Once again our news is filled with yet another incident of horrific violence – the bombings at the Boston Marathon. As far as I know, as I write this, no one has claimed responsibility for the bombings. It doesn’t really matter as there is no possible excuse, no cause worthy enough, for the killing and maiming of innocent people.
Rom 3:8 Let us not do evil so that good may come… (BBE)
In times like these, we are all left to wonder “WHY?”. I am sure that most of us have asked God that question at some point in our lives. Perhaps you have asked, Why am I sick?”, or “Why did my loved one have to die?”, or “Why did my marriage fail?” or “Why did I lose my job?” or “Why do my children keep making such bad mistakes (or ourselves for that matter)?”. As a Christian, I have often been asked, “Where does evil come from” and “WHY, if God is so good, does He allow evil things to happen?” The first question, “Where does evil come from?”, is easier for me to answer and understand than the second one ,”Why does God allow it?” Today, I will try to deal with the first question.
It seems that, more and more, we live in a society where people refuse to take responsibility for themselves and for their actions. This attitude is nothing new to mankind; we see it happening way back in the Garden of Eden when God asked Adam to account for his actions. Adam’s response to the question was to point the finger of blame at Eve – Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. Mankind has been refusing to take responsibility for it’s actions ever since and has been trying to pass the blame onto God.
Even, supposedly “well-meaning” Christians have dumped the mess in God’s lap. How many times have you heard the phrase, “it must be the will of God!” Really?? You’re telling me that my chronic pain is God’s will for me or that my beautiful niece had to suffer lymphoma because that was God’s will for her, or that somebody’s loved one who was killed by a drunk driver was God’s will for them?? I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it for a minute! If that is true, then I don’t want to have anything to do with that kind of God! The God that I know is a God of love (1Joh. 4:8), and true love does not seek to wound a person but rather, seeks to bless a person (1Cor.13:4).
Rom 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good;
So then, the question remains, “Where does evil come from”? God answers that question very clearly in His Word.
Gen 6:5 And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Mat 12:35 … an evil man out of the evil treasure (of his heart) brings out evil things.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…
Eph 5:16 … because the days are evil.
1Jn 5:19 all the world lies in evil.
So why is there evil in the world? It’s because there are evil people in it.
Why are there evil people? It’s because God gave mankind free will, which means that man has been given the ability and the right to choose whom they will serve, to choose between what is right and what is wrong.
Jos 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live.
Rom 1:20 …men have no reason for wrongdoing:
Rom 1:21 Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God,
Man chose to not choose God, so…
Rom 1:28 And because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right;
Rom 1:29 Being full of all wrongdoing, evil, desire for the goods of others, hate, envy, putting to death, fighting, deceit, cruel ways, evil talk, and false statements about others;
Rom 1:30 Hated by God, full of pride, without respect, full of loud talk, given to evil inventions, not honouring father or mother,
Rom 1:31 Without knowledge, not true to their undertakings, unkind, having no mercy
In Rom. 1:28 we see that man chose and God allowed, not only the choice, but the consequences of that choice. Free will comes with a cost, there is a price to pay for the choices that are made, there are consequences for every decision and action made. The problem arises when man’s choices come out of selfish desires, when man is led away by the “desires of the flesh” rather than by being led by God.
Unfortunately, many of the choices that mankind has made and continues to make, have negative effects upon others. So how can we protect ourselves and our loved ones?
Most importantly, when you choose “whom you will serve”, choose God. Then, every day, make sure you get dressed properly for battle:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:13 Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Why? Because: Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Also: 2Th 3:2 And pray that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men…
And remember: 2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you and guard you from the evil
I pray, for you and your loved ones, that 2Ti 4:18 … the Lord shall deliver you from every evil work and will preserve you to His heavenly kingdom, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.