Attempted Solution #1: Satan

THE DEVIL CAUSES SUFFERING?

part of an ongoing discussion of “Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People”

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A number of readers have been quick to remind us that it is SATAN who brought suffering into the world

Yes, that’s a popular notion, isn’t it? Lucifer . . . the Devil . . . the Fallen Angel.

At the very least, God can’t be to blame, right, if Satan tempts us to do wrong?

Well, let’s think about that . . . By chance did you bring a bible with you?

Yes . . .

Why don’t you look up Amos 3:6 for us, please?

That would be chapter three, verse six . . . Okay . . . [thumbs through the Old Testament] . . . It says, “Is a trumpet blown in a city and the people are not afraid? Does evil befall a city, and the Lord has not done it?”

Another prophet, Jeremiah – what does he tell us in Lamentations 3:38?

“Is it not from the mouth of the most High that good and evil come?”

And Job – in all his misery and suffering he never once doubts where his misfortune comes from. Read chapter 2, verse 10…

“Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”

Seems like a pretty clear pattern developing, huh? But perhaps the most unequivocal statement is to be found in Isaiah 45:7.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other; beside me there is no God . . . I form light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil; I am the Lord who do all these things.”

So . . . WHO, apparently, is responsible for evil?

Well . . . I guess you’re right – it would be difficult to argue that God doesn’t have anything to do with bad things happening in the world.

Because, as we’ve just seen, numerous passages in the bible directly CONTRADICT that notion. But suppose for a moment, just for the sake of argument, that Satan IS in fact responsible for evil. What can we conclude, then, about the relationship between God and Satan?

That God ALLOWS Satan to have his way?

Assuming, of course, that God COULD control the wickedness of Satan, if he wanted to.

You’re suggesting, then, that once again we’re right back where we started, with the thorny problem that either God is not POWERFUL enough to reign in the Devil, or he doesn’t LOVE us enough to bother to do so?

Precisely . . . To claim that Satan causes evil and suffering merely pushes the problem one step backwards. We still have to explain WHY an all-loving and all-powerful God would let Satan do such things.

We’ll look at some more attempted solutions in the near future…

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