Seth Udinski, FISM News
The problem of evil has baffled theologians, philosophers, academics, pastors, parents, children, and everyone in between. For Christians, how do we reconcile a loving God, who has ordained all things in His sovereignty and power, with the overwhelmingly rampant evil in the world?
Some claim that God must not be truly loving. Perhaps he does have the power to prevent evil, but he does not do it because he does not care. Others rejoice in a God of love, but they wrongly believe he cannot stop evil. Either he is not powerful enough, or perhaps in “love” he bows to human autonomy and human free will. The biblical response is wonderfully different.
God did not and does not create evil. We are inherently evil, having inherited a nature of rebellion from our first parents, Adam and Eve. God, however, is only good, and for Him to create something that is not good would be a logical impossibility. But God does ordain evil. What does this mean?
In a divine mystery, He intentionally allows and sometimes causes evil things to happen for His good plan, without ever once compromising His goodness. He makes men blind and makes men see. He gives life and takes life. The Bible is full of such happenings: Joseph’s betrayal and imprisonment, the people of Israel enslaved in Egypt, the saga of Job’s sufferings, the martyrdom of the Apostles and affliction of the early church. All were ordained by God, for God’s glory.
Our greatest example of this is the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The worst, most unjust thing that ever happened to anyone in human history was the shameful death of the Son of God. The one Man in world history who never deserved death was brutally murdered. The only perfect Man became sin on the cross, and God is the One who caused this to happen. Isaiah 53:5,10 gives us the reason why:
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds…Yet the Lord was pleased to crush him severely.
This evil happened for our good, so that we could be called children of God. Christ willingly died for the sins of His people, so His people could be reunited with the Father. The Father crushed the Son and raised the Son up again, to save His people from their sins. Praise God!
So when you face trials and troubles because of evil in the world, turn your eyes to the cross. Remember how God dealt with evil, and remember the Lord Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother who went to the cross in your place and mine. Through Christ, we are united with our loving and sovereign God.