The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
One of the maxims of leadership is “He who calls the shots, takes the
shots.” However, many times the criticism leaders endure is unfounded.
That certainly is true when it comes to those who use the existence of
suffering and evil to accuse or deny God. The blame for most everything
we describe as “evil” in the world can be laid at the feet of man, not God.
Let me explain.
The Bible teaches that natural disasters and moral evil are the result of man’s
rebellion against God. As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, God declared,
“Cursed is the ground because of you” (Genesis 3:17). This judgment
against creation involved more than God making Adam work harder. Paul
explains that the consequences of man’s sin extended to all of the created
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because
of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be
set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of
the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and
suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:20-22)
The “futility” to which God subjected the world is the tendency to move
toward disorder, as described by the second law of thermodynamics. The
resulting “groans” of that disorder appear in everything from earthquakes to
illness. While God is ultimately responsible for these consequences, disorder
and disintegration in the natural world are directly attributable to man’s
rebellion against God.
Similarly, all of the moral evils in the world are traceable to man, not to
God. Think about the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany, Communist
China, and Communist Russia. These regimes slaughtered more than 100
million people. Were these regimes known for their faith in God? No, it was
their disbelief in a Creator that produced the moral vacuum in which such
unspeakable crimes against humanity could occur.
Could God have stopped these atrocities? Absolutely! Does He sometimes
override the sinful intentions of those who seek to harm others? Most
definitely. But if God continually thwarted every desire people had to rebel
against Him, then there would be no such thing as true righteousness. God
has given us the freedom to obey or disobey His divine decrees. He does not
coerce anyone to obey Him. Where freedom exists, there will always be the
possibility of evil.
Today’s devotion is an excerpt from “How Can I Know God Is Good?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress,