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Volume 11 - Page 19 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
argument in Rom. 3: links the believer with God in His attitude towards evil. It was
slander upon the apostles to report that they affirmed "let us do evil that good may
come". It is also nothing more nor less than a slander upon the name of God to teach that
He adopts the same method. God is not the author of evil. But some may interpose,
"The Scripture in at least one place definitely ascribes the creation of evil to God". That
passage is Isa. 45: 7:--
"I make peace, and create evil:
I the Lord do all these things."
It is a matter of common knowledge that the Hebrew word ra, which is here translated
"evil", may mean either moral evil, or evil in the sense of a judgment, or a calamity. That
being the case, the context alone must decide. By observing the simple parallelism of the
verse the meaning is clear:--
| I form light,
B | And created darkness.
A | I make peace,
B | And create evil.
Just as darkness is the antithesis of light, so evil will be the antithesis of peace. If the
intention had been to teach that God was the creator of moral evil, the antitheses would
have been, "I make righteousness", or "I make good". The antithesis however is peace,
which is the fruit of righteousness, and therefore evil here must be the inflicted
punishment which is the wages or the fruit of sin.
The Lord claims to be the doer of all these things; there is nothing here that is not in
line with the teaching of the Word as a whole, but to teach that God is the author or
creator of moral evil we cannot help feeling is a "slander". If evil has been started on its
course by God, if it is the work of His hands and according to His will, we might well
exclaim with the apostle, "How then shall God judge the world?"
God is just, while the justifier of the believer, and God is just while the judge of the
unbeliever. He has taken pains to draw our attention to the way both law and gospel
"declare His righteousness"; may we eschew any vain and deceitful philosophy which
either in actuality or in tendency leads us in any other direction.
"He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and
without iniquity, just and right is He" (Deut. 32: 4).