Today I'm reading in his book Spectacular Sins. I know, great title. (I thought I'd committed a few of those myself so I had to pick up the book and see what he was referring to.)
On page 48 Piper asks what I think is a totally valid question: "Why does God not simply wipe out Satan?"
Satan deserves it. He deserved it thousands, millions or quadrillions of years ago, and he still does today. He's never going to repent. In fact, Revelation 20:10 tells us that God is going to cast Satan into a lake of fire where he will be tormented forever more. So why isn't he there now? Why is he left to roam the earth, causing us such trouble between now and then?
Ever wondered this? Can we know the answer to this question?
Piper cites Colossians 1:16 as the ultimate reason: Because all things were created through Christ and for Christ, the continued existence of Satan somehow glorifies the Son. You see why my mind is bending? I'm looking sideways at the book, hoping the logic of that will come into view ... and I'm getting a crick in my neck.
"The Son of God, Jesus Christ, will be more highly honored and more deeply appreciated and loved in the end because he defeats Satan not the moment after Satan fell, but through millennia of long-suffering, patience, humility, servanthood, suffering, and decisively through his own death. ... The glory of Christ reaches its highest point in the obedient sacrifice of the cross where Jesus triumphed over the devil. ... We would not know Christ in the fullness of his glory if he had not defeated Satan in the way he did."
I tend to read Piper in small spurts; he gives me so much to think about. Still, I relish these mind-warping bursts of Piper-sight he offers. Off to the treadmill to (slow) jog and ponder.