Why Is Evil Allowed?

Text: Ecclesiastes 8:6-13

 

I.         It has happened again. Incomprehensible horror has struck to kill innocent children.

            A.        But we want to know why? Why did it happen? Why couldn’t it be stopped?

            B.        I’ve seen guns blamed, drugs blamed, psychological problems blamed, schools blamed, and, yes, even God blamed - Psalms 10:1

            C.        It becomes a rallying point, at least for the moment, of those who want to make changes. It really doesn’t matter what is changed, so long as changes are made. Then we can feel as if we did something to solve the problem ... until the next time it happens.

II.        Because there is evil, does God not exist?

            A.        That is what atheists would like to imagine.

            B.        But reverse the argument. If evil is so prevalent, why is there righteousness?

                        1.         Where does it come from?

                        2.         Since righteousness exists, do we conclude that there cannot be evil?

                        3.         What we see is that one extreme does not preclude the existence of the other.

            C.        But wait a minute! God is supposed to be omnipotent.

                        1.         There is an assumption that limitless power means absolute control – a dictatorship if you will. After all that is what men typically do with power.

                        2.         Where do you think the line should be drawn? Stopping murder? Stopping thieves? Stopping adultery? Stopping lying?

                        3.         Could God create a place with no evil?

                                    a.         The answer is yes. It is called heaven - Revelation 21:25-27

                                    b.         This short life where we must battle evil qualifies us for entering an eternal life where evil cannot exist.

                        4.         It comes down to the fact that God chose to make men with free-will. But preventing a bad choice means there is no choice - “Your vegetable choice for tonight’s meal is broccoli or broccoli. Which do you prefer?”

                        5.         God in His infinite power, chose to make men with the ability to choose and that includes the ability to make bad choices.

            D.        But isn’t God suppose to protect the innocent?

                        1.         God does promise justice to those harm children - Psalms 72:4

                                    a.         But the implication is that harm is done and God sees that proper justice is done in response.

                        2.         One writer, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, misquotes Psalms 116:6 as “The Lord is the keeper of little ones: I was humbled, and he delivered me.”

                                    a.         The word is for the foolish or simple.

                                    b.         Read the context - Psalms 116:1-9

                                    c.         David was rescued from affliction. He did not rely on his knowledge, but on God. In fact God humbled him so that he would learn to rely on God, and in that reliance God saved him.

                                    d.         This isn’t a passage about children, but about humility before God.

                                    e.         The emphasis on saving is the spiritual salvation of his soul, not prevention of physical harm.

                        3.         But back to our point. Evil people exist - Psalms 10:7-10

                                    a.         The reason they exist is because they reject God - Psalms 10:2-6

            E.        Fine, but why should the innocent suffer? Why doesn’t God prevent the consequences of sin?

                        1.         Didn’t God promise to protect from evil? - Psalms 121

                        2.         Consider this: Is it murder if you shoot knowing that no one will ever be harmed?

                                    a.         The world would become a video game

                                    b.         Yet, we would never say that a law was broken

                        3.         What kind of people would we be, if we were protected from all harm by others?

                                    a.         How do children turn out when parents protect them from bad grades, bad choices, etc? They become brats - Ecclesiastes 8:11

                                    b.         Strange as it may seem without consequences, people become more evil.

                        4.         And if we don’t face hardships to overcome, then we don’t make the choices that improve us - Hebrews 12:5-8

                                    a.         Hardships, grief, the fighting against evil, brings out the best in people - II Corinthians 12:7-10; Romans 5:3-4

                                    b.         It gives people a proper perspective - I Peter 5:10

                                    c.         Even in the presence of evil, God produces good - Romans 8:28

                        5.         The whole world knows that what was done was EVIL! And people are now making choices as a result to reject evil

                                    a.         That is why we honor the memories of those who fought, even at the cost of their lives

                        6.         Even the gunman recognized what he did was wrong – he killed himself because he thought he could escape the consequences of his actions.

                        7.         We assume the protection in Psalms 121 is from physical harm, but this world is temporary.

                                    a.         The protection is promised to the righteous and the perseverance of life from being swallowed up by sin.

                                    b.         God did not promise a life without tragedy and grief. He offers comfort in the face of tragedy - II Corinthians 1:3-4

III.       We get so upset at what happened that we forget who is to blame.

            A.        God makes people upright, including the murder of the innocent - Ecclesiastes 7:29

            B.        God teaches men to live righteously. He is the one who said “Do not murder.” He is the one who said killing the innocent was an abomination - Jeremiah 22:3-5

            C.        It is the evil who ignores God - Jeremiah 22:17

            D.        The evil deceives himself into thinking that God doesn’t care - Psalms 10:11

            E.        So let’s put the blame where it solely belongs: This tragedy occurred because a young man was evil and went against God.

            F.        Let’s stop blaming other things and other people - Ezekiel 18:20

                        1.         What we really need to examine is how to teach people not to choose evil.

IV.      We are not going to be isolated from evil - Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

            A.        The plain, sad fact is that evil is more prevalent than good - Matthew 7:13-14

            B.        At times finding a good man is hard - Micah 7:2

            C.        The call for us is to act like men - I Corinthians 16:13-14

            D.        We should abhor the evil in this world - Romans 12:9

            E.        Defend the weak - Isaiah 1:16-17

V.        Justice will come

            A.        The world has lost its fear of God - Psalms 10:12-18

            B.        They want to think about God’s love, but we need to also fear His wrath - Hebrews 10:30-31

            C.        I don’t have all the answers for why evil continues, but I do know that God knows what He is doing - Romans 11:33-34

            D.        The time to do battle is upon us - Jeremiah 1:17; II Timothy 2:3