Advent 2022: Sat 17 Dec

Ezekiel 28:13-17

13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.

Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.

You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour.

So I threw you to the earth.

This passage is addressed to the King of Tyre, but its content seems to suggest that the person in question being addressed is hardly an earthly king, but rather Satan. “Light-bearer”, or more commonly, Lucifer, may have been another name by which this person was known. Let’s treat the passage as if it were addressed to Satan himself.

The prophet Ezekiel is looking back, which is a bit unusual for a prophet. The object of his words was with God in heaven (God’s holy mountain). He was there in the Garden of Eden, and lavishly adorned. Remember that the garden of Eden was a place where God came daily to be with Adam and Eve. If God came, then there’s no reason why at least some angels would not also be present. Satan must have turned away from God very soon after.

He was a created entity, and he was assigned a high role for service to God. But he made a choice to seek his own future. I can’t draw any clearer line than that. There is some discussion about trading, which I won’t go into here, but whatever he was doing may have played a part in turning him if it was not already the result of his turning.

Lucifer was a creation of great beauty, and why would God not create all his angels to be beautiful to behold? When sin enters in, then beauty is corrupted into pride, and splendour corrupts wisdom.

Satan was ousted. The serpent in the garden was out on his belly. But there were many who fell with him.

Why did God allow Satan to “trade”?

How do you imagine what Satan looks like?

Would he make himself so obvious as to be recognised immediately?

Father God, you have the situation in hand. I take unto myself the shield of faith with which I may extinguish all the arrows of the evil one. Keep me safe in the full armour until the time when evil will be destroyed. Amen.

St. Michael expelling Lucifer and the Rebel Angels
Peter Paul Rubens (workshop of)
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid