"God didn't know that was going to happen!"
"God knew, but couldn't do anything about it."
"God couldn't have prevented that from happening."
"It was the devil!"
These are common answers to real life questions. When tragedy strikes or when disaster takes place, what part does God play in it all? Is He there? Does He care?
The answer is yes! He is both there and most certainly does care. Many people however would beg to differ.
The biblical definition of God doesn't allow for the answers given at the top of this page. The bible tells us that God is Holy (Rev 4.8), Righteous (Psalm 89.14; 2 Timothy 4.8), Love (1 John 4.8), All knowing (1 John 3.20), Sovereign (Psalm 115.3), etc...
While many acknowledge the fact that the bible teaches these things about God, they attempt use them to discredit the existence of the biblical God.
The argument goes something like this...
1. The biblical God is Loving
2. The biblical God is good
3. The biblical God is all knowing
4. The biblical God is all-powerful
Yet evil exists
5. Thus, the biblical God does not exist
Does this argument carry any weight? Does the bible lend defense for the biblical God in light of this ill-informed line of thinking?
Of course it does.
The bible makes it clear that the biblical God is all the things listed above. And when one takes a closer look, we see that the sovereignty of God is all consuming.
He is sovereign over: Over the nations: Dan 4.34-35, Psalm 47.7-9
Over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
Over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
Over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
Over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
Over free acts of men: Acts 2.22-23; 4.27
Over the sinful yet free acts of men and Satan:
2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; Gen 45:5; 50:20
Over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
So, in light of God’s sovereignty there are many reasons that God allows and even wills that evil exist. Yes, that’s right, God wills that evil exist. (Before you stone me, keep reading)
We don’t need to change the biblical God or the bible in order to come up with answers to questions about evil. Lets simply allow the Bible to speak.
Does God will and allow evil to exist? Yes!
Open your bible, read these verses and let the bible speak for its self:
Isaiah 45.5-7 - 5 I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things."
Duet 32.39, 2 Kings 17.25, Proverbs 16.4, Exodus 4.11, Psalm 105.16, Lam 3.37-38, Amos 3.6
I think its safe to say that God wills sin to exist.
Now the question is why. Why does God will evil to exist?
Here are eight good biblical reasons for God willing evil to exist.
1. Heb 12.4-11 Discipline
2. Psalm 119.71 Seek the Lord
3. John 9.1-3 Works of God being displayed
4. Rom 5.3 To exercise perseverance
5. 2 Cor 1.3-6 So we can comfort others
6. 1 Pet 1.6-7, Job 13.15 To show the truth of our belief
7. Acts 8.1, Phil 1.12-14 To bring the gospel others
8. Rom 8.17 To share in the suffering of Christ
So before we try to change God or change the Bible, lets see if there are good biblical reasons for the hard questions we face on daily basis. This doesn’t answer every question about evil, such as where evil came from, however it does give us right perspective on why God would allow such “evil” things to happen to man in the first place.
At the end of the day, all things are done for the benefit of those who love Him and to glorify the Lord. Let us take comfort in that!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. - Isaiah 55.8