Of course, one of the great questions that all believers in a loving God have had
to deal with is the question of evil; not just human evil but what is called “natural evil.” That is, when bad things happen in nature (floods, hurricanes, drought, earthquakes, etc.) that cause so much pain and suffering, not just for humans but for animals, as well.
How are we to understand these things? After all, if God is in control of the creation, why would such things happen?
One of the earliest books of the Bible is the book of Job, where these questions (and others) became painfully real for Job (see week four).
Read Job 42. What does this chapter answer for us? What questions remain unanswered?
Anyone who has ever read the book of Job came away with, perhaps, more questions than answers. The book does reveal important truths about the great controversy (see also Rev. 12:12), which help to form a background crucial for us to even begin to understand the existence of evil. The great controversy scenario, however, doesn’t explain every instance of evil. In fact, to explain evil would in a sense be to justify it, and we can never do that. The great controversy can reveal the grand issues behind evil; the motif tells us little, if anything, about each instance of evil.
Job did not understand, and neither do we when we face such catastrophic losses. Although God spoke to Job, He did not provide the answer to Job’s questions, nor did He explain the cause of what happened. He simply reminded Job that there were things beyond his knowledge, and that he would have to trust God, which Job did. Our experience is often similar; we may not receive an answer to our questions. But the story of Job does give us important insight into the nature of evil, and it shows us that God is not unaware of the struggles that we face.
Go back to Sabbath’s introduction and read the Ellen G. White quote. How does that help us to come to grips with the question of evil better, knowing that God Himself suffered greatly from it, as well?