That God is omnipotent means that He has absolute power and is able to do anything that is in harmony with His wise, holy, and perfect nature (Gen. 17:1; Rev. 16:7; 19:6; Jer. 32:17; Rom. 1:20).

That God is/has love (from the Gk. word “agape”, in 1 Jn. 4:8, 16; 2 Cor. 13:11; Jn. 3:16) means that He intelligently, intentionally wills what’s best for someone (Dr. T. Miethe, Compact Dictionary of Doctrinal Words, p. 18), and God can do so to an infinite degree if He chooses to do so (Jer. 31:3; Job 11:7-9; Psa. 145:3). However, what’s best for someone is determined by God’s just and holy wisdom and purposes (Psa. 147:5; Rom. 11:33; Dan. 4:35; Isa. 46:10-11).

That God is good (from the Heb. word “tob” and the Gk. word “agathos”) means that He is morally right in the ultimate sense and to an infinite degree (Mk. 10:18; Lk. 18:19; James 1:17; Psa. 119:68; 145:9).

That God allows and, in fact, “indirectly” causes evil (e.g., 1 Ki. 22:19-23; Acts 2:23) is for His own purposes (Prov. 16:4; Acts 4:27-28; Rom. 9:14-21 with Ex. 5:6-16) and for His ultimate glory (Rev. 19:1-2; Rom. 11:36).

Evil (the Heb. verb “raa”) means “to be bad/evil, to act wickedly, to do harm.” The masculine Heb. noun “ra” means “evil or bad”. The feminine Heb. noun “raah” means “evil, harm, disaster, misery, or distress” and includes every kind of calamity and wickedness. There are two aspects of evil. Moral evil is actions or thoughts that violate God’s intentions or nature. In other words, moral evil is what God considers to be wrong actions or thoughts. God is the measure of what is morally right. And secondly, evil can also describe the consequences of doing moral evil (e.g., the tragedy, distress, and physical, psychological, and emotional harm that come as a result of wrong moral choices). The Greek words “kakos” and “poneros” express the idea of evil in the New Testament. “Kakos” represents evil/wicked/bad as a lack of those qualities or nature that make a person or thing what it should be, while “poneros” represents evil/bad/wicked as an active, rebellious-against-God force that takes pleasure in injuring others and is both dangerous and destructive. Only God is capable of making truly moral judgments. God’s written Word, the Bible, communicates all that mankind needs in order to know what is evil and what is good. God neither commits (Job 34:10) nor is capable of doing moral evil (Isa. 57:15, “Holy” – separated from sin; Hab. 1:13), and He takes no pleasure in evil (Psa. 5:4). However, God is involved in dispensing many of the calamities/evils consequent to man’s wrong choices (Jer. 18:11; Isa. 45:7; Amos 3:6). God is right to bring on people those evils/calamities that come as a result of people’s violation of His moral order or as a result of our evil nature (Dr. L. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, pp. 251-254).

That God allows evil and, in fact, in many cases causes suffering and pain can be for any of the following 21 reasons (at least).

1.

 

Gen. 3:16-19

 

2 Ki. 5:21, 25-27

 

Lev. 26:19-33

 

Jer. 44:2-3

 

Judges 9:23-24, 49, 53, 56-57

 

Isa. 10:5-6, 12

 

Amos 3:2

 

Rom. 6:23

 

Deut. 9:4-5

 

2.

 

Ex. 7:3-5, 17 with Ex. 9:14-16 and Ex. 10:1-2

 

Acts 4:27-28 with Acts 2:22-23, 36 and 1 Cor. 15:1-3

 

Gen. 50:20 with Gen. 45:5-8

 

1 Pet. 4:19

 

Psa. 105:23-27

 

Prov. 16:4

 

Isa. 14:24-27 with Isa. 37:15-17, 21-23, 29-36

 

Ezek. 1:3 with Ezek. 24:15-24, 27

 

3.

 

Jn. 11:2-4

 

Jn. 21:18-19

 

Isa. 24:1-16a

 

4.

 

Job 1:8-2:10; 42:11

 

5.

 

Rom. 5:3-4

 

James 1:2-4

 

Heb. 12:10-11

 

6.

 

Jn. 9:1-3

 

7.

 

2 Cor. 12:7 with Gal. 4:13-15

 

8.

 

2 Chron. 26:16-21

 

Dan. 4:30-37

 

Dan. 5:20-30

 

Acts 12:21-23

 

9.

 

1 Cor. 11:27-32

 

10.

 

Psa. 119:71

 

11.

 

Rom. 8:28, 18

 

12.

 

1 Pet. 1:6-7

 

1 Pet. 4:12-13 with Phil. 1:29

 

13.

 

2 Cor. 4:17

 

Matt. 5:11-12

 

14.

 

1 Pet. 4:1-2

 

15.

 

Acts 9:15-16

 

16.

 

Matt. 10:16-18

 

Phil. 1:12-13; 4:22

 

Acts 24:1, 10; 25:13, 23; 26:1, 15-19, 28

 

17.

 

2 Cor. 1:8-10

 

18.

 

2 Cor. 4:8-11

 

1 Pet. 2:20-23

 

19.

 

Phil. 1:29

 

[“granted” – Gk. “eucharisthe”, graciously bestowed as a favor, possibly to gain reigning with Him, 2 Tim. 2:12].

 

Acts 5:40-41

 

20.

 

Amos 4:6-11

 

21.

 

Josh. 7:1, 4-5, 11-12, 20-21, 24

 

1 Chron. 21:1-4, 7-17

 

2 Sam. 21:1-9

 

2 Sam. 11:3-5; 12:9, 14-15

 

 

 

 

 

We may not like or agree with God as to why He allows or in some cases causes suffering and pain, but be that as it may, that’s His prerogative as God. As He says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Or, as is states in Rom. 11:33-34, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?”

 

Let us know what you think.