Our story telling has been continuing. A few weeks ago the story was a synthesis of Genesis chapters 1;3;6, Isaiah 14 and Revelation 12. It's my least favourite story in scripture.
As mentioned previously here on this blog, there is actually mention of the creation of the spirits (angels) in Genesis 1, but we usually can't see it through western eyes. But a more complete exegesis of scripture shows that the angels are referred to as stars also in Isaiah, Job and Revelation.
The initial purpose of the stars was to give light on the earth. Light? But surely the sun and moon give more light than the stars. This light is of course metaphorical and refers to guidance. But once a third of these stars fell from heaven (Revelation 12), they were then deceptive and no longer gave good guidance. Think of astrology. Astrology is based in the stars. Perhaps it was God's original plan to use the stars to speak to people. But as a third of the stars are now lying and deceiving, astrology can not be trusted. God tells people to stay away from astrology because it is now corrupted by the fallen angels. It takes a more holistic world view to see the spiritual and the physical co-inciding.
The first of these fallen spirits was the Morning Star. He said that he would ascend on his throne above all of the stars and above God himself. (Isaiah 14) This fallen angel fell from heaven to earth. He then took on the form of a snake. (This is not hard for non western animistic cultures to understand. Spirits can easily appear as animals.) This spirit in the form of a snake deceived Adam and Eve in the garden.
It is my thesis though that no other angels fell for a significant period of history after this. It was only in the days of Enoch that this fallen angel (who we now know as the first devil, or the father of lies) plotted further sinister activities. He lusted after the daughters of men (Genesis 6) and decided to take them for his own wife. (The Sakha even have this in their own ancient stories.) Instead of doing this alone he tempted other angels to do this with him. He came in the form of a dragon and tempted the angels. (Revelation 12) When he tempted them they too decided to take the daughters of men as their wives (Genesis 6) and then a great war started in heaven (Revelation 12) and they fell to earth, where they committed their terrible sin (Genesis 6), then taught magic and other evil things to the people on earth (Book of Enoch, quoted by Jude in the New Testament). They had the Nephilim as their descendants (the gods of various mythologies such as Greek and Babylonian mythology- Genesis 6).
The power of the spirits on earth increased greatly, and the evil of people also increased. This was what led God to destroy all people and the creatures living with them in the flood of Genesis 6-9.
In telling this story I made the comment that God had a plan to limit the power of the evil spirits. As I said that I realised I didn't even quite know what this plan was.
In telling the story of the flood it became clear to me what God's plan was to limit the power of the evil spirits. The power of the evil spirits was tremendously high on earth. People had entered into sexual intercourse with them and the demonic powers were rife. People may not realise it today, but I am convinced this is why sexual sin is an opening to demonic activity, even today. Sexual sin was the gateway sin that the demons used to bring the occult to earth.
God destroyed everything that the evil spirits had brought to earth. Noah is listed as a blameless man who walked closely with God. After the flood God makes some promises to Noah and his descendants, and then he establises a covenant. Up to this point in scripture there has been no covenant. There has been sin and consequences (curses) there has even been God's grace (in every major story- Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and then Noah). There have been prophecies of good things to come (a descendant who would crush the head of the serpent; Noah who would deliver people from the curse). But there has been no covenant before this point.
Each act of sin up to this point was a legal contract of bondage to the evil spirits. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit they had knowledge of good and evil. The devil was then free to tempt them all he pleased. When people entered into sexual union with the spirits in Genesis 6, they were effectively signing contracts all over the place to give spiritual authority over their existence to the evil spirits. They signed all of their authority away, it was stolen from God. Noah was the only righteous one left, God had no alternative, the human race was nearly completely lost for eternity.
But when God made a covenant with Noah, it was permanent. The connection between Noah, his descendants and God was sealed. A covenant was made that could never be broken. Sure, sin still had significant power on earth, but the power of the evil spirits was limited. God re-established his claim to having authority of the people he made in his own image. (There is some argument to say that the Nephilim were not in God's image because they were the offspring of demons.)
It became clear to me. This first covenant that God established was God's first step in his epic plan of redemption. The first step to limiting the power of sin and the evil spirits. The power had not been abolished altogether, but God had taken significant territory back in his spiritual war with the fallen angels to completely recover his creation for himself.
Even today, as the power of sin can now be abolished because of the new covenant in Christ that we live under, there are more covenants to come that we have not experienced. Revelation 7 speaks of a time when there will be no more tears or suffering. That will be the ultimate covenant. God has taken much territory of his creation back through each consecutive covenant in scripture, but we can see that he has more planned in his plan of complete redemption for all of creation.