Before we jump to the the release of Satan that God coordinated I want to jump back to a word from Solomon. The verse below is a perfect header for this lesson.
4 The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Proverbs 16:4–NIV)
In Revelation 20:7-10 God works out Satan, his followers and God’s to a fitting finality. Those who would not have the offer of Christ are sent the master deceiver who gathers them to their own end. Those who have accepted the offer of Christ will have to exercise faith, big faith, one more time. With that let us branch over and see Satan max-out of jail.
7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison (Revelation 20:7–ESV)
A thousand years is hard for my mind to imagine. What about being locked up for all those years? Well, I am created like the angels and demons, but God set me (you, too) up as more than just spirit. I have a body and one which will probably run a good bit less than 1/10th of Satan’s sentence1. Angels and demons? Well they have no molecules, no matter. That’s another way of saying they have no bodies. They probably don’t even exist in a timed framework like we do. God said that with him a thousand years is like a day and a day like a thousand years2.
The clock and the devil’s experience of it is easily a rabbit trail, though. Rabbit trails threaten misdirection from bigger issues, so let’s let that rabbit run off into the woods and stay on bigger things. The bigger thing here is that by design the time of Christ’s rule over the fallen world from Jerusalem is not eternal. Similarly, Satan’s sentence in jail was also time limited as we saw hinted at two lessons ago. (Link to the lesson. Link to the scripture: Revelation 20:1-3)
So, when we come to verse 7, Satan has been out of the picture and Jesus in it for a 1000 Earth years. Along with Jesus have been the martyred ruling as priests and kings. Judges in God appointed posts have been at work managing squabbles. Something happened though: Satan was released. Uh, oh, world…Rather than dive into the world’s “uh, oh” let us first lift our eyes to some great things to grasp about God. Satan is but the tool; God is always the craftsman. We do better to look at his craft.
Satan’s future is God controlled
He is going to go cause all kinds of problems, again. Satan causes problems, that is his norm. Don’t, however, get mired down in that, but take comfort, be encouraged, by seeing that Satan was actually released. He was in prison and that by the hand of God. He is going to be released by God. Satan’s independence only goes so far. He gets out of jail, but only because God lets him out. He does not dig himself out. He does not find a skillful trial lawyer. The ancient walls of his prison do not crumble allowing for a wiggling out. No, he is released.
This enemy of God and men is under God’s control. He is not, as some religions would have it, co-leader with God in the universe who faltered and was trapped by his equal. That is preposterous. In his deceits he has people in the world to believe that, but he is a deceiver. Don’t forget to take that into your considerations. So, from Revelation 20:7 we see that that deceiver will not always be locked up, but neither will he always be free.
God does nothing by accident
If a thing is done by God never allow your mind or any other influence to convince you that it is beyond God or an eternal problem. It simply is not. Recall to your mind, by faith (that part is always a facet of these things), that God is good, present, aware and interested in the things going on the world over. That includes your little part of it. Satan will be released, but know these two things: his future is God controlled and it was not accidental.
We have not read beyond verse 7 in this lesson yet. If we did not have verse 8, but we had the rest of the Bible we could have faith that all will still be good. God works out all things for his own ends even the wicked for a day of disaster (remember that verse from the beginning of this lesson?). Believe this, live there in your mind. It is a valid and trustworthy approach to the lives we live. (And, by the way, tell others about it because they worry too).