Why Didn’t God Destroy The Devil In The Beginning?


There are many questions which really can’t be fully answered. One such question is this, why didn’t God simply destroy the devil as soon as he rebelled against Him in heaven?

We know that God is all-powerful Psalm 147:5 / Jeremiah 32:17, and could have destroyed the devil at the beginning of his rebellion if He chose to, Ezekiel 28:11-19 / Isaiah 14:12-15 / Revelation 12:7-9, but He chose not to. The only reason the devil is still around must be because God has a bigger plan.

All too often we try to think like God would think, which is always a good thing, and we try to deal with things the way we think God would deal with things, which is always a good thing. But we must remind ourselves that God’s thoughts and God’s ways are not our thoughts and our ways, Isaiah 55:8-9.

God Can Use Evil For His Purposes

Remember God is good, Psalm 119:68 / Mark 10:18, and He is not the creator of evil, but He can use good or bad for His purposes, Genesis 3:15 / Romans 8:28.

We see this clearly when Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery, but God used their wickedness to save His people, Genesis 50:20.

We also see this in God’s use of the evil Babylonians to punish His people, Isaiah 10:5 / Habakkuk 1:5-11, His people were to become a part of a much bigger plan, which God had in mind, Hebrews 11:13-16.

Free Will

We often forget that God created all beings with free will which means He created all of us, including the devil and his followers with the ability to make choices.

The most obvious choice we read about in the Scriptures is the choice to love God, Joshua 24:15-16 / John 3:16.

He doesn’t force anyone to love and obey Him, this is clearly seen in the fact that many people choose not to love God, Matthew 7:13-14 / Matthew 26:36-56.

Even Jesus Himself had the power to choose between loving and obeying God, Matthew 4:1-11. If the devil didn’t have any choice but to love God and obey Him, there would never have been a rebellion in the first place.

We know that Adam and Eve chose to disobey God with the devil’s help in the garden, Genesis 3:1-6, but if God destroyed the devil in the beginning before He created the world, it’s possible, although it can’t be proven, that mankind would still have been created with a free will, the ability to choose, and it’s also possible that the opportunity to sin and rebel against God would still have been a reality and sin may have entered the human story in a different way.

Could God Forgive The Devil If The Devil Repented?

The question could God forgive the devil if the devil repented? is a good question, a question which we are not able to fully answer, but maybe the answer to this question is actually found within the question itself.

We know that God is a compassionate God who longs to forgive people their sins, Isaiah 30:18 / 2 Peter 3:9, but we also know that if people don’t repent, they can’t be forgiven, Matthew 3:8 / Luke 13:3 / Acts 2:38 / Acts 3:19.

It’s not a question about God’s willingness to forgive, but the devil’s willingness to repent, and when we read about the devil’s character and how he works, Matthew 13:37-39 / John 8:44 / John 12:31 / John 14:30 / John 16:11 / 1 Peter 5:8 / 2 Corinthians 4:4 / 1 John 5:19 / Revelation 12:9-10, it’s clear that the devil has never had any inclination to repent of anything he has done, Revelation 16:8-9.


Why hasn’t God dealt with the devil sooner? We may never fully understand why but we do know that God will deal with it in His time, Revelation 6:10-11.

This doesn’t mean that God allows him or his followers to ‘get away’ with their wickedness, their time is coming, Matthew 25:41 / Revelation 20:1-3 / Revelation 20:10.