PERMISSION OF EVIL
I am always meeting people who know more about running the world than the God does. Or, more commonly, they suppose that they are more just or more merciful than God. "I cannot accept a god who allows innocent children to suffer," "My god is a god of love, the god of the Old Testament is a god of wrath and is harsh and cruel," "If there were a God He would step in and stop all the suffering and injustice." "It is clear to me that the universe is the product of random processes of time plus chance, nothing more." "The cosmos is all there is."
However, for His own good purpose, God has allowed us all to experience evil in this world. The reason is because God is wise. This is shown in five aspects:
Every head ache, every disease, every heart ache, every time something happens to hurt us we are experiencing the consequence of sin. Every grave stone is a reminder to us that we are a fallen race subject to decay and death because of sin.
Every war is the result of man's sin against his neighbour. The world produces more than enough food to feed its populations, but because of greed and pride those who have the food are not willing to feed those who do not.
In some countries, whole populations are starving to death because of false religions. They are literally starving to death with food all around them, because their religion will not allow them to eat certain things.
We loath the evil. We should also loath the sin that produced it. By allowing evil, God's plan is that we would learn to hate it.
For evidence of this consider the testimony of Job.
The Book of Job does not answer all possible questions concerning why the righteous suffer, but in Job's case, he believed he was righteous because his conduct was without blame (Job 9:2, 21). This is what the Bible calls "self righteousness." It is a very common problem today, even among Christians. The reality is that men become righteous solely on the basis of their faith apart from any inherent worth or a track record of good works (Habakkuk. 2:4; Romans 1:17, 3:20-28; Galatians 2:16, 3:11; Philippians 3:8-10; Hebrews. 10:38).
Though he knew God, Job was not only self righteous, he was inwardly rebellious, and deeply proud. His young friend Elihu gently pointed these facts out to Job (Job 32:1; Job 34:7-37).
God eventually reveals himself to Job and challenges him, effectively saying "If you are so good and can act with such impeccable justice prove it to me". After his long trials and testings, God took Job on a tour of the universe repeatedly and pointedly questioning Job: "Where were you, Job when all these things were taking place? The angels were there, but you were not. Could you run the universe and mete out justice if I turned it all over to you?"
God confronts Job with the major flaw in his accusations. In defending his own innocence so emphatically and lashing out so vehemently at God because of his suffering, Job has essentially charged God with acting unjustly. For a mortal to presume himself guiltless and to impugn God's just governance of the world approaches the sin of presumptuous pride, that very sin which caused Lucifer's fall.
Having seen for ourselves what sin brings into our lives, God will then allow Humanity to see the benefits which come from obedience to His truth during the Millennial Kingdom. He can then contrast the evil in this world as a consequence of our sin with the perfection and harmony that His eternal Kingdom will bring in. Then mankind will see that "Righteousness exalts a nation" (Proverbs 14:34) and "Righteousness delivers from death" (Proverbs 10:2).
Even our so called "free world" is not free. Our governments are finding it necessary to keep closer restraints on their people in order to "protect" our freedoms.
The world is poised on the brink of one final effort to free itself from evil. There will be a "New World Order" which will emerge to rule the whole earth. But ultimately it too shall fail.
The reason is because of man's own sin. No human government can "legislate righteousness". We are a helpless race, unable to save ourselves from our own sin. Only God can remove sin. Until man realises this truth, he is doomed to a futile chase for what he can not have.
This is a glorious example of God's wisdom at work. We were all condemned to a life of slavery to sin, not willingly (Romans 8:20), but by Divine purpose. Had all been made perfect, all would have been personally responsible in case of disobedience, and it would be reasonable to suppose that the great majority would have failed as did Adam and Eve. In order to satisfy Divine Justice, there would have to be a provision a separate saviour to ransom each sinner from death and provide an opportunity for another trial.
But we were all represented in Adam, so that we all may be ransomed by one righteous man, Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:21 - 22; Hosea 13:14). By this means all come into the world and experience for them selves the dreadful results of sin before we have responsibility to choose between sin and death, and righteousness and eternal life. Unlike Adam and Eve, we already know for ourselves the ravages of sin and death in our bodies. When the time fully comes when the Human Race must choose, we will be without excuse, for we will all know the the hate fullness of sin.
The day is coming when God "will destroy ... the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all the nations" (Isaiah 25:7). This veil which is spread over all the nations is a hardened heart (2 Corinthians 3:14) and a spirit, blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:3 - 4). We will all know the truth of God's provision, for "God will have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4), "for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Numbers 14:21, Psalm 72:19, Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14). "No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying 'Know the Lord', for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive them their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34), "you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves" (Ezekiel 37:13).
We therefore thank God that He has made provision for our sin. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the penalty of every evil act in the world. We are now set free form the ravages of sin. It does not mean we will be without trials, for Jesus came to baptise us with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. God will allow us to fail that we may see our own sin and grow in His grace. God will eventually bring us into complete surrender to his will.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.