Bible verse used in podcast:
- John 3:16 ESV
- 1 John 4:7-8 ESV
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 ESV
- Romans 5:8 ESV
- Exo 14:10-14;16:1-4, Numbers 11:31-32
- Genesis 1:27 ESV
- John 1:1-3 ESV
- Colossians 1:15-17 ESV
- Ezekiel 28:12-17 ESV
- Isaiah 14:12-14 ESV
- 1 Peter 1:19-20 ESV
How does love work?
So we know that there are different types of love. Now back to the question, if God is a loving God, why is there evil in the world? We know that the bible says God is love
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 ESV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 John 4:7-8 ESV
It is clear that we don’t fully understand what it means to love someone fully. So we need to understand a bit more about what love is. Of course, the bible says a lot about love. For instance the famous love chapter in Corinthians:
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends…1 Corinthians 13:1-8 ESV
From here we find that there are 16 qualities of love. The question is what do all these need?
- 1) Patient
- 2) Kind
- 3) not envy
- 4) boast
- 5) not arrogant
- 6) rude
- 7) does not insist on its own way
- 8) not irritable
- 9) Not resentful
- 10) not rejoice at wrongdoing
- 11) rejoices with the truth
- 12) bears all things
- 13) believes all things
- 14) Hopes all things
- 15) endures all things.
- 16) Love never ends
In order to be patient, there needs to be a situation in which you are not patient. In order to not wrong others, there need to be things that are right and wrong. When you look at all of these, there needs to be a choice. In order to endure all things, you need to stand up and choose to suffer from someone. You need to decide that is what is going to happen. If it was perfect love, it would never stop. There wouldn’t be anything that a person could do that would stop you from loving them.
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8 ESV
See in the beginning, God chooses to love you above anything else, despite what you do. When you are reading in the old testament, here is God loving this nation Israel so much he is willing to work with them even after they turned to idol worship. Even after they sent them prophets to correct them. Even after he took them into the wilderness and saved them from slavery and yet they still complained (Exo 14:10-14;16:1-4, Numbers 11:31-32). Even after God provided for them through great miracles, they still complained about their situation. But even still God decided to work with them because of his love.
If God is a loving God….
Now we are striking at the heart of this question. In order to have love, we need a choice. When you want to marry someone you stand at the altar before God and say that you will love this person above everyone else that you could possibly love. You choose to pick them and say no to everyone else. Just as God is the love we are a reflection of this.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27 ESV
Now, this is important because we are made in His image, we also can love. But in order to love, we need the option to not love. We need to choose him to love. This is a fundamental issue. If God takes away our will, then he takes away our capacity to love. Fundamentally, if we are made in his image, and he is love, we also need to be able to express love. If he takes this away from us, he takes away a portion of our humanity and his image from us.
When you get down to it, if God is a love God why is there evil in the world? Well Because God is a loving God, there is evil in the world. If we did not have the option to choose evil rather than good, then we can not love him. This is a paradox, not a contradiction.
Did God create evil?
See this goes back even before the Garden of Eden. When we look at Satan or the devil, did God create him?
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.John 1:1-3 ESV
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.Colossians 1:15-17 ESV
So yes God created Satan. But why would he create something Evil? Why would he create something that is destined to cause harm? Well, it turns out he did create Satan to be evil.
12 “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;… On the day that you were created they were prepared. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;… 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you… 17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…Ezekiel 28:12-17 ESV
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’Isaiah 14:12-14 ESV
See at the core, God created Satan, but he wasn’t meant to be evil. God is a God of love and Satan chooses to reject God’s love and go his own way. Similarly, we have this same problem with Adam and Eve. Why would God put the tree of knowledge of Good and evil in the garden? If he knew they would mess up, why put it there? Because God is a loving God. If God did not give Adam and Eve a chance to walk away from him, he is not allowing them to exercise love. But see God understands this and no matter what man does, he will always have a plan to restore the relationship between him and man:
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8 KJV
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you1 Peter 1:19-20 ESV