Reverse Engineered

Once upon a time when I was trying to make it as a professional photographer, I was sorely tempted to buy a Kiev 88. These Russian made cameras were making their way to the US markets even before the fall of the Iron Curtain. They were attractive to a young (broke) photographer because they were almost an exact copy of a Hasselblad at a tenth of the price. The Kiev was such a perfect piece of reverse engineering that that it was almost indistinguishable from its ritzier cousin. The main difference between the two cameras was quality control in production. Hasselblads were the favorite camera of the NASA space program because of their standard of excellence and dependability. The Kiev’s could be quality cameras … or junk. I decided not to take the gamble.

According to, “Reverse engineering is the reproduction of another manufacturer’s product following detailed examination of its construction or composition.” …what Kiev did to Hasselblad. But here’s the definition from Wikipedia, “Reverse engineering … is the process by which a man-made object is deconstructed to reveal its designs, architecture or code.” I wonder if we could reverse engineer Satan. I don’t want to copy him … I want to deconstruct his activity to reveal its true design.

Why does the devil spend so much energy getting people to hate each other? I’m assuming you’ll agree that his campaign is doing quite well these days. But what is Satan’s beef with us anyway? Why does he constantly sow discord?

Satan’s destructive battle with humanity is totally aimed at God. He hates us because we are capable of loving and glorifying God and these are two things Satan cannot stand. By causing constant strife and hatred among men, Satan interferes with or utterly ruins our ability to love God. Here’s how I worked back to that hypothesis. It started with this passage,

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:20-21

One verse prior states, “we love because He first love us.” Normally Christians emphasize that our love for our fellow man flows from God’s love for us. But the passage quoted also reveals the inverse. If you cannot love the flesh and blood human next to you … how can you love the unseen God? In other words, do not tell me about your fervent love for God … if your life is displaying hatred for your brother. The two are not compatible according to John.

Maybe the reason Satan is driving us … all of us toward polarization is because he knows that disrupting our love for our fellow man will, by necessity, destroy our intimacy with God.

This is the Bible’s dire prediction for the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1–5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Don’t buy the devil’s junk!