mankind was created. You may not have considered angels, living creatures, etc as God’s family but is that not what is being referred to in the book of Job as “sons of God”? I use the phrase “God’s divine family” because “son” as in “son’s of God” is a family term. There are several other places besides Job 32 where we come across this phrase “son’s of God”. You will see it in Job 1:6; 2:1 as well as Gen. 6 and Deut. 32:8. The last two passages have significant implications which we will explore in upcoming chapters.
The point of this discussion is to show that God has both a divine family as well as a human family. Further, Eden was God’s habitation on the earth – it was his home, his tabernacle if you will. We should also understand that where God lives is also where his family lives.
Trouble in Paradise
To this point we have looked at the host of heavenly beings that existed with Yahweh before the creation of the earth. We have also considered what the garden of Eden was like before the fall of Adam and Eve. Now it is time to talk about that fateful day, but first who is this antagonist, known as Satan? And how did he come to be the enemy of mankind and leader of the divine rebellion?
First I will quote several extended passages from Ezekiel and Isaiah. We will then break them down to understand the questions above.
Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings.On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.”
Ezekiel 28: 11-19
We notice above that Satan’s created state was one of perfection, wisdom and beauty. We also know that he lived in the garden of God(Eden) with the rest of the divine family. Even more incredible is that he was one of the guardian cherubs. What you might ask is a guardian cherub? Remember when Moses was given instructions to build the tabernacle and the Lord told him to build it “according to the pattern I will show you on the mountain?”
And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.
“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.
Satan was a cherubim prior to his rebellion. He was a throne guardian, a cherub which guarded the very presence of the Most High. He overshadowed, and guarded the throne of Yahweh. He protected the presence of God and stopped the approach of any who should not approach the majestic presence. There was no greater position of power or authority within heaven except the Most High himself.
(Compare Ezekiel 28:14 with Exodus 25:18)
While the Ezekiel passage seems to focus on Satan’s position, role and attributes the Isaiah passage below shines light on his motivation. Let’s review it.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
In the last chapter we saw that the phrase “stars of God” which refers to the host of heaven – divine beings if you will. “Stars of God” are not twinkling stars or constellations. They are God’s heavenly council. This is why Satan says he will “sit on the mount of assembly”. In other words he is declaring that he and not Yahweh will rule over the divine council.
The issue was that Satan was not content with his position of guardian cherub; not satisfied with his beauty, wisdom or position of authority. He was not content to live in the garden of God, the very presence of Yahweh – no, this was not enough. He wanted to unseat the Most High and replace him.
Summary of his characteristics and motives
Example of perfection
Filled with wisdom
Lived in the garden of God
He was a throne guard/guardian cherub
Lived and walked in the fiery presence of God with the other divine creatures.
To understand why these are references to Satan please review the footnotes.
(2) explain why Ezekiel 28 is about Satan
(1) There are multiple references to the Lord’s dwelling as on a mountain some of which include:
Psalm 48:1-2; Isaiah 14:13; Ezekiel 28:13