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Why Does God Allow Death and Suffering?

Updated on December 9, 2018
PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails' goal is to write articles that pique discussion and look at things from a different perspective.

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.

© 2011 PlanksandNails

Comments Appreciated

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    • Christian17 profile image

      Christian Santos 

      22 months ago from Philippines

      Good article! thanks for sharing this

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      24 months 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

    • profile image

      buddhaanalysis 

      6 years ago

      Why vegetarian lifestyle is not promoted in bible?

    • PlanksandNails profile imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      6 years ago

      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 

      6 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 

      6 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 imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      6 years ago

      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 

      6 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 imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      8 years ago

      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 

      8 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 imageAUTHOR

      PlanksandNails 

      8 years ago

      Thanks RJ for your encouragement.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      8 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

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