This is a valid question I’m sure any person who’ve heard of God has wondered. I mean, just one glance outside, can tell you how broken, sad, and even dangerous our world is today. So, if God is so good and loving, does He just sit back and eat popcorn while the world burns? First of all: God is real. He loves people, and He wants what is best for humanity. But before I get carried away with that thought, we must demonstrate the validity of the Bible since I’ll be using the Bible to answer the question.
1. The Bible is Not Fiction
First, archeologists have discovered and continue to discover numerous artifacts and structures that prove the validity of the Bible. Here are just a few:
- In 1993, a stone block was discovered dating back to the ninth century BC with inscription BYTDWD meaning “house of David” a reference to Jesus’ great ancestor and king.
- Two silver scrolls containing the priestly benediction from Numbers 6 was found southwest of Jerusalem in 1979.
- In 1868 a missionary in Jerusalem found a victory stone made by the Moabite King Mesha in the 9th century that records king’s version of a war fought with Israel in 850 BC; and the Bible records the same incident in 2 Kings 3.
- The Epic of Gilgamesh, written on stone tablets from excavations of mid seventh century BC Nineveh tells the story of a flood coming to the earth. And the god Ea warned him about an approaching judgment and told him to build a boat to save his life from the watery onslaught. The story being very similar to the biblical narrative of Noah in Genesis 6–9
- Almost all bible is represented in Dead Sea scrolls-scrolls that date back to 150-70AD. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible dated to the 10th century A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls include over 225 copies of biblical books that date up to 1,200 years earlier.
Second, the gospels are proven to be historical and true. Archeologists state the gospels were written between 64 and 70 A.D. by four different people and they are similar but not exactly the same which is what we should expect from four different accounts. Archeologists also date the letters Paul were written between 48 and 60 A.D.
Finally and most importantly, historical evidence of Jesus exists. First century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote in a 20-volume history of the Jewish people in the book Jewish Antiquities. In the book, Josephus wrote of an unlawful execution. Josephus calls the victim, James, “the brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah.” This historian also wrote the TestimoniumFlavianumwhich tells of a man who did surprising deeds and was crucified by Pilate. Since we know all these things, we know that the Bible is historically accurate and valid. So we can use the Bible to answer the question why God allows horrible things to happen.
2. God Gives us Free Will
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites…” Joshua 24:15.
The Bible says God is love (1 John 4:7). He is not a dictator. He doesn’t control people or tell them what to do. He gives us the choice to live however way we want to live because He loves us. God wouldn’t be able to say He loves people without giving us a choice of how we want to live our lives. In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve to go and take care of the Garden. They had everything they needed: food, family, water, safety, and the peace of a relationship with God. He also told them to not eat of the Tree of Life (which was in the center of the Garden) (Genesis 2:17). He didn’t do this to tempt Adam and Eve, He was giving them a choice. To choose to follow God’s ways everyday. To choose to live the best life He wanted for them. Just like Adam and Eve, we have a choice every day: to live how God wants or to live how we want.
But in living how we want, it brings chaos sometimes. Sure we humans can come up with great ideas and we are capable of great things. But also horrible things. While wonderful charities, medicines, art and justice institutions came from the minds of humans, rape also came from the minds of human beings; stealing and murder also came from the minds of humans; and divorce came from the minds of humans. Like I said, we all are capable of goodness and evil-and its the evil that can be the most dangerous.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
God’s ways are good and the best. His ways give us peace, love, and joy if we give him a chance. But He gives us the choice to live however way we want to live because He loves us. Yes He gives many laws but His laws protect us and set a standard for the best way to live: if we all were allowed to do whatever we wanted, however we felt like-the world would be a very scary place-none of us would ever leave our homes! But because we have laws, if you stole someone’s car, you will go to jail. If someone assaulted you, they would go to jail. Just as we establish laws, God also have laws in place to keep us safe. When we choose to break those laws, there are consequences.
3. You Have to Know the Bad to Appreciate the Good
Yes God is a powerful God, and He can interfere in situations. In giving us free will, He does allow us to face the consequences of our situations. And sadly, in the brokenness of the world, many people suffer. But God can take the situations we find ourselves in and make it beautiful-there are so many instances of this in the Bible: Ruth who lost her husband and married Boaz, or Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. These situations caused pain, and distress but after the pain was peace and healing from God. If we didn’t know pain, we wouldn’t understand God as a healer. If we didn’t know loss, we wouldn’t know God as a comforter. If we didn’t know confusion, we wouldn’t know God as the truth. In the loss and hurts in the World, God can shine the brightest.
Anyone can see our world is broken. We all need answers to our questions. God has all the answers we need. I believe God saved us Christians to be apart of the answer the world needs by leading the world back to God. Because in God we have peace from our struggles; healing from hurts; provision in place of poverty; and hope instead of hopelessness. Imagine a perfect world: no sickness, no death, no fear, or credit card bills. We would have peace, love, and joy. But we also wouldn’t know the relief of healing after pain, the joy after grief, the peace after chaos. So without the horrible, wicked things in the world we truly couldn’t appreciate all of God’s wonderful attributes without experiencing them in the pitfalls and triumphs of our lives.