Q: Who Created Evil?
Horrible things happen in life, and some people blame God. God said through the prophet Isaiah, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isa. 45:7, KJV). Does this mean the Lord [Jehovah] is responsible for “creating evil”? No.
The Hebrew word for “evil” (ra) is used in two ways throughout Scripture. One refers to moral evil; the other, to natural events. Moral evil involves willful acts of sin, such as murder, robbery, adultery, and so forth. The word evil is also used to refer to such natural events as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, plagues, floods, and famines that disastrously affect mankind.
In Isaiah 45:7, most translations interpret evil to mean disasters because God does not create moral evil. Scripture is exceedingly clear on this matter:
1. God is “righteous and upright” (Dt. 32:4).
2. God is of “purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Hab. 1:13).
3. God is always truthful because it “is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18).
4. “God cannot be tempted by evil” (Jas. 1:13).
5. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn. 1:5).
Being morally perfect, God cannot create moral evil. In fact, Scripture says everything God created in its original state was “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
However, God’s absolute justice demands that He punish sin, which produces pain and sorrow for humankind. God allows natural events to afflict the earth to chasten and judge individuals and nations (cf. Jer. 18:11; Amos 3:6). People who experience God’s judgment often see it as evil.
So how did evil come to exist? Through Lucifer. God created Lucifer, an angel whose name means “shining one.” Lucifer originally was a perfect being endowed with great intellect, wisdom, beauty, and free will. However, he wanted to usurp God and exalt himself through self-deification (cf. Isa. 14:12–14). His prideful rebellion against God brought evil into God’s perfect universe.
God instantly cast Lucifer down and removed him from his lofty position (cf. Lk. 10:18; Rev. 12:8–10). From then on, Lucifer became Satan (meaning, “adversary”), having brought moral evil into a perfect universe.
After the creation of Adam and Eve, Satan deceived Eve into disobeying God’s command not to eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:17). Adam also disobeyed (3:1–6). In so doing, they became morally evil, bringing evil on all of unborn humanity.
Thus, God is not directly or indirectly responsible for bringing evil into His perfect creation.