Satan The Ape

Pongo_pygmaeus_(orangutang)Many people associate Satan with a snake and some with a lion. Others familiar with the books of Revelation and Job might even think of him as a dragon. But an ape?

Well, technically, he isn’t actually an ape. Rather he apes, meaning he “imitate[s] the behavior or manner of (someone or something), esp. in an absurd or unthinking way” (Oxford English Dictionary).

I suspect the verb came into being because of the way apes mimic the behavior of humans when given the chance. I’ve never see this activity myself, but there have been a number of sitcoms of old (“I Love Lucy” comes to mind) that played on this propensity of apes to imitate.

As I think about Satan’s work in the world, I see him aping what God does. Which makes sense, Satan not having the creativity God has. Hence, Satan takes something God has created and makes a pale copy. For example, God taught us to love our enemies and to forgive those who treat us badly. Any number of people, such as Corrie ten Boom and Elizabeth Elliott and Gracia Burnham, have done so through the power of Christ, with remarkable results.

So what does Satan do? He twists and perverts so that love and forgiveness become tolerance. He apes God-ordained marriage by inducing “same-sex marriage.” He turns romantic love into lust and a healthy interest in sex into an obsession with pornography and all kinds of perversion.

Satan has refined all this aping and imitating with his propensity to lie, confounding people about the core issues of life. Is it too hard to believe that he’s behind the idea that the universe came from the mind of nothing rather than from the mind of Omniscience? In addition, he twists the truth that Mankind is made in the image of God into belief that Mankind doesn’t have a sin nature.

He also mimics God’s plan to establish His church by planting pale imitations, each with their own sacred texts and their own miracles and their own prophets.

His ultimate plan to ape what God does, will be the Antichrist who one day will arrive among men, appearing as a savior.

The thing Satan cannot copy or twist, however, is God’s grace. It is this aspect of Christianity that makes it unique. Other religions can talk about love and peace, but only Christ went to the cross on behalf of sinners. Only Christ rose from the dead in order to bring new life to those who believe on His name. Only Christ offers to cancel out the certificate of debt against us as His free gift.

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Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. The first thing I thought of when I read this title was of the Ape from C.S. Lewis’s “The Last Battle.” Not that the Ape was particularly clever or evil–except that he did have the idea of dressing up a donkey as Aslan in order to manipulate the Narnians and ruin Aslan’s reputation and fame in order to further himself. *shrugs* Interesting.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    • Janeen, I love the fact that your mind went to The Last Battle. It’s the perfect illustration of this principle and I wish I’d thought of it too.

      Three years ago, after I’d re-read The Last Battle I actually wrote a post about Puzzle, the pretend Aslan the ape used. But I never drew the parallel with Satan and his penchant to mimic what God is or has created. So glad you brought that illustration to the forefront.

      Becky

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