Tuesday: Natural Evil

Of course, one of the great questions that all believers in a loving God have had

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

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?



Tuesday: Natural Evil — 8 Comments

  1. When our first parents sinned, the earth was cursed. The creation that was perfect dissapeared.Indeed, the earth was cursed two more times. Now,what do we expect from a cursed world? I think that answers the origin of natural evil.

  2. I guess I, like Job, wonder at times, but God has assured me time and time again that He is the one that is in control. As creator I obey my creator, as child I obey my Parent. Sometimes when this happen doubt steps in, but I have realized that's exactly what Satan wants us to do 'Doubt'. But praise God for His promises. He will never leave or forsake, even amidst this troubled and sinful world.

  3. I don't think that it is "natural" that evil exists, in fact I rather think them terms, "natural" and "evil" are opposites of each other,in that, sin is not natural, meaning, it was not fore-ordained by God, thou He had fore-knowledge of its existence from eternity- so at this stage, natural evil is not a "correct" term for what is being discussed by the lesson, rather " evil in nauture" , at this stage of my understanding seems more appropriate a term for the effects of sin and the fall on God's creation, that being outside of man.

    • I agree. Adam and eve they were tempted.sin was not apart of their nature. they were made in the image of God. what is natural evil?

      nature was created in perfection. true after sin all creation groans for a better adaption, and our loving father promise such.a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.

  4. Mankind opened and continues to open the floodgate of evil in our world through choices made daily. Satan was invited to have dominion of this world by the ones it was first given to.

    In the events that display power beyond man's abilities, we have either God or Satan involved, along with the naturally occurring events from a decaying creation.

    In Mark 5:1-20 we get a peek at the actions of Satan and the limitations God places upon him, just as we learn from the experience of Job. James reminds us that every good gift comes from God, though Satan can also give such "blessings" to mislead. If I am prospered while living in sin, why would I wish to repent?!

    Yes, God keeps our world in it's vital proximity to the sun, keeps the sun burning, the boundaries of the oceans, keeps a daily supply of oxygen by the process He created, makes my seedlings sprout and keeps the gophers at bay in my garden, while Satan tries everything to disrupt the natural cycles that God ordained and tries to bring more gophers.

    God can bless an obedient people, but to draw the disobedient back to Him, He might withdraw His protection, allowing Satan liberty to bring evil upon them, as with the serpents in the wilderness. Most of our sickness is our choice through wrong habits of eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. We have often "limited the Holy One of Israel" by our own disobedient choices and actions. In such cases, Satan needs only to sit back and watch us self-destruct as we violate nature by yielding to his temptations.

    To me the book of Job answers many relevant questions and leads to greater trust in God.

  5. Each catastrophic event is not an indication that God does not love or care for us. When these events occur, we must direct our focus to God's promises in the Bible. No man knows the hour of His coming, however, we must watch and be ready for Jesus' Coming.

  6. i honestly take the curse as a blessing hey. if Adam was not cursed to till the ground, how were we gonna make a living on this earth. yes the Lord is a provider bu we need to work hard to sustain ourselves. He gave us everything so we need to put it into use

  7. When man sinned, the whole world sinned and that was not only limited to humanity only. If we read Romans 8:19-22, Paul says that the whole creation groaneth in pain for it was subjected into futility because of man's sin. Now the whole creation awaiteth patiently and eagerly for the earnest expectation and revelation of the son of man. That being said, nature was beautiful when it first came from the hand of the maker but it lost shape when a curse was pronounced after man had sinned. Thus far, the Lord said " Man shall bruise the head of the serpent and the serpent shall bruise your feet". There is a lot of hope in this text. It`s better to get a bruise on our feet even if that means we are maimed for life than to get a crush on our heads that spells the end of our lives. For the mind and the head are the centre of humanity and once crushed, all hope will be buried in the sand.


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