There is a notion in the western world that God controls or at least could control every detail of the events of the world. The Bible has been, both in theory and in fact the dominant influence about God and evil in the Western world. If one were to count the passages that explicitly deal with the question of whether God is all powerful and in fact determines all things those giving an affirmative answer would surely be in the majorly. (Griffin, 1991) Gen. 18:14 asks rhetorically, “Is anything too hard for the Lord? “ and Job 42:2 states: “I know that thou canst do all thing, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted.” The affirmations are repeated in the New Testament: “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37) “With God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26).
If God does all things, the implication would be that God causes those things, which are evil as well as those things, which are good. (Griffin, 1991) Some passages that affirm this are Sam 16:14-23, which says that God sent an evil sprit to torment Saul and Lam. 3.38, reads: “is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come? Job asks: “Shall we receive food at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10)
There are passages that show that God causes evil and could be understood as meaning that God inflicts suffering as punishment for sin. But, it also says in the Bible that human disobedience to God is due to the fact that God blinds people and hardens their hearts. (Griffin, 1991) Josh. 11:20 says of the enemies of Israel: “For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts that the...
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... and suffering as we see in this world.
We could continue to look at this topic for many more pages, but I see it in this fashion. Randy Alcorn and Harold Kushner say it best. Suffering is many things, but in the end it is God’s invitation to us to trust Him, and to look forward to a place where all suffering will forever be replaced by Joy—Heaven. (Alcorn, 2011)
The Bible says it’s our responsibility to admit that we’re at fault for our share of the evil and suffering in this world. The painful things that happen to us are not punishments for our misbehavior, nor are they in any way part of some grand design on God’s part. Because the tragedy is not God’s will, we need not feel hurt or betrayed by God when tragedy strikes. We can turn to Him for help in overcoming it, precisely because we can tell ourselves that God is as outraged by it as we are. (Kushner, 1981)
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