There are millions of people around the world who are asking this kind of question, “If God is truly wise, then why allow humans whom He created perfectly to fall into sin?” Is an all-knowing God truly unintelligent, because He allowed His own creation to become imperfect, which affected the human race? We can discuss this ad infinitum ad nauseam, but unless we understand His attributes, then we shall surely miss the very reason why He created us.
When the Lord God created the host of angelic creatures, they were given the freedom to follow or rebel against Him. No wonder Lucifer fell from his high angelic position.
“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! – Isaiah 14:12
The same also goes with the first created human being, namely, Adam and Eve, who were given the freedom to serve or to defy His divine command. In fact, they were given a choice whether to follow and enjoy the benefits of the garden or disobey and earn the consequences.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17
Remember, God did not create automatons, but humans with flesh and blood, who have the ability to think and reason. This is what we thank God for because He designed us not as robots, but humans with freedom to choose to obey or disobey. In fact, this was his reminder also to Cain after he murdered Abel, his brother, that if he only obeyed God, then this treacherous act could have been avoided.
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7
Even Joshua understood this freedom. That he has to choose whether to worship Yahweh or the false imaginary gods of the Amorites.
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15
But despite this freedom that God had given Adam and Eve, He knew for a fact that they will sin against Him, that is the reason why our salvation in Christ was not a Plan B, because Plan A failed. In fact, everything that happens in this world is still under God’s sovereignty. There is nothing in this world that escapes His attention. He knows that millions of unborn babies are being murdered through abortion in the Western and Communist countries. He is also aware of the killings that are happening in many parts of Africa and the Middle East due to famine and religious beliefs. God is fully aware of the racism, discrimination, senseless killings, rape, prostitution, greediness, and selfishness happening around the world.
The ten thousand dollar question would be, “What is God doing about it?”
Can God just flick His finger so these things would be over in a split second?
Is that possible?
Yes, of course.
But why will He do that?
Many people quickly point an accusing finger against God, as if the Lord is directly responsible for the hostile, tough, harmful, injurious, ruinous, disastrous, calamitous, miserable, distressing, grievous, lamentable, tragic, terrible, awful, and wretched things that happen in the lives of every living being on planet earth, without having knowledge of the God that he is (Read my related articles here: Why Evil Things Happen Around the World and Demons in the Hands of God) Actually, every wrong decision made by a nation’s leader or a family leader will surely affect the future generation.
Obviously, it is impossible to know the situation of every people in the different continents. If this is the case, then why do we always blame God for all the unfortunate things that happen in their lives? Why don’t we step back to review our very own life? Is there something that we violated in His divine command that we are now in this kind of situation today?
If God designed humans like automatons, then He has not truly given them the freedom to love and serve Him with all their hearts, in the absence of divine manipulation or coercion. Take for example the freedom a person experiences in a democratic country. It is true that he lives in a free country but this freedom, with restrictions, does not mean that he can rebel against his government without consequence.
A very good example of God’s sovereignty is the story about Joseph, who was born into a wealthy family. As a young boy, he was the favorite of his father Jacob, but discriminated against by his brothers because of this. Eventually, he was thrown in a pit and sold to Midianite traders. In Egypt, he was bought by a high ranking Egyptian official as a servant. However, his choice to remain pure and holy before God, despite resisting temptation, even brought him to jail. Nevertheless, he was not disheartened but continued to see things in God’s eyes. He became fruitful in prison that he was made into a jail warden, with prisoners under his supervision. The Lord is fully aware of what’s happening, that Joseph, without knowledge, was slowly fulfilling everything in his dream given him when he was younger. This also gave him the opportunity to discover his gift in interpreting dreams. It is possible that without him going through this lowest point, he would have never have known of his spiritual gift of interpretation. His dream interpretation for the baker led the latter to finally meet his Maker. While his dream interpretation for the cup bearer led him to have an audience of one with the Pharoah. It was beyond him that his trials and circumstances would lead him to become the second highest ranking officer in Egypt, next only to Pharoah himself. He forgave his brothers and sent for his father to be with him. And as they usually say, the rest is history.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. – Genesis 50:20
Did the author just say, “God meant it for good?” God is not ignorant when He allowed Joseph to go through all those unfortunate events in his life. In fact, it is easy for God to pluck out Joseph from that situation then give him a great life. If God did, then Joseph will surely have missed out in understanding some of God’s character and attributes like faithfulness, providence, and care. It is a no-brainer for God the Father to forbade His Son to go through suffering and sacrifice for us to be eternally saved. But how can we understand His love, mercy, and grace?
A person has the freedom to reject God’s offer of eternal life through Jesus. But his rejection will surely met consequences, that is, divine wrath and eternal condemnation which he could not reverse for eternity. No! God is not dumb but loving and sovereign. This is why He gave you and me His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. – Isaiah 40:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Romans 8:28-30, NIV
A person has the freedom to reject God’s offer of eternal life through Jesus. But his rejection will surely mean consequences, that is, divine wrath and eternal condemnation, which he could not be reversed for all eternity. No! God is not dumb! But He is loving and sovereign. This is why He gave you and me His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Questions for Discussion
- Why is there a flaw in believing that God is a senseless moral monster because of the unfortunate circumstances that happen in one’s life?
- How would you describe your freedom in God?
- Can you explain the words use to describe God’s goodness, faithfulness, and sovereignty?
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love… – Ephesians 1:4
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. – Psalm 139:4
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. – Psalm 139:16