Randy and Katy Smelser

Americans living in Germany but citizens of heaven

How can a good God allow...?

Many times I have heard people say: How can a good God allow hunger in the world or If God were good, why does he… or I can’t believe in a God who ordered …. to be killed in the Old Testament. So what can we say to these accusations.

1. Who brought all the problems into this world? It was not God. Adam and Eve through sin opened the door to a lot of bad things. The world is built on: if you do A most likely B is going to happen. Consequences. Most people do not want to face this. We want to live like we wish and not have any negative consequences. If I drive into a tree, I get hurt. Why doesn’t God protect me if He was a loving God? Part of His love is freewill and with that comes consequences.
And an even harder reality is that when I sin, someone else feels the negative consequences of it – almost always. If someone commits suicide by throwing himself in front of a train, the family and train engineer, all suffer. If a banker or politician is greedy, others suffer. If we in the Western World are greedy, people in the Third World might suffer hunger as a result. Quite often the accusations towards God are only a way to take the blame off our shoulders and make Him the scapegoat for our sins.
2. God is good but there is one trying to influence the world who is not. I was just reading the Exodus in the Bible. God brought plagues on Egypt so that they would stop slavery and recognize Him as God. They did not want to do either one. The first couple of plagues were copied by Egyptian Magicians. Have you ever thought about it; why did they copy them? Did that really help the situation? God sends frogs and the magicians make more frogs. Like that was a big help – more frogs as if there were not enough. Why didn’t they use their power to do something useful like rid the land of frogs? Here we see that Satan wanting to show off only can make things worse not better. He is it that wants chaos in this world. When a dictator drives a land into hunger, is that God’s fault or Satan’s?
Yes, God could stop it but some people would then say: How can a loving God kill or punish that poor dictator? Habakkuk in the Bible asked God why he didn’t stop evil and God said He would by sending the Babylonians. Habakkuk did not like that alternative. No matter what God does, as long as we are not robots, someone will not like what he does. We always think we know better.
3. God set laws for mankind, not to make us miserable but to give us a good life. Mankind does not like God’s order. We think we know better than the Maker. And so we claim His view of sexuality is old fashion and narrow minded and we want freedom. What do we reap from this? #metoo, STD, and a lot of messed up, lonely people. God hate divorce but we say it should be easy. We end up with a lot of poverty stricken single mothers and kids. And then we ask: How can God…?
4. God is good! As I was reading the Exodus, I noticed God led with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. What if He were not good and wanted to play around with the Israelites (like some ancient Greek god) and some days he turned that around? Instead of a cloud by day, a pillar of fire. The heat would be unbearable in the day with no shade and at night the cold and dark would rule and even the stars and moon would be blocked.
So often atheists ask: if there is God, why the evil? But do they have an answer to evil. If we have no God, we still have evil and still no answers. Evolution teaches us death and survival of the fittest (dog eat dog) is normal and good. But even the atheists do not want to live by that now. So what is their answer to: why is there good on the earth?
We have a good God and Father who wants us to be with him and realize a good life. Satan wants us to have fun for the moment and leave a wake of death, destruction and pain behind us. But this of course is a matter of faith.

As Bob Dylan’s rightly says, “you have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you’ve got to serve somebody.”