Why does God allow evil?

“If God is so good and loving, why does He allow innocent people to suffer?” This question has plagued people through all ages. If God is so great, big, wise and powerful, why do bad things happen to innocent people? Why does He let murderers kill innocent victims? Why does He not stop this mess? We will find those answers today.

The answer to the big question about why God lets bad things happen is so simple that we can find it in the first three chapters of the Bible.

How did we get here?

Read Genesis chapter 1. Our questions of “Where did I come from?” and “Is there a God?” are both answered in the first verse of the Bible. The rest of the chapter tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, the water, sun, moon, stars, the sea animals, the flying animals, the land animals, and on the sixth day he made humanity.

God created everything by His spoken word. He called on the angels (Genesis 1:26) when He created Adam in His own image (1:27) by forming him out of dirt and breathing Life! into the man (2:7). He provided all the food he needed and gave him a job to do. God gave Adam all kinds of fruit to eat, but warned him not to touch one tree. He said if Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he would die that very day (2:16-17).

God created a wife for Adam so He would not be alone in his life purpose. Adam told his wife about God (as men should still do today) and warned her about the tree. God had created them to rule the earth (Genesis 1:28). Adam tended and guarded the Garden of Eden with his wife by his side. This key still works in marriage today. A man and his wife must join in life purpose. Most marriage conflict arises from men who do not have a purpose, or women who will not join their husband in his God-given mission.

Where did the devil come from?

Before God created Earth, He had angels serving Him. It appears that the most beautiful angel became too big for his position and wanted to be as high as God. When Lucifer rebelled, he fell from his place of power, losing all rank and authority. He had rebellious spirits following him as well. We look into this issue in more detail in Eternally Restricted (Life! Journal D2A). Think of this as a military general having all his insignia ripped off his sleeve and chest. The devil went from commanding general of the universe to low ranking civilian. He chafed to be in charge again.

Does the devil have any power over us?

One day Eve and her husband were strolling by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve spotted a beautiful creature in the tree and went closer to look. The living thing spoke to her, inviting her to have a piece of fruit. She argued back and told him she could not because God had said not to touch it. Here, she misquoted God who had said not to eat of it. While her misquote appears trivial, it indicates that she may not have known God very personally—at least she did not know His Word.

The beautiful creature argued with Eve, convincing her that God was holding out something very special from her. If she would just eat, she would be like God. The enemy works the same today with drugs, sex, and crime. We think that if we just tap into the unknown we will find fulfillment. Finally, Eve decides it cannot hurt just to try. She takes a bite and everything seems fine. Adam, standing there with Eve, takes a bite, too, at her suggestion.

Now, they feel nothing and see nothing, but everything has just changed. The devil trapped them into obeying him. He knew that “to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey” (Romans 6:16). He took them as slaves and they were now under his control. Any children they had would be under the ownership of their master, Satan. The whole world now lies under the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19).

Perhaps you can understand how this works by thinking of a child at grade school. When the bully comes up and says, “Give me your lunch money, or I’ll bust your face,” the child can resist or submit. Resisting might be painful, but will keep one from being owned. Submitting to evil authority (the bully) will make one a forever slave. Everyday that bully will take the child’s lunch money. Adam and Eve submitted to the bully, and we all lost our lunch.

That is why a good God’s world can be so full of evil. We had authority over the whole earth, but because of our curiosity for sin, we submitted ourselves to Satan’s authority. Now he rules the world system with wickedness, perversion, and death (John 10:10).

The whole earth hates the evil upon it (Romans 8:22). God grieves more than we do over the death of innocent ones, disease, and wickedness. But since He gave us this world, He is waiting for us to take it back. We must throw off the yoke of the enemy. You will learn how to start doing this in the next lesson. You can be free and get the devil out of your life for good.

Why did Adam and Eve not die?

God said they would certainly die the day they ate from the tree. They did not die, however. So, did God lie? change His mind? forget what He said? No, no, and no. Remember, death ends life. God breathed Life! into Adam—His own life, His spiritual life. The day Adam and Eve sinned, then, they lost that life—they spiritually died.

Jesus said He came to bring life. He came to bring back the Life! that Adam and Eve lost when kicked out of the garden. God drove them out so they could not eat from the Tree of Life and live forever in their sinful condition (Genesis 3:22). After this, you will see that humanity’s relationship with God changes to form and ritual since the spiritual level had been lost.

What does it mean to be spiritually dead?

Like a car with a dead battery, people go through life trying to get a boost from one thing then the next. We try to jump start life with alcohol. We try to get a lift from pornography or drugs. We hope to get some life force by making more money or spending it. None of these things, however, really recharges us. They leave us dead within hours, looking for another high.

People with dead spirits often attract demonic influence. Demons are evil spirits. They cannot express themselves well without a body. If the spirit specializes in murder, rape, or theft, it needs a body to commit those crimes. Humans who leave their door open to sin allow spirits like this to come in and run their life. After they sin, they say something like, “I don’t know what came over me.”

We need God to give life again to our deadness of the devil will only bring in more death. When God gives us His Spirit we get long term power that meets the need every time.

Next time…

We will look at what it means to have a door open for Satan to come into your life. Let’s see if you have any that are open and learn how to close them.