Does Satan Cause Death? What causes death in young children?

deathDoes Satan cause death? What causes death and suffering in young children that are still innocent?

The Bible teaches that sin causes death and that Satan is responsible for bringing sin into the world. In Genesis 3:1-7, Satan tempts Eve to sin with three desires listed by John in 1 John 2:16: the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life. She sins, and then she gives the fruit to her husband who was with her and he sins also. It was the sin that they committed that brought death into the world because they were denied access to the tree of life. In Genesis 3:22-23 states: “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” Not having access to the tree of life meant that Adam and Even will eventually grow old and die. The connection between sin and death is also reaffirmed in Proverbs 8:36 where wisdom says, “But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.” The idea here is that when we sin, we do things that hasten death. Those who ignore wisdom by engaging in sin bring themselves to an early death. In this way, sin brings us to death. Paul wrote as much in Romans 5:12 when he said, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 6:23a says, “The wages of sin is death.” So while Satan is responsible for sin entering the world through Adam and Eve, ultimately, it is sin itself that is responsible for death.

How about little babies and children who have not sinned? Why do they die? The answer to that question is that sin doesn’t just affect the person who sins; it affects the entire world around us. When Adam and Eve sinned, God pronounced some curses upon them because of their sin. The serpent was cursed to crawl on the ground and to have enmity between him and the woman (Genesis 3:14-15). The woman was cursed to have sorrow and pain in childbearing. She was also placed subordinate to her husband for him to rule over her. The ground was cursed with thorns and thistles so that men must perform sweaty labor to subsist. These curses were the result of sin, and the world changed because of it. Paul wrote in Romans 8:20-21, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” This means that right now, the creation is still subject to futility and in bondage to corruption. Some of the practical implications of this are that there are some innocents who suffer and die because of how sin changed the world.

The questioner doesn’t ask about things like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, but these natural disasters are also a result of man’s sin and the punishment that God placed upon mankind for sinning. When God created the world, He watered it with mist every day (Genesis 2:6). Many do not think that rain came upon the world until the great flood happened (Genesis 6-8). Such a cataclysmic event had an impact upon the earth’s atmospheric and geologic functions to cause such disruptive weather events as hurricanes and tornados. Earthquakes also resulted from such an increased pressure on the earth’s surface from all the water, and the changes that occurred to the earth when God broke open the fountains of the great deep (Genesis 7:11). These changes resulted in the various fault lines that we have today on which earthquakes occur. We remember, however, the cause of God’s destroying the earth with water was mankind’s evil (Genesis 6:5). There are always consequences to sin that affect others.