That’s what I always say. But sovereignty is so confusing. Sometimes I think my head will explode pondering what God pre-ordained and what He did not. One of the most common questions regarding God’s sovereignty is whether or not God created evil, therefore pre-ordaining our sin. When I consider my husband and how he was tormented for years by sexual sin, pleading with God to take it from him, it would be comforting to me to blame God. Then I could rationalize in my heart that his sin was not really a “choice” he made. That it was not something that reflects me as his wife; but rather something God, in His sovereignty, pre-ordained for his life. I would find comfort in knowing that my husband had not made a choice to do something that hurt me so deeply. But I have to take my question to God’s Word and search for truth.
The most common scripture used to support the concept that God created evil is Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (KJV). If one reads this passage without taking into context the theme of Isaiah or look back to the original Hebrew language, it would be clear that God, in fact, created evil. But is that what this verse is really saying?
According to Strong’s Lexicon, there are two Hebrew forms of the word evil. The adjective form meaning moral evil and wickedness; and the noun form (both feminine and masculine) meaning calamity, distress, and adversity. If we take into consideration the contextual theme of Isaiah, we see that God rewards obedience or repentance through blessings and peace, but punishes or judges rebellion by bringing calamity, distress, and adversity (either directly or by human authority) upon those who were unrepentant. Therefore we can see that what God, in fact, was saying in Isaiah 45:7 is,
“I form the light (literal light), and create darkness (literal darkness; the opposite of light): I make peace (soundness, welfare, tranquility), and create evil (calamity, distress, adversity; the opposite of peace): I the LORD (Yahweh) do all these things.”
Other verses commonly used to support the idea that God created evil:
· 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?” (KJV)
· Lamentations 3:38, “Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?” (KJV)
Again, we see in both verses that the original Hebrew word used is referring to calamity, distress, or adversity. In Amos, the word is referring to a disaster in the city, while the word in Lamentations is referring to God’s judgment upon the sins of His people. Remember, Lamentations was written by Jeremiah during a time of judgment upon Judah. Once we break down scripture in its original context, we can see no evidence that God is the author of evil-- moral wickedness. On the contrary, we find evidence that God is Holy.
God’s Holiness is often a misunderstood concept. Holiness has several components: separation, moral purity, and simplicity.
· We must first understand that, to be holy, God is completely separate, exclusively divine, without contenders or rivalry. R.C. Sproul explains it like this, “When the Bible calls God holy it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be ‘other,’ to be different in a special way.” God’s holiness requires that He is completely separate from, or a cut above, everything else.
“No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2, NKJV).
· We must also understand that, to be holy, God is morally pure. Because of His very nature, He cannot take part in sin. Most Christians only focus on this one aspect of God’s holiness; His inability to look upon sin. Although this is equally important to the concept of holiness as every other aspect, it is not to be lifted above the rest. Yes, God is pure. But it is a transcendent purity.
“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1:13, NKJV).
· Lastly, we must understand that, to be holy, God is simple. This does not mean God is a simple being, but rather that He is made up entirely of Himself. My husband recently explained it this way, “There are no different parts to God. He is fully Himself and each one of His attributes fully makes Him up. Humans are made up of mind, body and spirit, but God is entirely one… His attributes are completely whole within Him.” Holiness is all that God is. His love is holy, His grace and mercy are holy, His knowledge is holy, His justice is holy, His spirit is the Holy Spirit.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Discovering the true holiness of God leads me to believe that God could not create evil nor pre-ordain sin in a man’s life. So, does this comfort me? In a way it does. Not about my husband, but about my God. My God is infallible, He is holy, and everything about Him is holy. Although my husband is not perfect (nor am I), and in his sin, hurt me deeply… God is perfect. I can trust God’s perfection when I am hurt by the imperfection of man. When our world is in chaos, we can be steady in knowing that the Lord is on the throne. In Isaiah 6, King Uzziah had just died. He had been the king for 52 years and Judah was in mourning. The nation was in turmoil and chaos. They had no idea what was going to happen next. And what was the first thing the prophet Isaiah saw?
“…I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-3, NKJV).
When we see the evil in the world -- the moral wickedness of man -- we can trust that the Lord is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY and He is seated on the throne. And when I am hurt deeply by the evil of man’s deeds, I can look to the Lord, seeing Him high and lifted up, and I can persevere because I know that He has not changed. He is still Lord, He is still on the throne, He is still holy, and the whole earth is full of His glory. And yes, that comforts me.
Walking in Freedom,Kristina
Tags: sovereignty holiness evil comfort
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