Friday, March 18, 2016

Does God create evil?

I woke up this morning with this scripture in my spirit. I know that this one verse can be a stumbling block for some because it gives the impression that God is the author of evil, but He is not. He is not the author of confusion, nor is He the author of evil, wickedness in other words. It is very important that this lying spirit that accuses God of evil be put down. If this lying spirit can convince a person that God is the author of evil, then it will also convince a person that God wants them to commit evil. That's bad bookey, but I don't want you to take my word for it because I have been accused of twisting and discrediting the Bible, which is totally absurd. I never said the Bible isn't true.

Full Definition of discredit
  1. 1 :  to refuse to accept as true or accurate :  disbelieve <discredit a rumor>
  2. 2 :  to cause disbelief in the accuracy or authority of <a discredited theory>
  3. 3 :  to deprive of good repute :  disgrace <personal attacks meant to discredit his opponent>
Below is a very good teaching on this verse and the context that it is used in. Context is very important when we are reading the Bible. Do not just read a verse and presume to know what it means. It is always better to the read the chapter before and after the chapter the verse we are trying to understand is in. Also, we must understand when reading the Bible what is narration and what is teaching. If we can learn to distinguish the two we can avoid flaky and inerrant interpretations, which only cause schisms in the Body.
A simple definition of Schism:
  • a division among the members of a group that occurs because they disagree on something
Full definition of Schism:
  1. division, separation; also: discord, disharmony
  2. formal division in or separation from a church or religious body
  3. the offense of promoting schism
The following teaching can be found on Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry at Great teaching and should clear some things up for us.

Does God create evil?

Isaiah 45:7 and Amos 3:6
  • (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)--"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
  • (Amos 3:6)--"Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"
Is God really the one who created evil? To answer the question we must first look at how the word for evil, rah, is used in the Bible, examine the context of the Isaiah 45:7 passage, and look at other passages on the same subject.
First of all, the Hebrew word for evil, rah, is used in many different ways in the Bible. In the KJV Bible, it occurs 663 times. Four-hundred-thirty-one (431) times it is translated as evil. The other 232 times it is translated as wicked, bad, hurt, harm, ill, sorrow, mischief, displeased, adversity, affliction, trouble, calamity, grievous, misery, and trouble. So we can see that the word does not require that it be translated as evil. This is why different Bibles translate this verse differently. It is translated as calamity by the NASB and NKJV, disaster by the NIV, and woe by the RSV.
Second, the context of the verse is speaking of natural phenomena.
"I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, 7The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these," (Isaiah 45:5-7).
Notice that the context of the verse is dealing with who God is and that it is God who speaks of natural phenomena (sun, light, dark) and that it is God who is able to cause "well-being" as well as "calamity." Contextually, this verse is dealing with natural disasters and human comfort issues. It is not speaking of moral evil. Rather, it is dealing with calamity, distress, etc. This is consistent with other Scriptures. For example,
  • "And the Lord said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" (Exodus 4:11)
  • "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?" (Amos 3:6)
Also, take note that Isaiah is presenting contrasts. He speaks of "light" and "darkness," "well being" and "calamity." The word, "well-being," in the Hebrew is the word for 'peace,' "Shalome." So, in the context, we are seeing two sets of opposites: Light and dark, peace and non-peace, or well being and calamity. The "evil" that is spoken of is not ontological evil but the evil experienced by people in the form of calamity.

From the above two verses (Exodus 4:11, Amos 3:6), we can see that the Lord is involved in calamity and problems in the earthly realm. Exodus 4:11 is speaking of human frailty, and Amos 3:6 is speaking of woes in a city. It is not a moral evil that God brings but calamity and distress upon people.

Of course, this raises other questions of why God would do such a thing, which I won't cover here. But, we can trust that whatever God does is just and is used for teaching, guiding, and disciplining His people.

Third, there are other verses that clearly show that God is pure and that He cannot approve of evil.
  • “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He," (Deut. 32:4).
  • "Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, and Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor," (Hab. 1:13).
We can see that the Bible teaches that God is pure and does not approve of evil and that the word, rah (evil), in Hebrew can mean many things and that contextually the verse is speaking of calamity and distress. Therefore, God does not create evil in the moral sense but in the sense of disaster or calamity.

Receive this blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make His face shine upon you;
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you;
And give you peace...Shalom.

His best to you,

Samuel - Smashing Pillars....raising sons.

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