Sometimes I get asked why or if God allows evil. People quote to me from the book of Job, getting more hung up on the belief that God “allowed evil” than the overall point of the book; it was the enemy who stole, killed, and destroyed and it was God that restored to Job what he had prior to the attack and then some.
Enemy= Steal, kill, destroy. God= Life (John 10:10). It has always been that way, and it will always be that way, as He does not change but is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And regardless of what people perceive from what happened in Job’s life (if they see it for what it is or they simply persist in accusing God of evil), the bottom line is that the cross is the plainest, most stark declaration from Heaven that God has done everything needed to defeat evil rather than allow it. The cross is the trumpet sounding from Heaven that declares to us who God is, what He cares about, the length to which He is willing to go to clean up our mess, and that He is not okay with evil afflicting His children.
Yet, He is not a controller of men’s decisions and actions. He has given each man the ability to choose how they will live their life, and many times that results in sin on the earth. Here is an example:
We have three kids; our youngest is 5 months old, then a 2 year old, and lastly our 4 year old. They are incredible. They are also totally incapable to not make a mess everywhere they go. It is something they are learning about. Presently, noodles are just as fitting on their plate as they are on the floor, pillows tore off the couch and laying everywhere (even outside in the yard) are just as acceptable to them as if they were set up on the couch, milk on the floor is just as good as milk in a cup, and relieving one’s self on their bedroom floor or in the bathtub during a bath (yes, number 2) is just as good as doing it in their diaper or the toilet.
In fact, there are times when we spend hours, sometimes the whole day, just to get the house cleaned up and tidy. Then, like the new parents we are, we absentmindedly turn our back for what feels like a mere moment and before we know it, the house is utterly destroyed again.
I have imagined what the house would look like if Christine or myself were not there, even for just one day. It would likely look more like a war-zone than a place of residence. Broken glass would be strewn across the floor (and blood would likely be somewhere nearby because our kids ALWAYS seem to have to walk over and check out the glass that was just broken instead of staying away), picture frames broken on the floor, half eaten apples laying about and shoved between couch cushions, juice boxes slowly dripping out liquid that would later result in someone desperately running away from their brother to slip and fall (probably into the glass), garbage dumped out because “i needed the two day old, half eaten apple that I just remembered about that I left on the couch that you threw away”, sinks overflowing and flooding the house from the water being left on, etc. You name it, it would be happening. I wouldn’t be surprised if the house would be literally burned to the ground after one day if we weren’t there. Those of you without kids think I am exaggerating, but those of you that have had kids are just nodding in agreement. The power these little rascals possess is fantastic.
In fact, the only reason why our house is inhabitable at all, let alone clean, is because we follow behind our kids most of the day and either clean up their messes or we help them learn to clean them up themselves. Are our kids hellions? Not at all. They are very sweet, beautiful children. But they are kids. They are new at this. Kids are messy. They challenge our clean-cut adult ways, and they make people that are not okay with making mistakes very uncomfortable. They force you to learn grace...because you can’t go beating your kids over every cup of spilled milk.
So, are we allowing our kids to make these messes? Not at all! We never allow it! In fact, it feels like all we do ALL DAY is clean up their messes and help them learn how to clean them up themselves. But they make their own choices every moment, and many times those choices are not best, resulting in a mess. In fact, the only way I have learned to keep a child from making a mess, even a grown child of maturity, is to chain them up so that they have no ability to make any choices. Either you have to be okay with them making their own choices and as a result, sometimes failing and making mistakes or you become someone with a clean house that is an abusive, evil tyrant. There isn’t a middle ground.
The point is that God never allows evil. All He does is go about cleaning up His children’s messes and helping them learn how to clean them up themselves. All throughout history this has been what He has done. We would make a mess and He would graciously clean it up. Over and over and over.
And If His constant going about healing people, forgiving people, and freeing them from self-imposed bondage isn’t enough, the fact that He sent His own Son to die so that we could bank on His sacrifice to cover our mistakes should be more than enough to stop us from accusing Him of allowing evil or not doing enough. The cross declares to us the extent to which He will go to not allow evil.
Hasn’t He done enough? Why must we persist to find ways to be offended with Him? Will we release our offense towards Him? He has already done so much.