We look at current events today, the earthquakes and attendant tsunamis, the wars and uprisings, nations struggling against each other, and increasing lawlessness—legal and otherwise, and we are beset with a number of responses.
One response when is that we listen or read the news, but we don’t really hear or see what is going on. We simply ignore it. Another response might be the “there is no God (or Supreme Being),” or “where is God.” Another response for the Christian is “God is in control.”
I would posit that hiding your head in the sand in this milieu is indeed a very risky thing to do—‘nuff said.
The fact that there is evil in the world does not prove the absence of God, indeed it proves the opposite. It must be understood what evil is and is not. Evil is not a thing, or a substance or a force. Evil is the lack of good in the same way that darkness is the absence of light. So the fact that evil exists actually proves the existence of an Ultimate Good or God. There are also a number of metaphysical arguments about the existence of God that can be made leading to the same conclusion; namely the cosmological argument (causality), the teleological argument (design), and the moral argument (moral law).
The statement “God is in control,” while simple enough, is a thorny argument in its own right. What does it really mean? Is God up in some celestial control tower spinning knobs and pushing buttons? It really is problematic because we now brush up against the hotly deliberated questions of foreknowledge, predestination, etc. and I certainly will not satisfy that debate in this forum, nor is it my intention.
Consider these verses:
- Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
- All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”
- Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
- . . . so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, . . .
- For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter my rest,” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
- . . . and all who dwell on earth will worship it [the Beast], everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
My point here is that is helps me to remember that, as you can see, we are told in numerous ways and places in the Bible that all things were set from before the foundations of the earth. That works for me, maybe it won’t work for you in becoming more comfortable with the above questions. Nevertheless, the fact that you and I put our trust in Christ was ordained before the foundation, as was Christ’s Finished Work. Just so, the horrendous earthquake that hit Japan was also set before time began.
Is God cruel? No! God is God. That answer does not beg the question because of who the subject is, God. This is His creation to do with as He pleases in the same way if you build a house, is it not yours to then tear down? It may seem cruel to us, but remember it is man that brought on the curse of death, not God. We only have finite minds, God has all the information, we do not. God is infinite, we are not. God is perfect, we are not.
I am convinced the way that God did choose to do things is ultimately the perfect way to annihilate evil forever.
 Anything that is “caused” must have a causer.
 If something is “designed” it must have a designer.
 If there is a moral law then there necessarily must be a moral lawgiver.
 Referring to Adam’s original sin in the Garden.