Monday, July 3, 2017

Who Is Responsible For Calamity And Evil, God Or Satan?

Does God Really Give And Take What He Has Given?

Question : Why does Isaiah 45:7 say that God created evil? Also Job made a statement saying, "God gave and God has taken away". Does God really take away something He has given, as the Bible says that the devil comes to kill steal and destroy? Who is responsible for taking away something good out of our lives? What should our response be when such things happen in our lives? We are to praise God or blame Satan?

What do you say, when God claims, "The LORD said to [...Moses], "Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Exo 4:11). When a person is born blind, deaf or mute, you blame God as the giver or the devil thief as the taker (John 10:10)? Also please explain does this following Scripture talk about God giving good or taking good out which is evil in Isaiah 45:7 in the King James Version which reads, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [i.e. Calamity]: I the LORD do all these things.” How does Isaiah 45:7 agree with the view of some people that God did not create evil or give it to anybody? Does He just give and never take away? How do you reconcile what God says in Isa 45:7 in which He affirms that “adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, misery or woe” as His doing! Should we avoid blaming or giving the devil the credit for calamity as though He is independent and nearly sovereign or give God the credit?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

Here is the verse you are referring to, "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’" (Isa 45:7). The word translated “evil” is from a Hebrew word that means “adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, misery.” Notice how the other major English Bible translations render the word: “disaster” (NIV, HCSB), “calamity” (NKJV, NAS, ESV), and “woe” (NRSV). In the living translation the meaning of the above verse is still more clearer, "I form the light and make the dark. I send good times and bad. I, Jehovah, am he who does these things." (Isa 45:7, LB). So in the context of the above sayings, God is revealing that good times and bad times, lost in darkness and be saved by the light of God is all under the Sovereign control of the Lord, and He is saying that He has the right to give and also has the right to take away from some one what He has been given to them. How do we know the context rightly, because in the succeeding verses God says, for the heavens to open up and bring soon the revelation of the light of Jesus Christ His Son who was going to come soon to save the humanity from the darkness instigated by Satan, to hasten it or to make it happen soon God said that they have to believe and submit to His sovereign control over their lives (1 Pet 1:10-11; 2 Pet 1:16-21; Heb 1:2; Gal 4:4-5). So for those who want to argue and dispute with the way God has revealed His salvation through His only begotten Son, God is further saying, "Woe to him who quarrels with his Master” (Isaiah 45:9), the lesser has no rights to ask the greater who is the maker of all things (Rom 9:14-21; Heb 7:7), the question why you give something and take away something, when you are expected to submit to the greater who will bless everyone who submits to His sovereignty by trusting His goodness or brings disaster on those who continue in hard-hearted rebellion against Him. The only right position of a human before God is to submit to Him unconditionally and worship Him all the time to give worth-ship for being the worthy Creator and Redeemer of all of us (Rev 5:9-10; 4:8, 11). Even though many times we may not understand with our finite mind how God can be good all the time even when bad times come to us under the permission of God. That is the test of faith that God gives to all His children through out their lives on earth in order to reward them in their future for eternity ahead with Him (Heb 11:6; Jam 5:9, 10-11).

In Isaiah 45:7, we see God rewarding Israel for obedience and punishing Israel for disobedience. God pours out salvation and blessings on those whom He favors. God brings judgment on those who continue to rebel against Him (Rom 9:15-16). If we think that we have the rights to ask God why, then we should have created God and put Him in this universe by creating it, then we have the righteous rights to ask God why. If not, as long as we live, we can only submit to an all knowing God and learn from Him the majesty of His higher ways bit by bit as He reveals it to us graciously in His mercies because of His love towards us who do not deserve it naturally.

When Job made a statement saying, "God gave and God has taken away", he did mean "at God's permission" bad times have all happened, he was not giving greater power to the devil who deserves no credit for his narcissistic attitude, but was giving all the power to God. And it does mean according to me, the greatest glory given by any man to God in the midst of all personal tragedy. Devil got no glory! In other words, Job was saying, the Lord has the right to give and also take from me whenever and whatever He wants, because all I have does not belong to me but to Him who gave everything to me. Thank God for saints like Job who are heroes of faith!

