Problem

Does God Create Evil?

Isaiah 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

How can God who is good and holy without spot, create evil? I understand from scripture that all evil comes from Satan not God. Can you help?


Solution

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Is. 45:7- The word “evil” used in this verse does NOT refer to moral evil, but to the “evil” of the physical nature of Earth. Ex. Storms, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Tsunamis, Plagues, etc. God creates calamity.
In the next verse it talks of the heavens coming down and the skies raining righteousness and so on. It uses the physical nature of the Earth as an imagery of bringing salvation and righteousness to us, which God Himself has created.
Now look at 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?
In this verse, we seem to run in to the same problem. Yet, we know that God never does any evil because it is contrary to His divine nature. Now, if we read from Amos 3:1 to 3:10, we’ll understand that it is talking about the deserved punishment of the 10-tribe Northern Kingdom of Israel, even though God also is including all the tribes of Israel when it says “the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt” (3:1). Thus, we understand that when verse 6 says “evil in the city”, it is saying “calamity in the city”. Essentially the verse is saying, is there no punishment that “the Lord hath not done it”. This makes perfect sense because by God’s divine nature (He is Holy, Perfect, Just) He must punish the wicked.
Look at this example:
In Exodus, when the Israelites were at Mount Sinai and rebelled by worshiping the golden calf, God wanted to destroy the people, but Moses pleaded with God and asked him to take his life in place of his people. For this reason God “repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people” (Ex. 32:14). Again, God cannot create or do any moral evil for He is Good. God decides not to punish His people because of Moses‘ desire to sacrifice himself for them and the people’s willingness to repent.
Now, it must be made clear that God never “repents” of anything, but only man repents or changes his mind (Num 23:19). When men change, whether good or bad, God must revise His attitude and behavior toward them. This is because God Himself is unchangeable, and so, continues in His unchanging righteousness. Thus, God outwardly “repents”, but never inwardly “repents” or changes His nature. For example, if a man sins and never turns away from his evil ways then God must by His divine nature punish him, but if the man repents, then God by His divine nature (Love, Mercy) decides not to punish him and forgives him of his sins.
There are many other examples of God “repenting” or outwardly changing His mind according to His divine nature based on the decisions that men make (Jer. 26:13, Joel 2:12-14), such as Gen. 6:6, 1 Chron. 21:15, Jonah 3:10.
Back to Is. 45:7, with all this in mind, since we know that when God “repents” of evil, He “repents” of punishing someone. So, what is the form of punishment that God uses? Natural disasters!. Therefore, God “creates evil”, that is natural disasters.

Final thought: When Moses interceded for his people, God clearly gave Moses the opportunity to show his concern for his people and his ability to lead them to the promised land. God would never break His unconditional promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, no matter how many times their descendents rebel against Him.

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