by Holly Green
My mom has talked to a lot of people who proudly state that they want nothing to do with God and she found out that they were mad at God for something bad that happened in their lives-the death of a loved one, an illness, a divorce, being cheated on, etc. Is it necessarily God’s fault? Let’s look at God’s history. Where will that be? In the Bible.
God tells us how everything began in Genesis and in the first two chapters, He tells us how he made the world and everything in it-including man. Did He make man miserable and put him in a terrible place to make him suffer? No. He put man in a garden with every kind of food he needed. (Gen.1:29) God took special care in making man in His own image, (vs 26). He did not go to such lengths in making anything else; therefore, we should know that we are special. In fact, after everything God made, he looked at it and saw that it was good; but when He made man, verse 31 says that he looked and saw that it was “very good”. We are more important than any creation God has made. (I am not saying animals are not important, I would never say that since my youngest daughter loves them so.)
How did God treat man after putting him in this paradise? Did He say, “I’m God. I’m up here and you’re down there and you can’t talk to me. You don’t deserve my attention,”? Absolutely not. It was quite the opposite. When Adam was alone, He made him a helper, a mate. He also brought all of the animals to Adam for him to name, which I think would be a really cool job. (Have you ever thought about that? What kind of names would you give the animals?) God did not say, “That’s a dumb name. I think it should be this,” to any of the names Adam gave the animals. Gen.2:19 states that, “…whatever name he gave them, that was its name.”
God also walked with man in the garden. We have no idea what that is like but when man was first placed in the garden, God spent time with him in the garden. So, what caused the suffering of man? Did God decide He did not like us anymore? What came between this relationship God had with man? The devil. No suffering occurred on the earth until after the devil tempted man and he sinned. In Genesis 3, the devil is described as a serpent. He approached Eve and twisted God’s words and made the tree of the knowledge of good and evil look enticing. God had told them not to eat of the tree because they “would surely die” (2:17). The serpent told Eve that they would not die, which was a lie. After she shared it with Adam, they died a spiritual death, which separated them from God, because sin separates man from God and God cannot be around sin. They also, when driven from the garden, were denied access to the tree of life that gave them eternal life. (Have you ever thought about that? If Adam and Eve had not sinned, they would still be alive and in the garden and so would we. Amazing, huh?)
So, as a result, Adam and Eve had to leave their paradise and the presence of God. In addition, they had to experience growing old and dying. Think about that for a second. When God first made us, He intended for us to not grow old and die, grieve for a loved one, deal with worry over someone we love who is an alcoholic, worry over someone fighting in a war, go through a divorce, build prisons to hold criminals, and so on. So, why do we have to deal with all of this? Not because God brought it into the world but Satan. The world has become so far removed from God and Satan wants it that way. He wants us to be entrenched in all of this evil and suffering.
What hope is there? The hope of heaven. Like the garden of eden, God will invite us to a paradise with no evil and no suffering. And no devil. There will be no sin in heaven-and sin causes suffering. No terrorist attacks, no mean people to deal with at work, no grief, no sickness. We will even be given a new body, (if you can call it that), which will never wear out, never break down, never hurt and never die.
So, the next time we are dealing with something in our lives and we want to blame God, maybe we should go back to the source that brought suffering into the world in the first place.