Back in October I posed the question on my Facebook fanpage – Is God to blame for human suffering? I realize that there are many beliefs about who or what God is and even those who do not believe in His existence. It was nice to see that the ones who chose to comment on my post all agreed that God was not to blame. Obviously, I agree with that sentiment.
“It is unthinkable for the true God to act wickedly, for the Almighty to do wrong!”
That being said, who ultimately is to blame for human suffering? Will human suffering ever end?
The Cause of Human Suffering
Many can and do simply say that we, humans, are the cause of their own suffering. Yes, this is true. Our own misguided, imperfect decisions can lead to a litany of disastrous consequences. Yet, there are individuals who suffer through no fault of their own because of where and to whom they were born. Hundreds of millions of individuals suffer at the hands or at the neglect of others. How did the human race come to such a sad state of affairs?
We have to go all the way to the beginning. We all have a common ancestry. Scientists have even researched genetics and shown we are all about 50th cousins. For me this is more evidence that the creation story and the existence of Adam and Eve is real. If you’ve ever read the Bible or gone to a Christian church you have heard of the serpent who tempted Eve. Whether it was an actual snake made to speak my Satan or an allegory used to show how slick the Devil was – there was a temptation made and a lie leveled against the Creator of the Universe. Instead of seeing the beautiful, protected Garden of Eden and her perfect husband as proof of God’s love and supreme knowledge and wisdom she fell for wanting to be like God. And Adam fell along with her. Instead of using their free will to obey, they used it to rebel. They knew the consequences and went for it anyway.
“Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned—.” Romans 5:12
The problem was they had not yet had children. So, the stain of that sin like a dent in a brand new bread pan was passed down to all their descendants – including us. Whereas Adam and Eve had perfect health, a complete mind able to use all it’s faculties flawlessly, peace with the animals and each other and abundant food we have none of that. They threw it away before they had the right to inherit it to someone worthy. As the generations wore on more vices became apparent – selfishness, hatred, greed, jealousy, covetousness, etc. – with all their consequences. From the beginning man has had the opportunity to reject the rebellion our first parents’ made and yet time and again people have rejected godly wisdom to seek their own advantage to the folly of us all.
If we look around us now we can see those vices mentioned above magnified on a global scale. They are not carried out only by individuals, but sanctioned on a grand scale by commercial and political organizations. Why is this the case?
“The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:19
Will Suffering Ever End?
Let’s make something clear – yes, Satan the Devil is a powerful influence on this earth, but we cannot be absolved of responsibility for our actions. His influence can be resisted.
God gives us the tools now to cope with the various difficult, heart wrenching and life threatening situations we face on Earth today by means of his word the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16, 17 | 16 All Scripture is inspired of Godo and beneficial for teaching,p for reproving, for setting things straight,* for disciplining in righteousness,q 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
We are not left without hope that God’s original purpose will be fulfilled. The entire Bible is replete with prophecies that have been accomplished and ones that have yet to be finished. The accounts covering 4,000+ years of human history reassure us that though we are imperfect and currently separated from God because of our first parents that he wants us to be close to Him and wants us to make the choice to be a part of accomplishing His original purpose. He gave us free will so we could choose to love him because of what he’s done for us. He didn’t want mindless robots, he wanted a family who understood the fatherly affection he has for his creation and wanted to express that love to all members of that family.
Psalm 37 Do not be upset* because of evil men
Or envious of wrongdoers.a
2 They will quickly wither like grassb
And shrivel like green new grass.
3 Trust in Jehovah and do what is good;c
Reside in the earth,* and act with faithfulness.d
4 Find exquisite delight* in Jehovah,
And he will grant you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to* Jehovah;e
Rely on him, and he will act in your behalf.f
6 He will make your righteousness shine like daybreak,
And your justice like the midday sun.
7 Keep silent before Jehovahg
And wait expectantly* for him.
Do not be upset by the man
Who succeeds in carrying out his schemes.h
8 Let go of anger and abandon rage;i
Do not become upset and turn to doing evil.*
9 For evil men will be done away with,j
But those hoping in Jehovah will possess the earth.k
10 Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more;l
You will look at where they were,
And they will not be there.m
11 But the meek will possess the earth,n
And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.o
12 The wicked man plots against the righteous;p
He grinds his teeth at him.
13 But Jehovah will laugh at him,
For He knows that his day will come.q
14 The wicked draw their swords and bend* their bows
To bring down the oppressed and the poor,
To slaughter those whose way is upright.
15 But their sword will pierce their own heart;r
Their bows will be broken.
16 Better is the little of the righteous one
Than the abundance of many wicked ones.s
17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But Jehovah will support the righteous.
18 Jehovah is aware of what the blameless go through,*
And their inheritance will last forever.t
19 They will not be put to shame in the time of disaster;
In the time of famine they will have plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish;u
The enemies of Jehovah will vanish like glorious pastures;
They will vanish like smoke.
21 The wicked one borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous one is generous* and giving.v
22 Those blessed by Him will possess the earth,
But those cursed by Him will be done away with.w
23 Jehovah guides* the steps of a manx
When He finds pleasure in his way.y
24 Although he may fall, he will not be hurled down,z
For Jehovah supports him by the hand.a נ [Nun] 25 I was once young and now I am old, But I have not seen anyone righteous abandoned,b Nor his children looking for bread.c
26 He always lends freely,d
And his children are in line for a blessing.
27 Turn away from bad and do what is good,e
And you will remain forever.
28 For Jehovah loves justice,
And he will not abandon his loyal ones.f
They will always be guarded;g
But the descendants of the wicked will be done away with.h
29 The righteous will possess the earth,i
And they will live forever on it.j
30 The mouth of the righteous one imparts wisdom,*
And his tongue speaks about justice.k
31 The law of his God is in his heart;l
His steps will not falter.m
32 The wicked watches the righteous,
Seeking to put him to death.
33 But Jehovah will not abandon him to the hand of that onen
Or find him guilty when he is judged.o
34 Hope in Jehovah and follow his way,
And he will exalt you to take possession of the earth.
When the wicked are done away with,p you will see it.q
35 I have seen the ruthless, evil man
Spreading out like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.r
36 But he suddenly passed away and was gone;s
I kept searching for him, and he could not be found.t
37 Take note of the blameless one,*
And keep the upright oneu in sight,
For the future of that man will be peaceful.v
38 But all the transgressors will be destroyed;
The future of wicked people will be cut off.w
39 The salvation of the righteous is from Jehovah;x
He is their fortress in the time of distress.y
40 Jehovah will help them and rescue them.z
He will rescue them from the wicked and save them,
Because they take refuge in him.aNew World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Study Edition, Psalm 37, 2013, https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/study-bible/books/psalms/37/