Why Does God Allow Death and Suffering?
Have you ever heard someone argue,
'How can you believe in a God who allows endless death and suffering in this world?'
When you watch the news, it can be quite depressing hearing of accidents, robberies, gunfire, prostitution, drugs, etc.
How about a miscarried baby or one that has been aborted?
How about a sexual molestation in a church or an untimely death in the family?
The list can go on and on if you really think about it.
If so many innocent people are allowed to suffer, how can they believe God has love, compassion and cares for them when all they see is darkness, misery and suffering around them?
How could He allow this or do this to us?
Fortunately, there is some good news in all this madness.
The Torah can bring truth and clarity to our dire world situation.
How can God's Creation be Good?
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. - Genesis 1:31
When God created the earth, He said it was very good. In order for Him to say that it was good means that His creation in the beginning was free from sin, death, disease, suffering, etc. It was perfect.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. - Genesis 1:29-30
God said that He gave every green plant for food. This means his creation was originally intended for us not to kill and eat meat. No animals had to die for human consumption or humans for animal consumption. There was no death.
You may argue that plants had to die for food for humans and animals, but Scripture makes the distinction between what is a 'living' creature.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. - Genesis 1:24-25
Plants do not fall into the living or dying.
Why is There so Much Death In This World?
The reason the world is in such a dire state is because of the consequences of the choice that Adam and Eve made. They were the first to experience God's perfect creation, but chose to disobey Him by their own free will. The result was that God had to walk out what His already communicated consequence for their disobedience that led to their deaths.
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” - Genesis 2:16-17
Through Adam and Eve's rebellion, death and the consequences of the curse of their sin entered into God's creation.
The Curse on All of Creation
The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.” - Genesis 3:14-19
This passage in Genesis clearly describes that the earth we live in now is no longer in a perfect state anymore. Death and suffering now has infiltrated the world we live in because it has been cursed.
We can try to pass the buck on to Adam and not take responsibility and say,
'It was Adam's choice and not mine to disobey God.'
Or, 'why should I have to suffer for his mistake?'
Since we are descendants of Adam, we too just like Adam and Eve have a choice whether to obey God's ways or not.
These are facts.This is why there are so many strange and terrible things going on in our world today. There are hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and so on. We don't have to argue that there are no problems in the world, it’s obvious. Our sinful world is the consequence of our own choices we make that bring pain and suffering into this world. When we are disobedient and rebel against God, there are consequences for our actions. If we repent and change our ways, God will forgive us.
The Good News
Even though we have rebelled against God, He has provided a way for us to be reconciled back to Him through repentance.
We have only a short time here on earth compared to eternity.
This means that in this day and age God does everything apart from our own free will and choice to bring us to Himself and be a part of a world where God's glory will be known and will fill the earth.
- God in the Concept of Good and Evil
If God is an all loving God, why would He allow such evil things to happen? The paradox of how a perfectly good God can allow evil is a valid question, but it is definitely not easy to tackle because each individual makes their own rationalization an
- The Concept of Evil
If everything that God created was good as written in Genesis 1, then God did not create evil. When we alienate ourselves from good, the consequences and collateral damage of evil cannot be avoided.
© 2011 PlanksandNails