Why does Isaiah 45:7 say that God created evil?”

 What does the word “Evil” mean? Many people use it to mean anything bad that happens to you. Evil can refer to moral evil, or bad circumstances. It seems from Isaiah that God sometimes causes bad circumstances in our lives.

Isaiah 45:7 in the King James Version reads, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” How does Isaiah 45:7 agree with the common view that God did not create evil? There are two key facts that need to be considered. (1) The word translated “evil” is from a Hebrew word that means “adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, misery.” Notice how the other major English Bible translations render the word: “disaster” , “calamity” , and “woe”. The Hebrew word can refer to moral evil, and often does have this meaning in the Hebrew Scriptures. However, due to the diversity of possible definitions, it is unwise to assume that “I create evil” in Isaiah 45:7 refers to God bringing moral evil into existence.

(2) The context of Isaiah 45:7makes it clear that something other than “bringing moral evil into existence” is in mind. The context of Isaiah 45:7 is God rewarding Israel for obedience and punishing Israel for disobedience. God pours out salvation and blessings on those whom He favors. God brings judgment on those who continue to rebel against Him. “Woe to him who quarrels with his Master” (Isaiah 45:9). That is the person to whom God brings “evil” and “disaster.” So, rather than saying that God created “moral evil,” Isaiah 45:7 is presenting a common theme of Scripture – that God brings disaster on those who continue in hard-hearted rebellion against Him.

Just be aware of those who want to use the word “Evil” to mean anything negative that happens to us, and then include that God cannot cause evil because of His nature.. God may cause that “evil”. So when bad circumstances happen, we really need a heart check. Are we still walking with God, or is He trying to get our attention?

Second-Generation Fallout

by Charles R. Swindoll

2 Kings 18-21

A curious phenomenon has plagued families for as long as there have been families.  It’s that age-old problem of second-generation fallout that breaks the hearts of godly moms and dads.

The scenario goes something like this. A man and woman fall in love and get married.  They also love Christ and desire to serve Him with all their hearts. As their children come along, they teach and train and pray that God will get hold of their little lives and use them for His glory.

But what about the now-grown kids? Ah, there’s the rub. Somewhere along the way God got pushed way down on their list of priorities. Disciplines like prayer, church attendance, tithing, serving, and serious Bible study got lost in the shuffle.

I recently stumbled upon one of those father-son stories that still speaks volumes. The dad was Hezekiah, a king who took the throne when he was twenty-five and reigned until he was fifty-four. All the while, his heart remained warm toward his God, and God prospered him. What a man! When Hezekiah was forty-two, he and his wife, Hephzibah, had a son, Manasseh. But you’d never know he came from Hezekiah stock. According to the inspired historian’s account, he seduced the people of Judah “to do evil more than the nations whom the LORD destroyed” (2 Kings 21:9). What went wrong? Why didn’t Hezekiah’s righteousness and passion pass to his son? I believe there are at least three reasons:

First, Manasseh had a will of his own as we all do and with that will he stubbornly and deliberately refused to respond to the Lord (2 Chron. 33:10). Second, he was weak-willed and overly influenced by ungodly and wicked associations (2 Kings 21:3, 6). And third, he was neglected by his preoccupied, busy father. The king was at the zenith of his reign when Manasseh was born, and there is every indication that the prince saw little of his father during the formative years of his life. Hezekiah simply never took the time.

Sound familiar at all? While you still have your children under your roof, take time to talk together, to play together, to relax together . . . just to be together.

It is amazing how powerful first-generation presence can be when it comes to curing the second-generation plague.

In Jesus Name I Pray

Too often people use phrases in a ritualistic, religious way without understanding why, but the concept of praying “in Jesus’ name” has Biblical origins and is how we should pray because of what it means. All aspects of one’s prayer life and the way we pray should be the product of Biblical insight and faith according to the promises, principles, and purposes of prayer as taught in God’s Word. The origin of this phrase is found in both the teachings of Christ and in epistles.

Read carefully John 14:6 and then note 13; 15:15, and 16:23-24. See also Ephesians 3:12;Hebrews 4:14-16. The point is that men can only have access to God through faith in Christ and His substitutionary death (Christ died in our place and took upon Himself our sin. He bore our penalty). We can come to God only through Christ. He and He alone is the way, the truth, and the life. He gives us access to God.

We become the children of God and brought into a personal relationship with Him through faith in Christ. It is our relationship to Christ and being in Him who is at His right hand of God the Father as our advocate that allows us the privilege of not only coming into God’s presence through prayer, but of being heard.

