I know, because I have the same problem, for some of the same reasons.
What happens to me is this: I’m at work, watching cameras for long stretches of time, so to relieve boredom I play computer chess. There’s always Freecell, Bejewelled, and Spider Solitaire, but they don’t challenge my mind. They become boring very quickly. So I frequently play chess.
But the game usually beats me, and for some reason it becomes very personal after a few losses in a row. It gets so personal that I frequently play after work for a couple of hours, trying to achieve a level of skill that will allow me to crush that blasted computer! (Figuratively speaking, of course.)
I get angry. I get to the point that I HATE that computer. So I try harder to beat it. I try over and over again, until my eyes cross and my nose bleeds. (Just kidding, but it feels like that sometimes.)
I frequently cheat, by using the “Undo Move” button. I restrict the game on the lowest level.
If I cheat occasionally, keep the game on the lowest level, and focus intently on the game, keeping the whole board in mind, I can win. But it still requires fairly extreme and sustained mental effort. This is difficult, because work frequently interrupts. And when I win maybe a dozen games in a row, the computer raises its level of play, regardless of the level it’s set on. I can tell within a few moves when that has happened. I consider this cheating by the computer, and it enrages me.
After that happens and I lose another dozen games, it is unwise for anyone to irritate me.
But in my circumstances, there’s nothing else to occupy my mind while I’m at work. I’m “trapped” by circumstances. The site I work is almost 100% placid. Calm. Quiet. So I have to work on some mental activity. There’s no other choice, if I don’t want to go crazy.
Here are the parallels I see with the devil’s situation. Let me start by saying I have no sympathy for the devil. He (and the demons) are our deadly enemies. To them, we are no more than pieces on the chessboard. Never forget that. We are their amusement, and a source of rage and hatred to them, because we are “created in the image of God”, Who defeats every effort they make to “win”. To be even the slightest bit sympathetic to the Evil Ones is the literal equivalent of being sympathetic toward serial killers with super powers.
The devil got himself into his situation when he planned to or tried to rebel against God, intending to take over God’s throne. And it seems likely that there is no going back for the devil and the rebellious angels who joined him. I say that because there is absolutely no mention in the Bible of repentance where demons or satan are concerned.
For whatever reason (subject for another article) it seems that the game the devil and the demons are playing is “Game of Thrones” for real, written in our blood and tears, but without demon-possessing every single human. That’s probably a limitation God has placed on them.
Most of us have probably read or heard the Scripture which predicts the devil being cast out of Heaven – “Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:12)
So whatever is going on here on earth, the devil and his demons know that there is an end to their time here. If I and others with much better credentials (Hal Lindsey, John Walvoord, Donald Barnhouse) are correct, we’re not far from that end.
So the devil and the demons know their time is almost up. It appears that they are “playing” for control of the earth. The late Dr. Donald Barnhouse said in his Genesis commentary that the devil thought that if he could alienate God from Adam and Eve, they would turn to the devil for protection. Only two humans. Imagine not having to use mass market tactics!
Remember, Adam and Eve were afraid after the Fall. But they didn’t turn to satan. His plan, if that was it, was frustrated, because God “raised the level of play” with His promise of a Messiah and forgiveness.
It seems that satan tried to gain control of the world’s population again a few generations later, by taking advantage of the fact that most humans are social creatures. The entire population of earth was gathered together in one big city. One man named Nimrod invented organized warfare and attempted to conquer the entire population. But God “raised the level of play” by confusing the languages of the people so they couldn’t all understand each other. So much for world domination. The population split up.
It also appears that satan and the demons knew that God was going to send a Messiah, and they thought they could kill Him. In fact, it seems that they thought for three days that they had killed Him. But again, God “raised the level of play” by accepting the perfect, sinless sacrifice that King Jesus made of Himself on the cross, and demonstrating His acceptance of that sacrifice by resurrecting King Jesus from the dead.
That must have been a shock. >snicker<
There have been attempts in our lifetimes, and in the lifetimes of our grandparents, to weld the world’s governments into one (more manageable) organization. Woodrow Wilson supported the League of Nations. Then came the UN. Then the European Union.
Then Brexit. Britain split from the EU.
None of these efforts have achieved success. God made humans stubborn enough and rebellious enough that so far, the devil hasn’t been able to melt the world back into one group.
Every time the devil thinks he’s won, God has crushed his hopes. You can see how thousands of years of this experience would sour an attitude. And if, as I suspect, there is no repentance for satan and his demons, and if they know the end of their playtime is almost here, you can see how their ferocity would reach new depths of depravity and viciousness. Woe to their lab rats.
Because there is no alternative for them. I can walk away from the chess computer when it gets too much. I can play Bejewelled, which has no losers. Or Freecell or Spider Solitaire, whch give me a much higher percentage of wins. I can go eat lunch, which I’m about to do. At the end of the day I go home and (if the laundry is caught up) I can relax and enjoy my collection of videos, or read good books. Or frolic in the snow.
Most importantly for my state of mind, I know the Bible at least as well as the devil and his demons. I know that this life is “just a vapor, which soon passes away” – and I know that my real life will begin after this is over. I know that I’m guaranteed an eternity of joy and health and adventure, because I long ago placed my faith in King Jesus.
But for the devil and his demons, the end of this world means that for all eternity they will be burning in the Lake of Fire. There will be no relief from it and no end to it. So they bury themselves in the present, trying both to enjoy themselves (which I doubt they can) and to hurt God as much as they can by hurting us … because He loves us. They will never change, because to repent is impossible (I believe) and besides, they do have considerable power here.
They also know that for about seven years, they will have more power here than ever before, and the Holy Spirit, Who currently restrains their worst evil (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-8) will be removed from earth. So their maximum pleasure – if it can be called that – and their best chance at “winning” will soon arrive. I guess that between desperation and their own pathological lying to themselves, they are incapable of giving up. They will “play the game” no matter how many times, no matter how badly, they are beaten, until the day when the Lord of all the earth conquers them completely, for the last time, and they are thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Lucky us, we were installed on the planet they’ve been given for a playground. They won’t quit, and we must not quit either. Not ever. As the Getty’s song “In Christ Alone” says, “Till He returns, or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!”
As long as we “abide in Him”, we may be hurt, but can never be defeated, because “faith is the victory that overcomes the world”. (1st John 5:4-5) The Tribulation saints will be conquered, but only in this life. Even they are “over conquerors” in Heaven.
It won’t be easy, brothers and sisters. It won’t be fun. I do not look forward to the rest of earth’s history. But we must endure until the end.