Such a phrase (and its many derivations) is common to those frustrated at God for all the evil in the world today. It is a legitimate question that demands a legitimate answer and today, we will attempt two answer two of the most common questions that begin with this phrase.
1. “If God is so powerful, then why do we have (_______)?”
The list of consequences of sin is virtually endless. After thousands of years of having to deal with them, our patience has run out and our frustration is high. Whenever someone asks this questions, know of a surety that they experienced the evil they are talking about (directly or indirectly) and want answers. While many people desire a natural (vs. supernatural) answer, the right answer will acknowledge both dimensions of our reality. One example of such an answer is,
“Why do we have Genesis 3?”
This is a chapter of the Bible that shouldn’t exist. God’s plan for man was done by the end of Genesis 2. He made the heavens, the earth, everything on it, and He was done. No (_______) of any kind was in this plan, period. So why do we have Genesis 3?
Genesis 3, in answering this question, also teaches us one of the most vital lessons of the human experience. That is, life is affected by the choices we make and the choices we make affect other people. God made nothing in creation to die, nothing. It goes completely against His nature and everything He stands for. But when man chose to sin, he opened the door to things like (_______).
People tend to roll their eyes when they hear this part of the answer because they don’t understand what sin really does. To explain it simply, sin undoes everything that God does. Death, for example, is the undoing of the life God created. It is not a part of life (For the sake of this article, I will not go into the dark implications of this common belief.). Every problem we face in the human experience (disease, war, corruption, strife between family and friends, etc.) works to destroy what God created for us to have (health, peace, purity, strong marital, family, and social bonds, etc.). Eventually (and inevitably) these problems will (if not brought to God) destroy our lives, the Earth, and everything on it.
Sin and everything that comes with it (_______) originated when Lucifer chose to rebel against God in heaven. His choice to do this ultimately reversed the relationship that he and his angels once enjoyed with Him. Their love for Him eventually deteriorated into hate and out of this hate, these rebellious angels plotted to destroy His cherished creation. Their successful quest to tempt Adam and Eve, Earth’s stewards, brought sin into the world and it began to undo God’s creation.
These two choices (Satan’s and Adam and Eve’s collective choice) began this work of destruction. Now take into account every choice humanity has made to rebel against God by every human being that has ever lived over the course of 6,000+ years. When you consider that each choice negatively affected them, people they knew and didn’t know, the Earth, and all life on it, you can begin to understand why we have things like (_______). It and all the world’s woes are fundamentally designed to undo everything God created, including us.
Humanity as a whole knows that something is wrong with our world, as they should. We are created in the image of our Creator, after all. But what we don’t understand is that every choice we make to rebel against our Creator is a choice to serve our destroyer, Satan. As long as we choose to rebel against God, we will continue to undo the once-perfect creation of God and experience the consequences of our choices such as (_______).
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”- Prov. 14:12.
2.”If God is so powerful, then why didn’t God just destroy Satan? Why doesn’t He do it right now?”
The worst thing that our justice system can do is punish an innocent person. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 149 people were exonerated in 29 states, Washington D.C., federal courts, and Guam in 2015 (and those are only the ones they know). Since they launched in May 2012, they’ve listed over 1,600 miscarriages of justice…and they keep coming. Were the truth carefully sought for, were the matters of their innocence or guilt made plain, these people would not have been wrongfully punished. Keep this understanding in mind as we answer this important question.
The rebellion of Korah (see Num. 16) perfectly illustrates why God did not destroy Satan when he rebelled in heaven. (You can learn more about Satan’s rebellion by clicking here.)
Korah started a revolt against Moses and Aaron because he wanted Aaron’s job (and the authority that came with it) as the high priest of Israel. He initially got over 250 supporters because he deceived them into thinking that 1.) Moses and Aaron had too much power and 2.) they were “holy enough” to have the same kind of authority.
Rather than let the Lord make it plain to him that He appointed Moses and Aaron to their respective offices, Korah rallied the whole camp of Israel against the brothers with the same lies that got him his first supporters.
The people of Israel thought they were doing the right thing, standing against a supposedly corrupt leadership. So when Korah and his faction were summarily executed, they thought that his punishment was a miscarriage of justice. So they rallied up against the brothers next day, even after Moses and Aaron saved their lives. As such, they tried to exonerate the very people that nearly got them killed. When the truth of Korah’s rebellion was made plain (see Num. 17), the Israelites repented of their sin and returned to the Lord.
A lot of people are rebelling against God right now because they believe the accusations of Satan against God (that He is tyrannical, cruel, etc.). This is the universe’s first (and longest) miscarriage of justice. The time is coming when God will destroy Satan, his followers, and all his works. But before Satan’s rebellion is over, God is going to save us from sharing his judgment and exonerate himself before all Creation.
God is preparing and sending His prophets (and everyone who serves Him) around the world to deliver the same kind of warning Moses and Aaron gave the Israelites in their days (Num. 16:25, 26). Through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, God’s people will reveal the truth about Satan’s rebellion and vindicate His character before all the earth. Only after the truth of this matter is made plain to the world and everyone makes their informed choice (whether or not to serve God) will Satan and his followers be destroyed. This course of action will finally end the rebellion and exonerate God before all Creation.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Phil. 2:10-11.
Without doubt, there is much more to this answer than I can possibly write. But with the coming of the Lord is the promise that He will tell us all things (Rev. 20:4, 12). This promise, man cannot make or hope to keep. We (myself included) will receive the answers we seek and there will be no more sorrow, crying, or pain. The former things will be gone (Rev. 21:4) and our suffering will be over. May we labor to spread the gospel in the last days, for in completing our commission, we hasten the day in which these questions will be answered in full! (Matt. 24:14)