When you look up Devil in the dictionary, you get many meanings.
First as a noun:
- (sometimes initial capital letter) the supreme spirit of evil; Satan.
- a subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.
- an atrociously wicked, cruel, or ill-tempered person.
- a person who is very clever, energetic, reckless, or mischievous.
- a person, usually one in unfortunate or pitiable circumstances: The poor devil kept losing jobs through no fault of his own.
Next as a verb:
verb (used with object), dev·iled, dev·il·ing or (especially British) dev·illed, dev·il·ling.
- To annoy; harass; pester:to devil Mom and Dad for a new car.
- To tear (rags, cloth, etc.) with a devil.
For this post we are looking at Devil used as a noun. Used as a name for the demon who, according to Christianity, is the personification of all evil. The true opposite of God and rules over all Hell and its inhabitants. The Devil has at his command armies of demons which he uses to tempt mankind into committing acts of sin, and also to torment mankind.
In Christianity the Devil represents darkness, chaos, destruction, suffering, and the complete absence of good, light, and love. The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology, pg. 61.
The Devil is known by many names:
- Prince of Darkness
- Lord of the Files
- The Antichrist
- Father of Lies
The Devil makes his first appearance in the book of Genesis 3:1-5.
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
You can find The Devil in different forms throughout the Bible, but he is not confined to just one religion. He appears in Judaism and Islam as well. In Islam he is the dualistic counterpart to God, but a high-level being who chose to fall from grace rather than bow to humanity. According to Britannica.com, Iblîs is the Islamic name for Devil.
What does this entity look like?
In Christianity the entity is portrayed as a male with a human torso, clawed hands, hoofed feet, a tail, and reptilian head with horns.
But the Devil is a shapeshifter, able to take on any form it takes to trick humans. The Devil could appear as a good looking man or woman. In most literature it appears a tall black man dressed in black. This is because of the times the stories were written. It wasn’t that long ago when black was associated with fear, evil, dark, chaos. Thankfully times have changed and most people are better educated and realize that different skin colors do not represent evil.
The Devil is a symbol of true evil. Therefore, this entity can become whatever it needs to be in order to fulfill its need for power. Because that is what it wants. Power. Enough to overcome the good in humanity and the world. To destroy what God created.
Whether you believe or not is not the issue. What is at issue is whether we, humanity, thrive. In order to this we have to put aside our differences, look out for one another, and take care of the planet we live on.
Each time we help someone just because it is the right thing to do, the Devil loses. Each time we love instead of hate, the Devil loses. Each time we lift one another up, pay it forward, and are kind, the Devil loses.
Let’s put aside our differences, join hands, and sing. As the old song says:
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world…