Sovereignty and Evil
God uses the difficulties of life, even those that are evil in intent and impact, to bring believers to the goal of completion. As you struggle through the impact of the evil actions of others, you will be led to contemplate the righteousness and truth of God, how obedience to God would have changed the situation.
This combination of words appears to put the Christian on the “horns of a dilemma.” It seems that you must, “pick your poison”.
To hold to belief in the sovereignty of God seems untenable because God somehow cannot eliminate or control the evil in the world, or, if he is sovereign, he must be choosing to not exercise this power and eliminate evil, in which case, we cannot hold that God is good or loving. In fact, at this point, some make the case that God becomes the author of evil! Is this the teaching of scripture? Let’s start with what is clear:
God is Sovereign
Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…[i]
…and He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “what have you done?”[ii]
The New Testament describes Jesus as
…the blessed and only sovereign, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.[iii]
The consistent testimony of scripture presents God as the one who reigns, who is in absolute control, and is not limited by the will or power of any of his creatures.
The existence of evil is equally clear. It doesn’t take the life experience of sixty or seventy years to recognize this, just open your newspaper, turn on the evening news, or go to your favorite new-source on the internet. The results of the fall are everywhere made manifest. From the moment that Adam and Eve sought to “be like God, knowing good and evil”, all humanity has lived in a state of autonomy. Instead of bowing the knee to their creator and living according to his moral law, we have sought to set our own moral standards independently of God.