The Shatterer and Accuser
Scripture uses two Greek names for our ancient foe, the first is Diabolos (Devil), which is derived from the word dia-balein, to throw apart, to scatter. The Devil is someone who throws things apart and craves disorder. He hungers for disarray and thirsts for disunity. His target is the interior life of the soul, the part of us that organically and automatically governs our existence. It’s this disordering that gives him a kind of spoiled satisfaction and dark pleasure. “The mystery of evil is nothing but a rejection of God’s order,” wrote Jean Pierre de Caussade, “it is the disorder of the devil.” We all suffer from the devil’s disorder, we see it in our world, and we see it strongest in our soul. The second name Scripture uses for our enemy is Ho Satanas, (Satan) which means the Accuser, the one who seeks to expose all the darkness and shame and weakness inside of us. The one who delights in pointing out every little fault, every mistake, every way in which we go wrong and stray. When we fall into one of his temptations, he follows it up with a more subtle and cunning one. In the midst of our frustration about our stumble, we welcome his second temptation in the form of accusations and condemnations, embracing what’s become our enemy’s counterfeit virtue for humility—worthlessness. This is the cruel cycle of Diabolos and Ho Satanas: we do something we really don’t want to—and then we punish ourselves with disparaging thoughts of smallness and uselessness and shamefulness. Round-and-round we go on this cycle of guilt. It doesn’t take very long before our souls are splintered into a thousand specks and scraps and we forget who we are and where we came from. Our adversary has us so focused on the part of us that is dust that we cannot see our own dignity. (Gen 2:7) We may be formed from dust but God breathed His own life into us. We were created in God’s image, we bear His mark inside of us. We must never forget it because this is our adversary at work in the world, he is both Diabolos and Ho Satanas.—the Shatterer and the Accuser.