Satan has no eminence in Judaism. This is primarily because of its absolute veneration of God as One and Only, described by the word monotheism. ”…’I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me” (Isaiah 44:6 NASB).
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12 NASB)
The Devil is a New Testament personality by far, in comparison to Old Testament references to Lucifer or the Serpent. The connection between the Serpent of Genesis is made in the book of Revelation as “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Revelation 12:9 NASB). The book Job also refers to Satan (the adversary or the slanderer), which is one and the same person as Lucifer, the angel whom rebelled against God and was cast down to earth.
The prevalence of demonic possession (as read throughout the New Testament) as well as the focus and elaboration about the person of Satan (specifically in the temptation of Christ – Luke 4), are the two foremost reasons for the contemporary acknowledgement and prominence of his person. Essentially there is no fault on our behalf, where we endeavour to posses theology with more clarity. Where Judaism failed to recognise the Messiah and God purposed to show mercy to the Gentiles, “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,” (Romans 3:29 NASB), more detail about God was revealed. Such revelation comprises more information on the Adversary, the Serpent, the Dragon, who is Satan and the self-same Lucifer. However, what measure of value should we attach to this revelation in the characteristics or features we ascribe to the person of the Devil in weighing his worth in the balances?
Judaism’s veneration of God, puts God centre stage and reduces the focus of any other personality as emphasis of its monotheistic representation of “I am”. This is the essential teaching of the Old Testament. With more revelation through the New Testament, objects in the shadows received illumination. They were always there, but in obscurity until such time as God chose to reveal them through revelation.
To possess more knowledge does not imply automatic veneration of things revealed, but rather more detailed appreciation.
Unfortunately, such as was the case with the bronze serpent of Moses, the object illuminated, became the object venerated even worshipped. Instead of seeing Jesus as the one raised, they saw a bronze serpent raised, possessing intrinsic powers of healing. In like manner today, when we see revelation about Satan, we ascribe to him powers beyond what the Bible communicates.
The Devil cannot receive any prominence, reputation, importance or fame. He is a lesser being of the heavens, with a specific purpose, although he is identified as the god of this world or the “prince of the air“, “working in the sons of disobedience“. God , if He be God at all, cannot be anything less than omniscient, omnipresent with a will immutable in His prescience over things necessary in consequence.
“God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone” (James 1:3 NASB) through which He also promises that “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB)
With this in mind, God exercises His will over creation, that is those things and persons created, with immutable causation of necessity, so that what He wills is necessary to happen in those things consequent. This includes everything even Satan, whom God uses as a tool to bring about those things incongruous to the attributes of God, such as bringing about temptation and evil. I refer you to 1 Chronicles 21:1 to compare it with 2 Samuel 24:1 in association with the discourse of the book of Job. Read this bearing in mind that God does not violate the will of man, nor His own attributes, in bringing about consequences through the agency of man or the Devil, to fulfil His divine and immutable will through pre-ordination and predestination.
To attribute special attention to Satan, is not recognising God’s sovereignty. Especially for the elect, God “works all things after the counsel of His will” and causes “all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose“. Just so also in relation to the reprobate, but not according to the their ultimate good, but only after the counsel of His will, which is the basis of distinction. The reprobate only share in God’s grace inasmuch as God is involved in bringing about a blessed end for the elect, as a boon in completing His will with creation.
Temptation to the elect (as explained by James) is being subjected to trail, which we should esteem a joy as is also expressed in the book of Romans: “rejoice in our sufferings“. This is considered a “weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 5:15) through which God, diminishes creation, but utilises it through which to ”to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things” to show God’s manifold wisdom through the church (the elect) [this comprises all of the recorded history and revelation as written in the Bible], “to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places“. The purpose with creation is neither man nor Satan, but God.
If we should afford any pre-eminence, it should be in Judaism’s view of God, as the supreme monotheistic God. Creation exists by God and for God’s pleasure: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure“. As for Satan, we know more through New Testamentary revelation, but we should not ascribe any other characteristics to Satan, than revealed and that knowing that he is subservient to God in every action.