Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 22, Text 2 by Prahladananda Swami.
Since Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for our best welfare by posing as if our enemy. Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige, by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path.
Bali Maharaja considered the Supreme Personality of Godhead a better friend to the demons than to the demigods. In the material world, the more one gets material possessions, the more he becomes blind to spiritual life. The demigods are devotees of the Lord for the sake of material possessions, but although the demons apparently do not have the Supreme Personality of Godhead on their side, He always acts as their well-wisher by depriving them of their positions of false prestige. By false prestige one is misguided, so the Supreme Lord takes away their position of false prestige as a special favor.