(393) – WHERE DOES EVIL COME?

No evil comes from Jesus. Since childhood Jesus rejected evil and chose good, according to the prophecy (Is. 7:14-15). And in the letter to the Hebrews we read: “You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows” (Heb. 1:9). And God the Father anointed Jesus because he chose to do only what is good and never to do what is evil: “How God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

Evil does not come, also, from the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit is love. For this reason Paul says: “And hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5; 15:30). And love does not do evil against his neighbor, so the Holy Spirit does only what is good (Rom. 13:10). And God the Father does not do evil, either.

Jesus Christ does not do evil, as we saw above, and Jesus is the “express image of the Father” (Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:15). The works of Christ are all good, and he says that the works he does are the works of the Father (John 10:32; 14:9-11). Christ does only what is good, and even then he declares that he is not as good as the Father (Matt. 19:16-17). The Father is love and desires to save all men: “He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 2:3-4). God does not do evil because from him comes everything that is good and perfect: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow” (James 1:17).

On the other hand, Jehovah is the god who does evil. Let us prove that:

1.   “Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and Jehovah hasn’t done it?” (Amos 3:6).
2.   Samaria was surrounded by the armies of Ben-hadad, king of Syria. The siege was so prolonged and the famine so violent, that their women boiled their own children for food. When the king of Israel herd about this he became very angry and said: “God do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stay on him this day” (2 Kings 6:24-31). The king sent a messenger to Elisha to announce to him that he was condemned to death. Then Elisha said: “BEHOLD, THIS EVIL IS FROM JEHOVAH, WHY SHOULD I WAIT FOR JEHOVAH ANY LONGER?” (2 Kings 6:33). I examined the Hebrew text to see whether Jehovah was the author of such evil.

3.   Judah’s evil comes from Jehovah, for the scriptures say: “For Jehovah of Armies, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah” (Jer. 11:17). “Jehovah said to me, Don’t pray for this people for [their] good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence” (Jer. 14:11-12). “Hear the word of Jehovah, kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says Jehovah of Armies, the God of Israel, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, which whoever hears, his ears shall tingle” (Jer. 19:3). “For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good, says Jehovah: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire” (Jer. 21:10). “Behold, I watch over them for evil, and not for good; and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them” (Jer. 44:27). “This shall be the sign to you, says Jehovah, that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that my words shall surely stand against you for evil” (Jer. 44:29).

Jehovah’s preference is always for what is evil, to the detriment of the promised good. He says: “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they not obey my voice, then I will repent of the good, with which I said I would benefit them. Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says Jehovah: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you” (Jer. 18:10-11). The promised good is always just a promise, but evil is fulfilled without pity, for Jehovah declares to Jeremiah, giving him the command: “Then you shall tell them, Thus says Jehovah, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit on David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says Jehovah: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them” (Jer. 13:13-14). The destructive resources of Jehovah are infinite for evil. “For thus says the Lord Jehovah: How much more when I send my four severe judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the evil animals, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and animal” (Ezek. 14:21).

God, the Father, is different. He proclaims through the mouth of John: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).

And God, the Father, proclaims by the mouth of Paul: “But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). “Namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). This is the Father, the God who created us, and who does not desire our death and ruin, but wants us to be with him in glory.

By Olavo Silveira Pereira

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