Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. -Genesis 3:7 (NIV)
In May 2018, a 17-year-old high school student in Santa Fe, Texas, shot and killed two teachers and eight students in his school. Some raise a heavy question: How can there be a God who would allow such things to happen? The answer requires going all the way back to the beginning.
In the beginning, God spoke the universe into existence. He also made a perfect world, and a man and woman to tame and tend it. There was no death, no disease, nor sin. Heaven was on earth, where God even walked among us.
God also gave man free will to choose to love and respect Him and His very simple rule about right and wrong, or to choose his own way apart from God and define his own standards–and the consequences. From the very first two people created, they chose sin, instantly separating themselves from God, and Heaven and earth no longer overlapped.
This pattern of man choosing his own way multiplied and festered all over the planet, even to the point of God flooding the earth to start anew…but then the pattern just started again. Man just seems hellbent (indeed) on choosing the very things God never wanted him to choose.
Fast forward to May 2018. The high school killing in Santa Fe continues the pattern of sin first exhibited by Cain, the world’s very firstborn son, and repeated many millions of times since then.
Back to the question
This agent believes the question of why God would allow for evil to occur has two underlying points:
- Nonbelievers would argue that the presence of evil means there is no God, because of…
- The assumption that God could only exist if there were only no death, disease, or sin. (Even believers can wrestle with this.)
The answer and solution
God does indeed exist, and offered the perfect, spotless world to mankind from the very beginning. Man chose (and continues to choose) sin and separation from the Lord, and so we continue to reap the suffering and pain sown by sin.
Seeing that man was incapable of realigning his path with God, Jesus (God’s only son) came down to dwell among us, introducing the overlap of Heaven and earth in Himself, and increasing that overlap with every heart that turned to Him. Through that overlap, Jesus is Jacob’s ladder to Heaven for those who believe in and follow Him. And one day, when He returns to judge the living and the dead, Heaven and earth will be reunited again.
The solution is the same as it has been since the beginning: to follow God and His intentions for how we should live our lives as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to Him. As we believers are His pockets of overlapping light in this very dark world, perhaps others will be drawn to the light–and add to the light in this world as well.
The excellent Bible Project video on Heaven and Earth explains the overlap of the two, how man split them apart, and how Jesus brings them back together.