Invariably, unbelievers are not happy with God’s predetermined plan that includes them. The Bible assures us that all things are from God (Rom 11:36), for God is the architect and builder of everything (Heb 3:4; 11:10). He has made the reprobate and the elect, and He prepares them for destruction and for glory, respectively (Rom 9:22–23). Does it exist? Then, God made it.
The question that troubles people is, “How can there be so much evil, sin, and corruption in the world if God is good and holy?” God must be responsible for what He has made, right? Or is it that God has designed corruption to serve His purpose in bringing glory to Himself?
The attributes of God are known to us because it has pleased God to reveal them to us. We can know some things about God by His general revelation in the created order. Additionally, we have the Bible, God’s special revelation. In this, we learn what God wants us to know.
Man looks at the world, and he blames God for the woes he sees and experiences. In the world, there is trouble. Man reasons that God, if He really exists, has the power to create and sustain everything. God could fix all that is broken, but for some reason the all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful One is not fixing what is broke. It is for us to pause and consider our Sovereign Creator and His design for evil.
Simply put, wicked people and their corrupt ways on the evil day make God look good. More specifically, they make Jesus Christ, the God-man, look good. Evil serves as the foil in God’s story. A dark backdrop is perfect for illuminating the brilliance of light being refracted through a cut diamond (see the city design for New Jerusalem in Revelation 21–22).
Consider some of the sins common to man. Mothers abort their babies in contrast with God who gives life (Dt 32:39; Neh 9:6; Job 33:4; Eccl 5:18; 8:15; 9:9; Jn 5:21; 6:33, 63; 10:28; 17:2; Acts 17:25; 2 Cor 3:6; 1 Tim 6:13; 1 Jn 5:11). Homosexuals pervert the picture of Christ and His bride, His church. Love and intimacy are exclusive to one man and one woman in covenant relationship. The result is new life for new creatures made in the image of God, who are nurtured in the love and intimacy of a covenanted family. For this reason, God hates divorce (Mal 2:16).
Why is there war between people and nations? The idolatry of those who desire to gain the whole world, even as their souls prepare for insatiable eternity, is the economic reality of unbelievers. Believing in the lie of scarcity and not being content with what one has is the cause of fighting. Contrast this with the harmony of the Trinity whose economy is unity giving from infinite abundance.
In this fallen world of sin, occupied by generation after generation of sinners, we must insist there is simply no hope for a resolution to the problem of evil. There is nothing new under the sun, which means that our existence here is but vanity. Helpless and hopeless, the natural man puts on his costume each day and pretends that everything is going to be alright. Meanwhile, his dead soul is a witness to his dying body.
Savior-like impostors, hawking cheap products and services — promising some form of salvation — are bought by material idolaters or stolen by criminals. Temporary gladness invites another day of vain labor and striving after the wind. Then, one day is appointed by God for each person to be his or her last day. Death is appointed for sinners, along with judgment and sentencing to eternal hell in outer darkness (Mt 8:12; 22:13; 24:41, 46; 25:30; Heb 9:27; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15). Is it dark enough for you, yet?
Every measurement of darkness in this world helps glorify God. Crime rates, divorce statistics, abortion numbers, and war documentaries all serve to highlight the contrast between man’s godless world and the world to come. The devil, God’s devil, glorifies God by ruling and reigning in unrighteousness. His slaves are occupied in vanity fair, with cheap thrills that must be heightened with every use, until one’s addiction produces death.
Give thanks to God when the Spirit of God enlightens you to see the truth about life with God, contrasted with life apart from Him. Enlightenment comes with the revelation of God’s Word of truth, the Holy Bible. In this God-breathed book, you will have God’s explanation for His purposes, including evil. It is the devil’s role to keep you away from the Bible, so that you remain in darkness. Only by God’s grace will you be constrained to search the Scriptures for yourself. May God have mercy on you to do that very thing.
Finally, in making provision for ungodly demons and men to operate in the evil world of their own construction, remember, God causes it all to work together for good for those who love Him and who are called out of darkness by Him (Rom 8:28; Col 1:13; 1 Pet 2:9). Light in the darkness is marvelous, and so are blind eyes opened by God to see the truth.
There is no darkness in God, nor is He evil in showing humanity the evil produced by us apart from Him. The devil serenades man, “You can go your own way…every day.” Man can boast, “I did it my way.” These claims by men and devils only adds to the darkness and great is the darkness (Mt 6:23). For it is great and greatly used by God to display the glory of God in everything that is good, right, and just. And if you are looking for those attributes, you will only find them in Christ Jesus — yesterday, today, and forever.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 11, 2022