What Does it Take to Overcome Evil?

1 Kings 22:37-38 – So the king [Ahab] died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria. And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken.

The Bible promises us that one day, possibly not until we enter the Kingdom of God, evil will be bent for God’s glory and our good. Until then, evil is a problem that causes pain. 

Returning to the story in 1 Kings 22, there are five things that we must remember to understand why God allows evil and how He uses it. This is on full display with God working in this scene through evil kings, deception in battling false prophets, and a lying spirit. 

  1. God is only good and does not ordain evil 
  2. God allows evil
  3. People and demons who do evil are morally responsible
  4. God uses evil
  5. God overcomes evil

In the Doctrine book which I co-authored, we go on to explain our days before the Second Coming of Jesus saying:

“In the meantime, evil is never outside the providential control of God. He is at work to do His good purposes in the context of evil. We see this in the story of Joseph in the final dozen chapters of Genesis. We read of Joseph’s betrayal at the hands of his brothers, unjust suffering, and eventual rise to power because the Lord was with him, whereby many lives were saved. When he confronted his brothers, the providence of God at work in the life of Joseph crescendos: ‘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)

Many years later, a descendant of Joseph named Jesus Christ suffered similarly. He too was betrayed by His ‘brothers,’ suffered the worst injustice in history, died in shame on a Roman cross, and, like Joseph, was thrown in a hole from which He emerged to sit at the right hand of a king ruling a kingdom. With Joseph and Jesus, God was vindicated as fully sovereign, good, and powerful despite human evil.

God also used the freely chosen evil of Judas, Herod, Pilate, Gentiles, and the Jews to accomplish His perfect purpose (Acts 2:23; 4:27–28). In the same way, God used the Chaldeans, a horribly evil nation, to punish the persistent sin of Judah and Jerusalem (Habakkuk 1). This does not mean that their evil is God’s responsibility. People freely kill and destroy. In a cosmic irony, the God of all providence uses evil to judge evil. Even as His hand brings punishment to Israel and death to Jesus, He also brings redemption and resurrection into the context of judgment and death.

A day is coming when we will also rise with and to Jesus. On that day, our faith will be sight and we will see God fully vindicated. Until that day, our answer to the question of how God’s sovereignty relates to sin is ultimately a prayerful, worshipful, humble, and continual meditation on Romans 8:28, which promises, ‘We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’ That day is coming.”

Until Jesus returns, the point of 1 Kings is simply that we tend to have the spiritual and political leaders we deserve, but not the ones we need, until Jesus Christ comes back. There is no Heaven on earth until King Jesus brings His Kingdom to earth. Then, He will lift the curse, raise the dead, judge everyone, fill Heaven and Hell, and rule and reign spiritually and politically perfectly forever. Until the King of Kings comes, there will still be problems no matter who is leading. 

What is your biggest takeaway from the unfolding drama in 1 Kings 22?

Text DEVOS to 99383 to be woken up with bold, unapologetic Bible teaching straight to your phone Monday-Friday bright and early. Click here to download a free Elijah study guide and find the sermons that accompany these Devos .