The Dragon’s Lair
There is a reason why Scripture calls Satan “the ruler of this world” (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4), and “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2).
The world and its godless, evil system are under his control. They belong to his spiritual kingdom of darkness (6:12), and his influence is universal.
Although invisible, Satan’s spiritual authority powers many governments around the globe (cf. Dan. 10:20). That is why Satan could offer to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world when he tempted the Lord to sin, trying to persuade Him to worship him:
Then the devil, taking Him [Jesus] up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Lk. 4:5–7).
Who handed the world to Satan? Adam and Eve.
Originally, God gave control to Adam. Under God’s authority, Adam was supposed to subdue the earth and rule over it (Gen. 1:28). But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, Earth’s administration automatically was transferred to Satan. Through their sin, they handed him the keys to the kingdom; and from that point on, this world and its evil system have belonged to the Devil.
This explains why the world is filled with evil, pain, suffering, injustice, war, hatred, confusion, chaos, immorality, and contempt for God and His Christ.
In Satan’s kingdom, people are at the Devil’s mercy. As unbelievers, they are vulnerable to his attacks and subject to his influence and power. This world is, in effect, the Dragon’s lair; and he is constantly “going to and fro on the earth, and . . . walking back and forth on it” (Job 2:2).
The good news is that when we receive Jesus as our Savior, God not only forgives our sins, but also delivers us “from the power of darkness and convey[s] us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13). He saves us.
Although we remain in the Dragon’s lair physically until we die and enter God’s presence, we have the Holy Spirit within us; and He enables us to see the truth and overcome the influences of the world and the Devil.