Friday, January 25, 2008


(Job 1:19-22 KJV) "And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. {20} Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, {21} And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. {22} In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."

Difficult questions: If God is “infinite” meaning that he is not bound by time; knows the past and future at the same time; is never surprised by anything; then he knew Adam and Eve would disobey him and sin. They were warned, then sinned with full knowledge of what they were doing, and suffered the consequences.

The children that Adam and Eve had after they were driven out of paradise were given the same opportunity to choose good or evil. Cain, choosing evil killed Abel who chooses the good. The question plagues us. Why has God allowed trillions of Adam and Eve’s descendents to struggle with the same question over and over?

It was God who planted the tree of “good and evil” in the garden. Satan was right when he told Eve that by eating of its fruit they would be as God—knowing good and evil. When they were driven out of the garden the same problem and punishment were passed on to their children and this doesn’t seem fair. Why should innocent children suffer a lifetime of misery because of the sins of their parents?

Cain and Abel were given the same choice of good and evil. Abel chose the good and was killed by his brother Cain who chose evil. This murderous, wicked problem has plagued trillions of people who have followed them. Could there be any purpose in God deliberately allowing it to happen?

Babies don’t know good or evil. They only discover the meaning of cause and effect, disobedience and suffering after they leave the innocence of their infant years. Babies, knowing nothing, are loved and comforted, taken care of and watched over by good parents. It’s a joyous time to watch them make tiny advancements as they grow.

Every mother is aware of the terrible two’s when their sweet innocent baby begins to misbehave, test all limits, and try to bend the whole household to their liking. Why do parents put up with this? Because they know that beyond the terrible two’s is a period of growth, maturity and hopefully for their child, the possibility of becoming a delightful responsible adult.

If we transfer this concept to the story of creation we can see a close parallel. God didn’t want to walk in the garden forever and ever with babies. Parents would be alarmed and horrified if their children never developed mentally. However, hidden in this mental development is the possibility that their child may become a cruel, selfish, even murderous criminal who dies a needless violent death. There’s no greater sorrow than to watch a family try to rescue a child that refuses to be good.

A father stood in the doorway of his son’s bedroom and watched his wife stroke the hair of their no good drunk son. The son had passed out. His wife’s tears splashed down on the cheeks of a wasted, selfish son.

“He can’t hear you or care about anything you are doing,” he said softly.
“I know,” she said, “but this is the only time he will let me love him.”

Sin is a terrible disease. The end of sin and the refusal to change is to be discarded forever by God. All along the way there are possibilities for the sinner to change, to come to their senses, to be redeemed. Sadly, some never make this change.
Paradise, heaven, our father’s house, whatever we call it would be corrupted and spoiled by a single person arriving there with the deadly plague of sin in their heart.

That explains why God allows us to be both the victims of evil and its perpetrator. We learn the meaning of both sides of good and evil by living with all its problems. How could it be God’s will for such a thing to exist?

In the same way parents send their child off to school on a cold morning where they are faced with all kinds of unpleasant things. The child learns by both good and evil from the things that they encounter. No, the parent doesn’t enjoy the process, and often can only provide encouragement and comfort because the process must continue. Under some circumstances the parents may act to move their child out of trying situations, but they only face them again somewhere else.

If we can see loving parents behind these trials and stressful difficulties of their children; parents who refuse to intervene each time their child is hurt; then why can’t we see the same thing in God? Why do we charge God with being unloving when he doesn’t step in and prevent all suffering?

In Genesis chapter one, we read that God created a beautiful earth and called everything in it good. In fact he said it was very good. God was clearly pleased and satisfied with his creation. This beautiful pristine earth had nothing in it that was dangerous, ugly or painful.

There was no such thing as a thousand thunderstorms every minute somewhere on earth creating destruction and havoc with lightening and winds. A gentle mist rose from the earth and watered the garden. (Gen 2:6 KJV) “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” That was the creation that God planned from the beginning.

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