Updated: Oct 15, 2019
“Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NKJV
Evil is something that can be clearly seen in our day and age. School shootings, wars, swindlers robbing the poor, sex trafficking and rape, abusive alcoholics towards their families…sadly, the list goes far beyond what has just been mentioned. There are atrocities out there that are beyond human comprehension. This world is a sick place, and it is sliding further and further into evil and sin by the day. If all this goes on within our world today, it makes you wonder: Where did evil come from?
If God created everything, doesn’t that mean He created evil?
If God created everything, then it would appear from the surface that God created evil. This puts us in a rather painful dilemma; however, we will see below that God did not create evil. Now, in order to answer this question, it is important to understand what evil is. As we clearly see above, there are many evil acts; but the examples above are the acts themselves. What is evil? If we were to pluck away the acts of evil, and dissect evil for what it is, what would we find? The answer is fairly simple. Evil is very real, but you cannot have evil without having good. Evil is simply a privation of what is good.
Some examples that may help in understanding this further would be the following:
Blindness: Blindness is simply a privation of sight.
Darkness: Darkness is simply an absence of light.
Coldness: Coldness is simply a privation of heat. If heat did not exist, cold would not exist.
Debt: To be in debt is simply a privation of money. Money has to exist, otherwise you cannot be in debt.
Rust: You cannot have rust to a car without first having the car.
Rot: You cannot have rot within a tree, without having the tree.
Fear: For those who are believers, another example would be fear. Fear is simply a privation of faith.
Evil is a privation of good.
With the few examples above, one can easily see that evil is in fact a privation of good. If there was no such thing as good, then evil would not exist. Without good, evil would not be evil. Why? Simply because we would not have something in comparison that would validate what is in fact evil. We would not be able to call an act evil, if we did not know what was good in the first place.
We must have good in order to understand evil.
To understand what is good is the basis on which we can assess something is evil. Without good, it is impossible to call something evil (because there is nothing to base that comparison on). We know that the foundations of the world during God’s six day creation were exemplified and surrounded by goodness. Genesis 1:31 (NKJV) states: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
The Fall of Man
Everything was good until man decided to listen to Satan’s tempting of biting into the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil: “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”” Genesis 3:4 (NKJV).
The reason God had made the tree of knowledge of good and evil as an option for them to disobey and take, was in order to reveal to us that we are in fact free moral agents who can choose our way or God’s way. God does not force Himself on us, but allows us to choose. We are not pre-programmed robots; but rather freely able to accept or reject God (and we will undergo the appropriate consequences based upon our free-will decision in the afterlife - which we know to be Heaven and Hell).
Since the fall of Adam and Eve, history has constantly revealed to us that man does not know the way; nor can he be God and do what is perfectly right all the time. There is only one Who is perfectly justice and holy; and He is the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory be to the Lord for blessing us with free-will. Glory be to God in Heaven that He is willing to lift us out of this world and our old ways, and make us righteous before Him. Glory be to God that this is all attainable through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, that took place 2,000+ years ago. To provide a way for wicked, evil men is beyond comprehension; yet, I pray that all accept this wonderful gift that is given so graciously. I don’t deserve it; but I most certainly accept it.
Thank You, Heavenly Father.