Even though we can say that Job's fear gave in to lack of faith for the devil to access through the hedge God has set around him (Job 3:25; 1:10), even though Job was one of God's best man who was blameless and upright and one who feared God and shunned evil in his generation (Job 1:1), still we see hidden inside the recesses of his heart was self-righteousness which was revealed later which God wanted to remove from his life and wanted to make him still more perfect in his sight (Job 9:32-33; 38:1-3; 40:1-2, 3, 4-5, 7-8). In other words, there was still room for improvement in the spiritual life of Job which God wanted to change and bless him more and more than before. But the test of faith cannot happen with out going through suffering (Matt 26:39, 42, 44), and on earth through God's school of suffering we learn obedience to God, when we go to heaven we can only enjoy the reward for the grades we got here on earth but cannot learn again to compete spiritually (Heb 5:8). So God allowed suffering in the life of Job.

The Statement made by Job saying, "21 ..." Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong." (Job 1:21-22) is a right statement according to the context of the next verse where God affirms that Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Bible should always be read in context, that is the basic rule to interpret Bible verses rightly. Job's statement was one of the greatest statement of all time where a man in misery worshiped God without accusing Him or charging Him with wrongdoing. God Himself agreed to this above statement of truth!

Will the God of the Bible never take away what He gave? If he does, will he do even to a righteous man like Job, that would make God contradict His own nature? The Bible never tells us to only concentrate on only one nature of God, but both the goodness and severity of God (Rom 11:22), that means God has the right to give and take away anything first of all because all belongs to Him and He does not have to give reasons to us of why he does something, and also we must understand that only for our own good God gives and takes away something that He has given to us so that we might be blessed more than ever before in this life and in the life to come (Rom 11:33-34, 35-36). Though we can be assured that God never does intentionally give us and take things away from us, unless it is for something good to happen to us eternally (Rom 11:29; Jam 5:10-11; Rom 8:28). In fact, the devil cannot steal, kill and destroy without the sovereign permission given by God to him, and he is on a leash to only go as far as God has give him permission (John 10:10; Job 1:12; 2:6).

Job by saying, "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away," he did not blame God for taking away, he was rather declaring the sovereignty of God and worshiping Him as the sole controller over his life, apart from which nothing could happen in his life. He had no knowledge of what was going behind the scene in his life and so he did not blame God for the fault instead submitted to His sovereignty. God commended this answer of Job because it was absolutely one hundred percent correct as He acknowledged God's ways to be something higher than he could fathom with his finite mind (Isa 55:9), therefore he did not sin by his words nor charge God with wrong (Job 1:21-22). The secret in understanding such question is not to just consider, either just the goodness or the severity of God which becomes an extreme without the other, but God has both the Characters in Him that does not change, and has the sovereign rights to use it the way He wants, when He wants and where He wants. So He does give and also takes away, but sometime it may be because of our sin and sometimes the reason may be some hidden fault-lines deep within us on our part which we always lack and there are room for improvement as a fallen human being with sin nature to attain God's perfect standard, but one thing is for sure, it is always for own betterment or something for our own good He does these things, and He does not have to explain it all as He is worthy of all our worship as our Creator who is always good whether we feel like it or not! So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good (1 Peter 4:19).

So if you ask me the question, are you implying God the giver of Abundant Life is responsible for taking it too? Is he the God who brings death too? I am not telling that God takes away the abundant life which He gives to us through Jesus (John 10:10), Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy the abundant life which God gives. So what is abundant life, a life which is beyond this natural life, the very life of God that comes to take root in us to give us righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit irrespective of the situation around us in the natural life which apostle Paul describes as "rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice" (Php 4:4). So even in the midst of Satanic attack as like upon Job, we can choose to rejoice and be glad in the Lord which will declare the faith we have to this world and also the world we cannot see above us spiritually (Job 19:25). Regarding death, when God takes away His spirit which He has given, we die and go away in to the control of God's jurisdiction (Job 33:4; 34:14-15; 1 Kings 14:13; Heb 9:27). But for a child of God, Satan cannot take away the precious life of any saint without God's permission, and the keys of death is with Jesus now and not Satan as before the Cross (Job 2:6; Psa 116:15; Rev 1:18). But for the unbeliever they are still in the hands of Satan who has the rights to kill them through his deceit anytime (Eph 2:2-3; Col 1:21; John 8:43-44).

