What About This Evil Thing?

It doesn’t get any better than this passage in the Bible:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” Ephesians 1:3-10

And it doesn’t get any worse than this:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’

The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”‘

You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’

He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’

And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’

The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’

Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’

The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’

So the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”‘

To the woman he said,

‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.’

To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,”

‘Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.’” Genesis 3:1-19

In the face of this contrast, we can’t help but ask, “Why?”  Why did God put temptation before us knowing what would come?  Why did he create Satan?  Why was Satan, a very powerful fallen angel, allowed to prey upon innocent Eve?  Why make a tree with fruit that opens our eyes to discern good and evil if it’s only going to hurt us?  And then, why curse everybody and everything because two people, that most of humankind would never even meet, sinned?

It looks like we were set up to fail, like mice in a cage tempted into receiving a painful electrical shock.  Is this really just some kind of cruel experiment?  Why did God do these things?

Inasmuch as it stinks, I believe there was no choice.  This is God we’re talking about: Creator of the Universe, Giver of Life, Alpha and Omega.  He has no beginning and no end.  Without time as a hindrance, he must have given this some serious thought.  And he’s God Almighty… who could give it more thought?

What a remarkable thing it is that God created us in his image and gave us free will.  Free will is nothing without choice and temptation.  I think from eternity God said to himself, “I want to love and be loved.  I want a companion.  And this is what it will take…”

Adam and Eve are you and I.  They could of been us.  Things would have led to the same result. That sin is passed down by inheritance is just an implementation detail.  God could have made only two people and left it at that, but he decided we should multiply. He charged the first sin to Adam.  Eve failed and sinned, but Adam saw through it and chose to sin.  In all the begetting that follows, there is only one exception where the inclination to sin wasn’t passed down.  Enter Jesus, conceived through the Holy Spirit; God joined to man.  Everything God subjected creation to he subjected himself to in order to restore us to fellowship with him.

Honestly, I still don’t get it… I mean, I do, but I don’t like it.  I sometimes think, “God, couldn’t you take away a little free will so there wouldn’t be so much horror in the world?”

Considering how much God hates evil, there must really be a lot at stake here for him to not only put up with it but to even subject himself to it.  He let his enemies nail him to the cross to save all…That is pretty cool, actually.


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