Last week, in a conversation about the Joplin tornado someone asked about the problem of evil, wondering how can God be sovereign and bad things like tornadoes still happen? This is often referred to as the problem of evil.
“Evil” falls into two basic categories.
1) Moral Evil–We have free will. This is the only way true love is possible. We have the freedom to make choices and sometimes our bad choices bring evil and trials.
We face trials because drunk drivers choose to get behind the wheel.
We face trials because people choose to mishandle money.
We face trials because people choose to do things that can make them sick and candidates for cancer.
We face trials because people choose to build a city below sea level and to build their homes on the beach.
We face trials because people choose to build a nuclear facility next to the ocean.
We face many trials because we are not robots who live in a vacuum and we make bad choices which lead to moral evil.
- God does not cause moral evil.
- God is not powerless to do something about it. He has a plan working that will do away with evil and spare us from destruction.
2) Natural Evil–We live in a fallen world.
Is a tornado, by itself, an evil event? What makes it evil? When people die.
Sometimes our choice of where we live puts us in the path of a natural disaster. (i.e. People who decide to live on the side of a mountain in California may have to deal with mud slides.)
Don’t assume that God is making a statement about who is good and who is evil through a hurricane. It may just be a storm.
Sometimes natural disasters come because man has destroyed the land. (i.e. The Dust Bowl.)
Sometimes natural disasters are beneficial. (i.e. A heavy snow means that there will be plenty of water in the spring. A forest fire removes dead wood and releases nutrients into the soil.)
We must remember:
God knows what it’s like to lose a loved one. He lost his son.
God doesn’t want us to perish. (2 Pet. 3:8-9) Death is an enemy of humans.
God has arranged for all suffering to end for those who love Him. (i.e. Heaven)