The gift of God is eternal life of friendship with Him in Jesus Christ (Rom 6:23), so it is a gift not a wage we get (Rom 11:35), so I am saying God has the right to give any gift and also has the right to take away. But intentionally he never takes away anything, but He may test us so that we may trust Him like Abraham did when he did sacrifice Isaac symbolically representing of the coming of Christ and His sacrifice for all humanity. That is the sovereignty of God I speak to which we must submit unconditionally through which we prove by the test of faith that our faith is genuine (Gen 22:16-17, 18; Heb 11:17-19), that was what happened in the life of Job too I believe (Job 42:10, 12). When we are too rigid and do not have real faith, we might resist to accuse God when test or trials happen. In this Job actually proved his faith by submitting to the sovereign control over his life. Praise God!

Some people say that Moses didn't enter the Promise Land because he misrepresented God, so we may be doing the same for giving God the "blame" for the devil's actions or our own! But saying something without the Scriptural backup is just an assumption. When a person is born blind, deaf or mute, you blame God as the giver or the devil the thief as the taker (John 10:10)?

Yes for example as you referred above, when God claimed to Moses saying, "Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Exo 4:11). It means God is taking righteous responsibility for all the disabled or differently abled children who are born on the earth, but that doesn't mean that God intentionally creates them like that, but rather because of the result of sin which came through our forefather Adam (Rom 5:12), God executes his judgment and righteousness through such creation of His but still uses them for His glory through empowering them specially as we see time and time again, and does bring something good through their lives in building others through them (1 Cor 1:26-27, 28-29; Jer 9:24). Satan has no creative ability which only God has, so God takes actual responsibility for all His creation and never runs away from them because of any inability on his part. Nothing is impossible with God, nothing is too hard for God to do (Jer 32:27). In other words, man gave the devil the legal right to steal, kill and destroy. The character of God does not change, God is love so He is good and God is holy and righteous, so He does judge sin from time to time in righteousness and also has set a time for eternal judgment which no human can ever run away from (Psa 7:10-12; 9:8; 98:9; 105:7; 1 Chr 16:14; 1 Pet 4:5; 2 Pet 3:7; Acts 24:25; 2 Tim 4:1)!

Does God need a proof of our faith to test us despite being an all knowing God before all things happen? God doesn't test us to prove to him our faith, God already knows our faith that is why He tests us before the spiritual world and the natural so that we could justly be rewarded and proved before all throughout eternity. God tests us so that we could trust Him and His goodness despite our limited understanding at any point of time to know why bad things happen to good people and even to the saints like us all who follow Him.

We should praise God for His sovereign control over our lives and rejoice in Him for it, because it shows that not only nothing can happen outside of God's permission and control, but also it conveys to us that even if devil works against us to destroy God's plan for our lives temporarily, God not only works on behalf of us for our good to tune us through such trials and prepare us for eternal blessings of inheriting His Character more and more through it all, but also has guaranteed to turn whatever bad the devil does to us in to something good and turn the tables on Satan for him to be judged for the evil he has done to us and instead reward us now and forever at the end of it all. Glory to God!

God is God, no matter what happens to us, He will justify us if we believe in Him. God has His own reasons why He allows bad things to happen, and He has His own ways and set time to change the bad things the devil does to us in to something good and a blessing to us (Neh 13:2). Only an omniscient, omnipotent and a omnipresent God could turn even bad and evil thing to become good for us eternally, so let us keep trusting His goodness to move forward and glorify Him without getting bogged down by such questions as we have seen above. Glory to God!

Much Blessings....


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