“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (James 1:13).
It’s strange, but people who don’t even believe in Yahweh blame all disasters and destruction on him. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that Yahweh is able to do anything — the only thing he cannot do is lie.
Take for instance these two verses:
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
“An evil spirit from the Lord came upon Saul” (1 Samuel 18:10).
When people read scriptures such as these, they scream, “contradiction!” There are no contradictions in the Bible. The contradiction is in man, because the heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked — “who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). When Yahweh allows evil to happen, it’s only because man has chosen the evil way.
Unfortunately, many times innocent people suffer because men choose evil. Yahweh executes righteousness and judgment, which is then perceived as evil. He is capable of doing anything, and 2 Peter 3:9 tells us he is not willing that any one would perish, but that all would come to repentance.
Yahweh wants men to live, and live is evil spelled backward.
Bob McClain, Living By Faith Ministry, Oxford
He cannot do evil, but evil does exist
In formulating my response to whether God is able to do evil, my initial reaction was to simply say “no” and be done. God is infinite good, and so he cannot do evil, but evil does exist in the world. And so we are faced with the question of why there is evil in the world.
Sometimes bad things just happen. This is true in the case of natural disasters — the world works the way it does, and it is sometimes imperfect. I am happy that natural disasters are now rarely referred to as “acts of God,” because although God can do whatever he wishes, I don’t believe he is manipulating the weather from Heaven.
Much of the evil we see in the world is manmade. Although we are made in the image of God — which makes us good — we are still capable of doing evil. God gave us free will, and he allows us to make choices about our actions. The story of Adam and Eve reminds us that we often choose what we want instead of what God wants. God allows us to do evil, but he doesn’t cause it.
Our misuse of freedom is the cause of much pain and suffering for others. It’s up to each one of us to make choices for good, so that we can help build God’s Kingdom in the world around us.
Bryan Lowe, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Anniston