Your E-mails- August 2021

The world is full of opposites—hot and cold, light and dark, pressure and vacuum, love and hate. If God is the source of all love and kindness, then surely there must be an entity who is the source of hate and bitterness.

MANY OF THE WORLD’s religions are based on the assumption that existence is a struggle between good and evil. Applying this assumption to the Bible, some suggest that in the world and in the lives of individuals there is a struggle for dominance between God and Satan. But is this what the Bible says?

Isaiah 45 is a remarkable chapter in which the Hebrew prophet looks forward two centuries and addresses by name Cyrus the Great, the future King of Persia:

“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations before him and loose the armour of kings” (v. 1).

He foretells Cyrus’ military success and his kindness to the Jewish people (vs. 2–4). Then he says, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things” (vs. 5–7).

It’s interesting to note that the dominant religion in the Persian empire was Zoroastrianism, which viewed existence as a struggle between Ahura Mazda the god of light and Angra Mainyu the god of darkness. Isaiah says that is not true—God is alone and has no rival.

In the beginning God created the world very good (Genesis 1). Evil came into the world with the serpent’s lie and the fall of the human race (chapter 3). The purpose of God involves undoing that disaster and restoring the world to its original perfection (1 Corinthians 15:28). Evil is not a necessary balance to good, it’s merely a temporary state of affairs.