|Where evil came from (part 2 of 3)|
| The idea of evil originated in the mind of God. He mentioned it before Adam and Eve knew what it was. When they fell, God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.”
He knew of it, but he did not create it. God could not be the direct cause of evil, because he is good, and evil is evil. If God liked evil, it wouldn’t be evil. If we had a standard to judge God and call him evil, he would not be God. The standard would be god. In order for evil to be evil, it must contradict the will of God.
From this we must conclude that God has two wills, a permissive one and a sovereign one. His permissive will allows for things that stand against him, and his sovereign will takes them down.
Jonathan Edwards called them the “will of command” and the “will of decree.” His will of command permits opposition, but his will of decree ensures that his will prevails.
Within the one God, there are two kinds of willing. His permissive will struggles with mankind and desires all men to turn from their evil ways even though he knows they will not. His sovereign will stands above it all and decrees that all will serve his purposes whether they want to or not.
The two act as one. Everything that the permissive will allows accomplishes the intentions of the sovereign will.
With his permissive will, God placed the tree for evil to enter, and with his sovereign will he arranged for its destruction. This brings us again to the question. Why did God allow evil?
Jehovah only allows what will serve his purposes. Therefore evil serves his purposes.
God did not want evil for evil’s sake. He wanted it for his own sake. Evil serves his will precisely because it stands against his will. Good looks good by itself, but evil, by challenging good, serves to magnify it. Evil at its worst shows us how good good is.
In creating persons, God had an alternative. The alternative would seek to be gods, but in doing so would prove that there is only one.