Genesis 2:15–17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 6:5–8; 11-13 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land…… man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD…… 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth….. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Evil is inherent in the risky business of free will. – JB Philips Genesis 6:6 The Lord regretted [sighed at] what had become of man He create on the earth. Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil [undesirable] in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom [what gods] you will serve….. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 1. Who created evil and suffering? God created the POSSIBILITY of evil…… God created the POSSIBILITY of evil…… ……Man created the ACTUALITY of evil. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. By choosing to not trust God, they radically altered how life on Earth would be lived. God did not do this to us, we are doing it to ourselves! We drink too much, or we gamble compulsively, or we allow pornography to control our minds. We drive too fast and work as if there is no tomorrow. We challenge the boss disrespectfully and then blow up when he strikes back. We spend money we do not have and we cannot possibly repay. We fuss and fight at home and create misery…… We toy with the dragon of infidelity. Then when the wages of those sins and foolishness come due, we turn our shocked faces up to heaven and cry “Why me Lord?” In truth, we are suffering the natural consequences of dangerous behavior that is guaranteed to produce pain. – Dr. James Dobson John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 2. What about the suffering caused by others or in nature? Man, the world ain't supposed to work like this. I mean, maybe you don't know that yet. I'm supposed to be able to do my job without having to ask you if I can. That dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you ripping him off. Everything is supposed to be different than it is. – Simon; Grand Canyon Romans 8:20–22 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. God is all-powerful but not all-good, because He does not stop evil & suffering. God is all-powerful but not all-good, because He does not stop evil & suffering. God is all-good but not all-powerful, because He cannot stop evil & suffering. God is all-powerful but not all-good, because He does not stop evil & suffering. God is all-good but not all-powerful, because He cannot stop evil & suffering. Either argument follows the general tendency to blame God for evil & suffering and shift all responsibility for it onto Him. The fact is, God is not responsible for all that is wrong in this world… we are! 3. What is God’s answer to suffering? Why doesn’t He end it all right now? Suppose God were to decree that at midnight tonight all evil would be removed from the universe – who of us would still be here after midnight? – Paul Little Is it possible God is enduring evil and suffering because He radically loves us? 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. Just because evil is not done away with now, does not mean it never will be. If God is all-good, He will defeat evil. If God is all-good, He will defeat evil. If God is all-powerful, He can defeat evil. If God is all-good, He will defeat evil. If God is all-powerful, He can defeat evil. Evil is not yet defeated. If God is all-good, He will defeat evil. If God is all-powerful, He can defeat evil. Evil is not yet defeated. God will one day defeat evil! Will pain and suffering drive you away from God or drive you to Him? You don’t need a God to blame for all the evil in the world. You need God who takes your blame for the evil in the world upon Himself.