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Why Does God Allow Death and Suffering?

Updated on September 26, 2017
PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails' goal is to be a catalyst in encouraging the followers of Christ to pursue Biblical truth for themselves.

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, robbery, 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. Biblical history 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, which 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 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, he is a representation of all of us. We are all sinners and have missed the mark.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned - Romans 5:12

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. - Romans 8:22

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 the choice Adam made and the 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.

The Good News

Even though we have rebelled against God, He has provided a way for us to be reconciled back to Him. It is through His Son, Christ our Saviour by his sacrifice upon the stake and rising from the grave provided us a way to receive the Holy Spirit to be set free from the bondage of our sin. If we repent of our sinful ways and follow the way of Christ, we can come into right standing with our Father in heaven.

So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. - 1 Corinthians 15:45

And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain - Revelation 21:4

We have only a short time here on earth compared to eternity. Our Father through Christ has offered us a way to salvation and the hope of partaking of the new earth in the next age.

The last Adam is Christ.

This world may look hopeless, but there is hope in Christ. God does everything apart from our own free will or choice to bring us to Himself. If we accept what Christ has done and follow in his ways by the power of the Holy Spirit our eyes will not focus on this temporal cursed world, but on the Kingdom of God and the things that are erternal.

The affliction of this world means that we have a dire need for Christ to set us free. We are hopeless without him and we need to tell others about him so they too can receive the Holy Spirit so that we can become new creations in Christ.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

© 2011 PlanksandNails

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    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 3 weeks ago from Washington DC

      PlanksandNails,

      A very interesting view of the Bible on a carnal level but there is the spiritual level you don't appear to see. I added the hub The Bible's Message today which explains the spirituality of the Bible showing there is neither good nor evil. Another hub you will find there is Understanding The Knowledge of Good And Evil that go into the details of why there isn't either.

      However, generally speaking, look at Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) where god says "I do [in the present tense] all this things" after presenting two opposites man judge good and evil. Look at how god told Moses to tell Pharaoh "I AM THAT (WHO in some) I AM" suggesting god is not a judging being. And look at the name of the tree in the garden, "The Tree of The KNOWLEDGE of Good And Evil", that testifies that good and evil is only a knowledge and is not a thing with substance to prove their existence. Those three keys should show you that nothing is neither good or evil but the nomenclatures existence has pronounced them to be. So from that perspective you should rethink your contents.

      Peace,

      Elijah aka NatureBoy

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Buddhaanalysis,

      The vegetarian lifestyle is not promoted in the Bible because it is an individual lifestyle choice. In Biblical times most people did not eat much meat, or any at all because they had no choice.

      And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. - Luke 24:42-43

      Jesus ate fish and fed thousands with it. Additionally, the Passover meal required a lamb.

    • profile image

      buddhaanalysis 4 years ago

      Why vegetarian lifestyle is not promoted in bible?

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Jerami,

      Our soul is a manifestation of our uniqueness and individuality. After the physical death, it will transfer into eternity. Knowing the temporariness of this world is a desire to return from where we came from.

      The physical does not create the spiritual. In order for something to change/ happen in the physical, something must happen in the spiritual first.

      ("However death of the life force before the body releases it is an entirely different issue.")

      Unfortunately, there are people who want to deny their biological and spiritual link to their Creator.

      Thanks for your insightful comment.

    • Jerami profile image

      jerami 4 years ago from Houston tx

      Good dayPlanksandNails This comes to mind after reading this thought provoking hub.

      We should ask ourselves … when an egg is fertilized in the womb, is a new soul created? Or is a shell formed that a soul then enters and inhabits? If the latter is true; that soul knows that it’s experiences will be temporary. We all know (subconsciously) that there is but one escape from this physical world and that is for the physically body to release the life force from within itself. Thus death of the body is not a bad thing. However death of the life force before the body releases it is an entirely different issue.

      Unfortunately many of us (including myself) at some point in our lives, find ourselves worshiping our physical life. This in its self is not a bad thing except that in doing so we have brought into our life fear and doubt where they should not have been.

      God allows death because it is necessary in order for us to return to where we came from. God allows the misery because he allows us to create in this life those things that we create. He knows that this is only temporary.

    • vagabond mystic profile image

      Tim Sutterby 4 years ago from missouri

      OK, I stand corrected , I doubt I could inject anything to this discussion that would make it any more clearer than you already have . I,m taking notes . Peace ,Love and Light .

      Vagabond Mystic

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      vagabond mystic,

      (I'm just glad my God is a loving God and not all that fire and brimstone .)

      Part of God's love is His judgement and justice. Fire and brimstone is not about our self righteousness, but God's justice. We often forget that God does not fit into our standards, but the standards He has set out for us.

      Scripture tells of God's grace, but also His wrath when we choose to ignore Him. When we take one of these away, it is not the God of Scripture, but another god.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading. God Bless!

    • vagabond mystic profile image

      Tim Sutterby 4 years ago from missouri

      I disagree with the assumptions in this hub but I do not comment to make judgement either . Everyone has the right to believe ,disagree or not , but it doesn't mean either are wrong . An individuals beliefs are their own its their story they can tell it anyway they want to . I'm just glad my God is a loving God and not all that fire and brimstone . My personal beliefs are unimportant (unless asked and you wouldn,t agree with me either ) but people should not be in judgement of each other over imformation that is second hand at best and debatable from now until eternity and that my friends is a very long time . I would bet my very existance that we all will be very awed at what the real truth is and I would bet it double or nothing that it will be nothing less than out of this world . Peace , Love and Light .

      Vagabond Mystic , Missouri

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Ghozt,

      Yes, the Bible was written by men; however, it is unique in that is was "penned" by many different men from a period of over 1600 years from many different cultures and times. It is unique in its unity, harmony, and controversy.

      ("How can a man 2,000 years ago claim God said something?")

      The Bible is the revelation of God to over 40 men into a human language.

      ("How can we believe what any man says?")

      Of course we can't believe any man.

      The followers of Jesus Christ weigh out what man says according to the standards set in Scripture, but first true faith is received by God drawing man to Himself.

      “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me *draws* him; and I will raise him up on the last day. -- John 6:44

      It is only after the revelation of God proving Himself to man where the choice is made to accept or deny Him. Without that, it would simply be blind faith to accept Scripture as relevant or inspired by God for a person's life; it would be putting the cart before the horse.

      Having faith should be an informed decision. The revelation of the one true God will not leave any doubt.

    • Ghozt profile image

      Ghozt 5 years ago from Nowhere

      I really do not understand....the bible was written by men. I hear voices but I do not believe they are God speaking to me. How can a man 2,000 years ago claim God said something? How can we believe what any man says? God did not write the bible nor did he make anyone write it. Do not get me wrong either I believe in a God just not this God....

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 6 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Thanks Dave for you comment.

      I agree with you. Thanks for pointing that out.

      I am going to edit, His creation was "intended" to His creation was "originally intended" for us not to kill and eat meat.

      What I as trying to portray was that there was no animal or human death when God finished His creation. I believe God originally intended for plants and plant products to be for food, but once sin entered the world, God included animals for sustenance.

      “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant."

      Genesis 9:3

      Regards

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      In Genesis:1 you are splitting hairs as to what we can or cannot eat, for God gave all of it the grains, the fruits and berries, and fish, fowl, and animals for man's consumption.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 6 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Thanks RJ for your encouragement.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Some good thoughts here. I like the drawings that carry through from Hub to Hub and they set the tone for the discussion. Nice scriptures that reinforce your own thoughts. RJ