16 Oct If God Is Good, Why Is There Evil? Part 1: A Study in Habakkuk
At various points in life, we inevitably arrive at seasons where we have a God-sized problem. Something (or someone) is too big for us to bear, and the situation is out of our hands. When that time comes, we have two options. One: we can get frustrated with God as if He were the problem and not the solution. Two: we can bring our frustrations to God, trusting by faith that He is the solution.
Surveying all of the evil, injustice, and suffering in the world, a man named Habakkuk brought this question to God: “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13 ESV).
In more philosophical terms, Habakkuk is asking a question that today is commonly referred to as “the problem of evil,” or “theodicy.” Here’s the question: If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, why is there suffering and evil?
This is one of the most practical, painful, and problematic questions that every generation asks about God. This is the same question that Habakkuk brought to God for an answer. If this were a multiple-choice test, here are the possible answers:
- There is no God.
Atheism wrongly concludes that there is evil and suffering because there is no God to stop it.
- God is not all-powerful.
Finite Godism wrongly concludes that God is impotent and lacking the power to overcome evil and suffering.
- God is not all-knowing.
Evolutionary Godism, also referred to as Open Theism, wrongly concludes that God does not know the future but is experiencing life as it comes, doing His best to learn, grow, and respond to His experiences much like we do.
- God is not all-good.
Pantheism and Panentheism, found in many Eastern religions, wrongly conclude that God is both good and evil and that both darkness and light come from and are expressions of God’s character.
- There is no suffering and evil.
Subjectivism and Pluralism wrongly conclude that evil and the experience of suffering are not absolute but rather relative and therefore not always wrong or negative.
- God is not done yet, so live by faith, not sight.
Biblical Christianity rightly concludes that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. Therefore, suffering and evil are not the way that God is, the way that God made the world, or the way that the world will be when Jesus returns and unveils His Kingdom. Until then, God reminds us in Habakkuk 2:4 (ESV) that “the righteous shall live by his faith.”
Which of these options have you chosen in your life? Which will you choose for your future?