Why Does God Allow Evil?
1 PETER 4:12, ROMANS 8:18
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What is evil? Evil can be defined as something morally wrong and which can be harmful to people. It can also be defined as the lack of good.
From the second definition of evil, that evil is the apparent lack of good; we then wonder who created evil? The Bible in Genesis chapter one tells us that God created the entire universe, and when He saw all that He created, behold they were all good.
If all God created were good, how come we have so much evil in our world today? Why will a loving and good God allow evil and pain in a good and perfect world He created?
There are generally two types of evil, they are the naturally occurring evil and the moral evil. Natural evil is that type of evil that occurs when we have a fire outbreak, tsunami, earthquake, flood, etc. All these bring suffering, harm and pain to the victims.
On the other hand, moral evil occurs as a result of our injustice towards one another. For example, people murder, steal, gossip, fight, cheat, and hurt others. The harm that results from these is moral evil.
One is tempted to ask, “Can we have a world that is free from evil?” Yes, but not in this present world. The type of world that is free from all manner of evil is only possible in the New Earth, which will come to be during the Millenial Reign of Jesus Christ. Therefore, all hope is not lost! (Revelation 21:4)
Why then does God allow evil to befall His children? The answers to this question can be found in the outlines below:
- The Fall Of Man At The Garden Of Eden Led To Evil And Suffering:
When our first parents Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God in the Garden of Eden, evil began on the earth. Their disobedience brought a lot of curses on mankind. From that time upward, all sorts of evil began to happen on the face of the earth. Man began to toil and labour hard before he could eat. Pain was declared for women during childbirth. The ground was commanded to yield thorns and bristles. This led to the first murder case in the world.
- God Allows Evil In Order To Discipline Or Chastise Us
Some of the evil or suffering in our lives are there as a form of chastisement from God, our loving Father. The book of Hebrews chapter 12 verse 6-11 tells us about godly chastisement. It is the child whom the father loves that he chastises, for if we endure chastisement, God deals with us as sons. Furthermore, if we are not disciplined by God, then we are bastards and not sons. God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Just like children don’t usually understand why their loving parents would discipline them, we likewise as Christians sometimes don’t understand why the loving God disciplines us by allowing certain evils to happen to us. However, the ultimate goal is to make us better children of our Heavenly Father.
- To Bring Punishment Upon The Wicked
Several times in the Bible, we have seen how God punished disobedient nations and people by bringing evil upon them because of their sins and wicked ways. The Israelites are a prime example in this case. On their way to the Promised Land, the Israelites on different occasions forgot the faithfulness of God to them. They would turn after other gods, and God would afflict them with various evils, ranging from sicknesses, to death, to defeat by their enemies.
God had at sundry times brought famine, sickness, death, etc, on the nations that disobey Him. Other examples include Sodom and Gomorrah, the Moabites, Egypt, etc.
- God Brings To Pass His Good Purpose For Us Through Evil And Suffering:
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things (including evil!) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” One of the ways God accomplishes His good purpose for our lives as dear children of His, is by allowing evil in our lives.
An example of this is the story of Job in the Bible. God expressly allowed lots of evil in the life of this patriarch of faith, but at the end, he received double of all that he lost.
Another example is the biblical account of Joseph, the son of Jacob. He experienced a lot of evil, first from his brothers who sold him off to slavery because of his wonderful dreams, then at the hand of Potiphar’s wife who lied against him. He was put in prison for an offence he didn’t commit.
However, when the time came for God to fulfill His good purpose in the life of Joseph, he was brought out from jail and made a Prime Minister in a foreign land. Then his dream of being a ruler over his brothers came to pass. His brothers became scared of a possible retaliation from him, but he told them, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
- For Our Growth And Promotion
Without some measure of evil, suffering and pain, we as Christians would remain complacent, and not grow in our walk with God. The Bible says, “We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials (evil), for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.” (Romans 5:3-4 Living Bible).
Evil brings about patience in us, and patience helps us grow, and growth brings promotion. If we were to get everything that we want without any pain and struggle, we would not learn Christian virtues such as patience, humility, sacrifice, compassion, etc.
No matter the level of evil, pain or suffering we are passing through, we should know that God is right there in the midst of it. He has presented Jesus Christ to us as the means of eradicating any form of evil around us. Jesus Christ himself experienced lots of evil in the hands of men, but He endured so that he can eradicate evil altogether. God used Him to accomplish good for mankind.
In addition to this, anyone who accepts this solution to all evils, Jesus Christ, such a person will partake in the world free of evil – the New Earth!