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Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Importance of Evil

'Is that really necessary?!'

I mean, do we really have to appreciate all the bad things that happen to good people? How CAN we, for God's sake, even accept evil as something good, even in the long run, the big picture?! If we had a good, loving Father, much less one who wasn't a 'dead-beat dad'; don't you think that evil would at least be a lot less rampant, more under control?! Would a good God allow millions of babies to be hacked to pieces or allow the number one destroyer of marriages, porn, to run rampant through His Creation?!

Why, God, why?!

Well; we might go back to very near the beginning of the Scriptural record & read the account of the Fall of Adam & Eve! actually, a bit further even, with God laying the foundations of His Garden, wherein it is written ( Genesis 2:9 ) was 'the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'! That the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the tree that Adam & Eve were forbidden, was one of the previously-mentioned trees planted by the Lord is pretty clear; what may not be so clear is why He planted such a tree in the first place! He knew how immature ( naked ) His children were, He knew, as any earthly father does, that to tell a child 'don't touch' is to waken the curiosity that killed the cat!

As we have explored previously, evil isn't always a bad thing! Relatively speaking, of course, we see it as a bad thing because we don't like when it happens to us, although you must admit, you secretly enjoy watching it happen to someone you particularly dislike! For the one who trusts in the Providence of our Heavenly Father, though, evil always turns out to be a good thing; not that the evil itself is good ( 'woe to those who call evil good and good evil' ), but that the evil committed always turns out to have been for the good!

The importance of evil, then, is that it is always for our good; it shows us either that we have strayed from the path or it sets us on an entirely new path! Take a life-changing evil such as the bane of our existence, at least that of our mortality, cancer; cancer, which is one of the greatest evils of our time, is growing greater by the day, it seem! Growing right alongside it, thanks to an ever increasing awareness, is the knowledge of what cause cancer. There are certain foods that we have been ingesting for years that are toxic to our biology! These toxins have slowly, over the years, been poisoning us to the point that they have become almost a natural thing; 'some people, we might as well face it, are born with bad genes!'

Another reason for the necessity of evil is that without it, many people would not see the great need for redemption that is existent in the world! Speaking again of cancer, in all its many hideous forms, whether it strikes the loved or the unloved ( it truly is 'no discerner of persons' ) tends to draw those helpers out of the woodwork who would not normally have seen that certain need, or been inclined to love that certain person! The evil that men do, on the other hand, while reprehensible ( 'they stand before the judgment seat of Christ' ), has somewhat the same effect; the one one the receiving end of the evil by no means deserved it & the perpetrator will certainly pay, but the evil most often has a two-edged effect; the one who perpetrated the evil is often effected for good, just as the obedient Child!

The fruit which the tree of the knowledge of good and evil offered was not, in & of itself, a bad thing; the ability to discern between what is good & what is evil is a good thing! Adam & Eve, however, being mere infants, so to speak, were not ready for such knowledge; they had not yet reached the Age of Discernment or gained the necessary maturity to make such a judgment! In the Fulness of Time, however, our Heavenly Father Himself appeared to once for all bring maturity to His Covenant Creation & make them Judges of the Earth!

Why then does evil exist & what importance does it have; what Purpose does it serve?! Evil serves the same Purpose that we do! Just as we, as earthly fathers, will often purposely leave stumbling-blocks in the path of our children to teach them how to deal with them, so our Heavenly Father allows evil to exist in order that His children may learn how to deal with it & through that interaction, become the stronger for it!

Charles Hadden Shank

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