Where did evil originate? Is God the author of evil? (`Isa. 14:7`; `Amos 3:6`.)
<ANSWER>–The word evil in the texts cited has the meaning in the Hebrew language of adversity. These evils or calamities were sent upon the Jews as chastisements for their violation of the terms of the covenant which they had made with the Lord. The evil here referred to was not evil in the sense of its being a wrong or a sin. Right and wrong, good and evil as principles have always existed and always will. Principles are eternal. Sin was produced by the evil principle becoming active, and began with Satan who permitted evil to control and dominate his course of action. Sin and evil were introduced into the world by Satan when he induced our first parents to disobey the Divine command. Thus the race has come under the dominion of sin and death supervised by Satan, the God (ruler) of this “present evil world.” (`2 Cor. 4:4`.) At the appointed time when the Lord shall again control earth’s affairs, establishing his own kingdom in the earth, Satan is to be bound and eventually will be destroyed, while evil will gradually cease to be active until at the close of Christ’s reign, when sin and evil in their various forms, suffering, and death, shall be no more. (`Rev. 21:3-5`.)
Why does God the great creator who has all power and wisdom permit the reign of sin and evil in the earth? When we see all of the sorrow and misery existing in the world because of the evil we wonder that a just and loving creator would permit these things when he has the ability to put an end to them at any time?
<ANSWER>–This is a very important question and one that thinking minds have pondered by using a fact of history to illustrate the matter. In ancient times during the reign of a just and wise ruler over a large part of the earth, a rebellion occurred in a certain portion of the empire. A usurper arose and, misrepresenting the character of the emperor, succeeded in inducing the people of this particular province to no longer render obedience to their rightful sovereign. Although the emperor had the power to suppress the rebellion at once, he permitted the tyrant to rule over the province, and in this way let the people experience the hardships and evils of misrule, that they might the better appreciate the advantages of the wise and beneficent reign of the monarch. Also it would furnish an object lesson to the people of the other provinces. And thus it turned out. The people in time grew exceedingly weary of the woe and sorrows inflicted by the usurper, and when the opportunity finally presented itself to escape from his dominion, they gladly returned to complete harmony with their emperor, expressing their allegiance and full submission to his just commands. Satan, “The God (ruler) of this present evil world,” is to be bound eventually and the people, liberated from his dominion and tyranny, and instructed in righteousness, for, when “the judgments of the Lord are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness,” will then appreciate the wise and just commands of their creator, their rightful sovereign.