Evil

Sending calamity and creating evil?

Sending calamity and creating evil is a topic that concerns many people. It usually emerges from questions like “How can a 'God of love' make a world with so much evil in?” or "Why doesn't God stop evil?” Others who might have read the Bible question this passage below from Isaiah and use it as evidence that God creates evil:

Evil

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things". (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)

However, this is a translation issue for the English language in the KJV. In Classical Hebrew the word ‘ra’ has two different meanings: ‘evil’ as in ‘sin’ or ‘evil’ in calamity. The meaning in this passage is ‘calamity' not ‘sin’ (evil).

Context is essential in biblical comprehension and the Bible in ‘context' makes it 100% clear that God is not the creator of sin. James argues this in detail in the New Testament. God will not create sin, nor will He tempt anyone to commit sin. Bible translations are varied and all are good in some areas and fall down in others (and the Bibles we have today are the most accurate). 

Concerning the passage we are looking at, a better translation is found in the English Standard Version below:

"I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things". (Isaiah 45:7 ESV)

Job and Satan

Satan's ability to do evil is always and only within the 'permissive will' of God (i.e. what God allows). For example, Satan was limited by the power and will of God concerning Job, his family and their property. Furthermore, Job’s story was a rather unusual account which evidenced that mankind has the capacity to worship and remain faithful to God under any and all circumstances. While it might be difficult for us to understand; God was actually boasting about his servant Job and he showed this by the strange occurrences in his life and his final blessings.

Calamity 

God sends calamity: Noahic flood, blight, pestilence, sickness, death, plague and infestation for example and other physical judgments. However, considering context again we find from the breadth of scripture that God is slow to anger, abounding in love and that he hates to send calamity. Like a loving parent God will also will punish a child to make them 'wake up' to the reality of their challenging or even dangerous behaviour. In all cases we must be reminded that (within the context of stubbornness toward God) it is better to have physical or material loss in this world that to have greater loss in the life to come.

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