The Problem of Evil and the Power of God
God has been teaching me a very interesting lesson lately. I have seen His power in a way I would not have expected only a week ago. I’ve been reading a lot of passages where God talks about the “evil one” (Satan). I tend to think of Satan as this little man who doesn’t really like us too much. The language of the Bible is much more intense. It calls Satan a “lion” (1 Peter 5:8) and a “beast” (all over Revelation). Psalm 7:4 says, “Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust.” Psalm 143:3 says, “For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long d.e.a.d.” We know that Satan h.a.t.e.d Job; not only did he destroy all of his earthly possessions and kill all those who were closest to him, but he caused him to suffer with painful sores all over his body so that he might curse God. And Satan h.a.t.e.s every person in the same way.
Satan is the embodiment of everything evil. I think God wants us to understand Satan’s power for two reasons.
1) God does not want us to become complacent. He wants us to understand that we are in a battle for our souls. We need to have a war-time mentality. We need to be alert, because Satan is cunning and deceptive, more than we realize. If we do not kill sin, sin will kill us (I talked about this in greater detail a few posts ago). Look at the price Jesus paid to conquer evil once and for all! That leads me to…
2) God wants us to understand that HE is powerful. As powerful and as real and as evil as Satan is, God is infinitely more powerful. God doesn’t want us to know the power of evil to be overcome. Evil is pervasive and terrible, yet Jesus conquered sin and d.e.a.t.h and sickness and Satan at the cross. So YES we must be alert; we ARE in a battle. However, CHRIST will be the victor. We can run to Him for ANYTHING! NOTHING is too big for God to handle. We will not be overcome by evil if we are in Christ.
My short answer to the question “Why does evil exist?” is “So that the power and sovereignty of God would be displayed more clearly.” I pray that God will open our eyes to the war for our souls in which we are involved (1 Peter 5:8). Then, I pray that God will open our eyes to the price that Jesus paid to conquer evil so that “when [we] walk through fire [we] shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume [us]” (Isaiah 43:2).
Maybe then we won’t “fall asleep.” Maybe then we will lean on Christ harder than ever before.