By Jeff Wehr
“Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” Ezekiel 28:14-19.
At one time, Lucifer was humble and had a correct understanding of God which resulted in perfect obedience and love to God. All that he had he attributed to God’s benevolence. But then Lucifer became prideful, and his views of God became distorted and he began to attribute all his wisdom and beauty to himself. “Little by little, Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation.” Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.
As Lucifer began to exalt self, he also began to misrepresent the character of God. “Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. He led them to doubt the word of God, and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world.” Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, 21, 22.
“It is Satan’s constant effort to misrepresent the character of God, the nature of sin, and the real issues at stake in the great controversy. His sophistry lessens the obligation of the divine law and gives men license to sin. At the same time he causes them to cherish false conceptions of God so that they regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love. The cruelty inherent in his own character is attributed to the Creator; it is embodied in systems of religion and expressed in modes of worship. Thus the minds of men are blinded, and Satan secures them as his agents to war against God. By perverted conceptions of the divine attributes, heathen nations were led to believe human sacrifices necessary to secure the favor of Deity; and horrible cruelties have been perpetrated under the various forms of idolatry.” Ellen G. White,_ The Great Controversy_, 569.
If this is all true with Satan, then it must also be true with us. If we exalt self, then we will work contrary to God’s character. In fact, we will misrepresent God’s character in word and deed. This is of course Satan’s plan. If he can keep us selfish as he is selfish, then we will be working his purposes through us. But if we receive the humility of Jesus every day, we can gain that knowledge of God which will recreate us into His altogether beautiful image. This is a daily matter. We can surrender self, or not surrender self. We can ask and receive the humility of Jesus, or fail to ask and receive His humility. The choice is ours, but the humility is His.