“Evil” or “Calamity” in Isaiah 45:7 et al.?
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)
Critics claim that the KJV reading, “I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” creates a theological error, since 1) Satan originally created evil and 2) God is all good.
1) These critics do not understand the distinction between being the initial creator and being a subsequent creator. Surely, the LORD did not create evil when he made all things good at the time of Creation. Satan authored evil subsequent to Creation. But now in this fallen world, the LORD also creates evil. Whereas God created only morally pure humans at Creation, in the fallen world God creates evil men like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot despite having foreknowledge of their resulting evil. If God did not create these evil men, the evils resulting from them would not have ensued. Thus, we must acknowledge that God does allow and create evil in the present time.
2) The KJV reading does not say that God IS evil or that God LIKES evil. It does not even say that God was the original creator of evil. It merely says that God CREATES evil. The fact that God creates evil does not undermine his goodness or his hatred of evil. For example, a morally good person would hate poison. However, if he sees something that he hates even more, such as parasites killing his crop, he may create pesticides (a form of poison) to ward off that which he hates even more. Likewise, God in the Bible creates evils such as divinely appointed natural disasters and plagues and military conquests to achieve the ultimate good in a fallen world. Not all things that God creates in the fallen world are good, but “all things work TOGETHER for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28, emphasis added). The idea that God only creates goodness in this fallen world is a mistake. This false idea causes many naïve Christians to backslide when they realize that not all things that God creates in the fallen world are morally perfect.
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