Anticipating His death, resurrection, and ascension to God’s right hand, Christ told the disciples that they were to pray to the Father in His name. (7 times! John 14:13; 14:14; 15:7; 15:16; 16:23; 16:24; 15:26) Thus, the biblical pattern for prayer is to pray to the Father in the name of the Son, and in the power or control of the Holy Spirit.

Christians always pray in Jesus’ name, because that’s the only way we pray. That is to say, from a biblical perspective, to pray in Jesus’ name is to pray in his authority seeking his agenda and purpose. That doesn’t have anything to do with whether we say the words ‘in Jesus’ name’ at the end of our prayer or not. In fact, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, in what we call the Lord’s prayer, he didn’t teach us to pray saying ‘in Jesus’ name’ or ‘in my name’ at the end of the prayer. That’s a fine tradition for us, because it reminds us that we are in fact praying in Jesus name, but whether or not we say those words has nothing to do with whether we’re actually praying in Jesus’ name or not.

Trouble Ahead

Notice that I didn’t title this “IF troubles come…” If you’re breathing, trouble will NOT be a stranger to you!

The notion that following Jesus equals an easy, comfortable, pain-free journey through life is one of the BIGGESToldest and most dangerous of misperceptions. False expectations, in general, set us up for disappointment; but this one can crush our spirit and even our faith if we’re not careful.

Often when a hard time hits, when a crisis hits, when a tragedy hits, we want out. We ask God for an airlift out of our problems. But many times God wants us to learn in the midst of those difficulties—and to learn especially about His love for us:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:35, 37 NLT)

Notice that phrase “all these things.” This passage isn’t saying we won’t face some of these struggles, but that in them we’re “more than conquerors.”

If you’re seeking to obey the Lord, expect opposition. Expect obstacles. Expect difficulties. But also expect God to see you through.
~ Excerpted from Beyond by Greg Laurie

Joseph is a prime example! (Genesis 37, 39-50) Betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers! Falsely accused by his employer’s wife and tossed into prison. Forgotten about by a friend after helping him understand a dream.

From our Lower, earthly perspective we could easily conclude that God had forsaken Joseph. But twice – when he arrives in Egypt as a slave and when he is thrown in prison, it clearly states that “the LORD was with Joseph.”(Genesis 39:2, 21)

God sustains Joseph and we eventually learn that all of this was used by God to further His  kingdom agenda.

How can we prepare our hearts to trust God when troubles come?

Just Getting Started

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
— Ecclesiastes 3:11

When I look back on my life at the things God has allowed me to do and the opportunities He has opened up, I can see the wisdom of His perfect timing.

Our tendency is to rush things. But just because something hasn’t happened in your life today doesn’t mean it won’t happen tomorrow. Just because it doesn’t happen tomorrow doesn’t mean it won’t happen a month from now or a year from now. Maybe one phase of your life is ending and another is beginning. Maybe everything that has happened to you up to this point in your life has been preparation for what is still ahead.

Moses didn’t get going until he was 80. Then there was Caleb, another Israelite who left Egypt in the Exodus. Along with Joshua, Caleb came back full of optimism and belief when they were sent to spy out the Promised Land. But when the Israelites believed the pessimistic report of the ten other spies, God was so displeased that He refused to allow them to enter the land.

Years later, when Joshua led a new generation of Israelites into the Promised Land, Caleb was among them. And at 80 years old, he said to Joshua, “So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there. . . But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said” (Joshua 14:12).

Joshua gave him his little segment of land as was promised, and Caleb drove out all of its inhabitants. Caleb believed God’s promises, and God was faithful. We need to do the same.

False Promises

 

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.
— Jude 1:16–18

A common characteristic of false teachers is the offer of false promises. You see them promising, for example, that God will prosper those who give $10 with a hundredfold blessing—multiplying that amount and returning it to them. This is a false message, however. We should never give to get.

If I were to give an amount of money to God’s work, thinking it would multiply a certain number of times and would ultimately return to me, that would be a wrong motive. God will not honor it. It is also a false promise.

All believers should give, on a regular basis, of the resources and income that God has given to them. On the other hand, we don’t give to get something. The Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver (see 2 Corinthians 9:7). We give because we have received. We give because we recognize that all that we have comes from God. We give because we want to share in the eternal reward of what God is doing by investing in the work of His kingdom. We give because God has commanded us to do so.

Jude wrote his epistle to refute those who were teaching that the grace of God gives people a license to sin. And Paul wrote in Romans 3:8, “And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come’?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.”

In other words, there are those who say, “Go ahead and do wicked things, and God will bless you, because you are covered by grace.” Paul was saying that this is a perversion of the teaching of the grace of God.