Is God the Author of Good And Evil?

The Goodness of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God did not create evil, but uses it to purpose good.

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Scriptural Text: Isaiah 45:5-8

Is God the Author of Good And Evil?

At times life is simply not fair! In fact, most people have muttered, “Why? Why would God allow something so cruel … so evil?” Where was He? Doesn’t He care? Left unanswered or incorrectly answered, these questions often become the basis for denying the existence of God or rejecting the goodness of God or both. We can give thanks that God has given us insight into truth through His Word and His dealings with humanity. This truth not only validates the existence of God, but confirms the goodness of God. Nowhere in Scripture is the fairness of God more poignantly addressed than in the Book of Job. In spite of his severe losses, Job posed a profound question—a question for all of us to consider in times of tragedy.

“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)

some people may think as, Job’s wife, you might be tempted to say,

“Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)

As in our text Isaiah 45:5–8: God is declaring his sovereign and exclusive nature, He alone is sovereign, controlling both good & evil, peace & calamity, however there is a hidden paradox that confounds the human mind:
God says, “I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity” (v. 7).
Immediately, the question one may asked, “Is God the author of evil?"
So let us examine this question. But first what is evil?

What is Evil?

A mass murderer, a cruel torturer, a child abuser—all are stereotypes of what we know and hate about evil. Consider the following definitions:
• Evil is the corruption of good …
— the absence of good, when good should exist
“Turn from evil and do good.” (Psalm 37:27)
— the departure from the way life ought to be
“God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
Illustration: When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate fruit from the tree that God said was forbidden to them, they experienced a permanent departure from the way life ought to be on this earth. (Read Genesis chapter 3.)

Evil is a moral choice of bad over good, arising from badness of character. It means “wicked, depraved” and “morally reprehensible”

and therefore represents …
— a violation of the will of God
“Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:21)
— a perversion of the Word of God
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)
Illustration: “The evil one,” Satan, perverted the Word of God when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness.
“The devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, And they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” ’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ ” (Matthew 4:5–7)
• Evil is that which causes evil. “evil that causes evil,” an evil that causes pain and suffering, as seen when …
— An evil person causes evil.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” (Matthew 12:35)
— An evil spirit causes evil that leads to an evil generation.
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43–45)

Question: “If God made all things, doesn’t that mean He created evil?”

Answer: No. points:
— Evil is not a thing, but rather is— a condition resulting from the improper use or perversion of a good thing.
— Evil exists in something else, something it corrupts—corrupted goodness. A good knife can be used by an evil man to commit murder.
— Evil is the absence of good. It is an intruder brought in by human beings. Evil was not created by God. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil is not the opposite of good but the absence of good.
— Everything God created was good, but the intentional wrong choices of Adam and Eve resulted in an aberration of the good things God created.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

Question: “Does God cause evil?”

Answer: No. God cannot ever cause evil. God cannot do anything that is contradictory to His character. The Bible clearly teaches that God is good. Since evil is the corruption of good, it is impossible for God to do anything evil.
“You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.… Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.” (Psalm 5:4; 3 John 11)
based on the Bible …

God is good … and He gave people free will, which is good.

“The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” (Psalm 92:15)
God is all-powerful … and He can do anything that is logical, but it is illogical for Him to both grant free will and constrain it.
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” (Isaiah 46:10–11) Note: 47:5-7 Babylon chose to cross Godly boundaries.
Note: Evil and its effects (sin and suffering) are present in the world … because people chose to exert their God-given free will and disobey God.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
• God sometimes allows evil and suffering through …
— The free will of human beings
Job’s so-called “friends” badgered him with continual accusations that his sickness must have been caused by his sin.
“Then Job replied: ‘How long will you torment me and crush me with words? Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me.’ ” (Job 19:1–3)
— Natural order (earthquakes, death, etc.)
Job’s heartache began when a messenger came to Job with reports of a horribly destructive tornado.
“Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you.” (Job 1:18–19)
— Evil spirit beings
God declared to Satan that Job was the most blameless man on earth. Afterward, Satan physically attacked Job’s possessions, his family, and his physical body.
“Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.” (Job 2:7)
• God always has a good purpose for our suffering. His purposes can vary greatly. Sometimes …
— He allows suffering to expose our sin.
— He allows suffering.
— He allows suffering to produce much good.
— He allows suffering to change our perspective.
— He allows suffering to bless our future.
“We consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11)
While human beings wrestle with the paradox of good and evil, the heavens and the earth rejoice in the knowledge that God’s purpose is to pour righteousness from the raining skies and salvation from the opening earth (v. 8).
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