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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, 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
- 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.
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