Stories of incomprehensible evil saturate recent news. Savage murder, brutality, carnage, and violence roll through the headlines like a tsunami. Jodi Arias, the Boston Bombers, the Gosnell trial, and now Cleveland.
I am overwhelmed with the propensity for evil in the heart of mankind. My mind has been spinning with questions. How can a human being, an individual created in the image of God, snip the spinal cord of a living child and sleep at night? How can a man chain a teenage girl in a basement to use and abuse her for a decade? And where is God while it’s happening?
Yesterday, my daily Bible reading took me to Genesis 6. The text records that in the days of Noah, “man’s wickedness on the earth” was great and “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5). The earth was “corrupt in God’s sight and full of violence… for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways” (Genesis 6:11-12). Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
The condition of the world in Genesis 6 mirrors our world today. Evil multiples. Like yeast in dough, it feeds and breeds and grows. Expanding its reach, touching more places, infecting more lives, wreaking untold havoc.
Noah’s story initiated a search of Scripture to see what God says about evil. I did not get all my questions answered. However, God did ground me once again in His truth through the time in His Word.
Maybe you’ve been having similar thoughts and questions. I hope this small recounting of what God’s Word says about evil will encourage and strengthen you.
The Source and Result of Evil
- God does not delight in evil. (1 Corinthians 13:6)
- Evil originates in the heart of sinful man, not with God. (Genesis 6:12, James 1:13-14)
- Without God, we are slaves to sin and evil, separated from God. (Colossians 1:21, Romans 6:6)
- By our sinful nature, people turn away from God’s righteous light so their evil deeds are not exposed (John 3:19-20).
- Rejection of God is a slippery slope that plunges sinful people deeper and deeper into evil and depravity. (Romans 1:21-32)
Rescue from Evil
- Because God loves us, He sent Jesus to save us from evil and condemnation (John 3:16-17).
- Jesus came to rescue us from slavery to evil (Galatians 1:4) and reconcile us to God (Colossians 1:22).
God Will Judge Evil
- God will judge evil. His Word is clear. (Malachi 4:1, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Romans 2:9-10, Matthew 25:41-46)
- He delays because He is patient and merciful, wanting people to repent. (2 Peter 3:8-9)
What Believers Should Do in the Meantime
- Do not repay evil with evil (1 Peter 3:9).
- Do not conform to the world’s evil or give in to our own evil desires (1 Peter 1:14).
- Turn from evil and do good (1 Peter 3:11).
- Live holy lives “to speed Christ’s coming” (2 Peter 3:11)
Believers are Protected
- Evil cannot spiritually harm believers (Matthew 10:28, 1 John 5:18-19).
- Evil’s actions may impact us physically, but we are spiritually and eternally protected by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:5, Ephesians 1:13-14).
Today’s world is full of examples of what happens when evil is left unchecked, when fleshly, sinful desires are given free reign. The topic of evil raises many questions. But there is only one answer. And His name is Jesus.
Did God’s Word encourage you today? What truth impacted you most and why?