And as he sowed, some [ seed ] fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
Have you ever wondered about this passage in the Book of Job, 'Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.' Why was Satan 'among' the sons of God? Surely he wasn't one of them! ( Compare with Genesis 3:1, 'Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.') Was this 'satan' ( adversary ) one of the sons of God, or was he simply, as traditional orthodoxy tells us, a denizen of 'Heaven', before he was 'cast out' by Jesus ( Michael-Revelation 12:7-9 )?
Jesus went on to explain what these 'birds' represented in His parable; 'then the wicked [ one ] comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart'. This 'wicked [ one ]', commonly know as 'Satan', was he who snatched away the correct understanding of the Truth! Jesus also later condemned the religious leaders of His day; 'But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in [ yourselves ], nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.' ( Matthew 23:13 ) These 'birds', as the 'serpent' in the Garden, were simply the adversary of God's Purpose, those who endeavored to hinder His Plan!
This 'Satan', supposed by most Christians today to be 'the prince of the power of the air' spoken of by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Church at Ephesus ( Ephesians 2:2 ), is also ( incorrectly ) supposed to be ruling & reigning today on this earth & snatching away the Good News of the Kingdom which Jesus has planted in the hearts of His People! If this same spirit was alive & well today on planet earth, it would go a long way towards explaining the problem of evil & explain why mos of Christianity has no real ( present ) Solution to offer!
The argument has been offered previously that, even if this 'Satan' is/was a fallen spirit-being, he is/was no more than the 'prince' of 'the Power of the Air', God Himself! Our Heavenly Father, the Creator of all, is without question, the Power of the Air & going back to our passage in Job, it only makes sense that this 'Satan' would have come, in the assembly of the sons of God, to present himself before God! Personally, I believe that while there does seem to be some evidence that he was something more than a mere 'man' ( Isaiah 14:16 ), this 'Satan' who troubled Israel ( I Kings 18:17 & 18 ) was simply an agent, whether super-natural or not, of God Almighty, Ruler of Heaven & Earth!
As a Prince of the Power of the Air, 'Satan', is no longer; he, along with 'the beast and the false prophet' were destroyed forever in the Lake of Fire! In this day & age though, can still witness to the same selfish & wicked spirit inhabiting the minds of men & women the world over. Those who have not reconciled with their Creator & His wondrous Creation possess a spirit not unlike that adversarial spirit that possessed Israel 'according to the flesh'! There are many out there who selfishly & wickedly seek their own ends rather than the good of the Kingdom of their Heavenly Father!
Even though the 'prince' of which Paul wrote has been destroyed, we still battle his influence as well as our own selfish & wicked desires! As Agents of the Kingdom, you might even say that we are Princes of the Power of the Air! With this sobering Truth in mind, as Agents of Reconciliation & Redemption, let us be careful to always seek to enrich the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father rather than our own petty kingdoms!
Charles Haddon Shank