Why Doesn’t God Stop the Horrible Things That Happen?

“In some ways as I read the Bible for the first time, it seems that God is not a very good Father. Is that disrespectful?”

“No, it’s a sincere question.  Thanks for your honesty.”

“Like, why doesn’t God stop the horrible things that happen in the world?  There’s the killing in war, and the suffering and death of children, and horrible atrocities that go on and on.  Why doesn’t He step in and stop it?”

“You are right to feel sad about this and I think everyone should yearn and long for an end to suffering. But speaking from what I know the Bible says, God cares too.  And, He will someday end the suffering and pain.  In the very end of the Bible, it says ‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared…God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.’”

“But why did He allow it in the first place?”

“You’ve read the part in the first part of the Bible where Adam and Eve disobey God?”

“Yes, but it seems like He set them up to disobey?  They were doing fine until they were persuaded by that snake to disobey!”

“So, why the snake, right?”


“These are very difficult and very good questions.  Sometimes we just don’t know all the answers.  But I can give you my two cents…would that be okay?”

“Yes.  Yes.”

“First, it seems that when God created human beings, He made them special.  He gave to the animals instinct to do things a certain way.  Ants are programmed to build anthills.  You don’t see ant rebellions or walkouts by disgruntled worker ants.  Swallows and whales and butterflies migrate…there’s no willing or not willing.  They don’t have choice.  But He made people with the freedom to say ‘No.’  And that’s because He made humans in His image, able to love Him and others.  Love needs freedom in order to be love.  What were the alternatives? To not create us at all, or to create us either with free will or without free will.”

“Well without free will, He could have programmed us to always do good and not hurt others.  That would be good.”

“So all outcomes would be good…by programming…?”

“Yes…I guess…”

“But then ‘my love’ for my wife wouldn’t really be my love.  It would be the emotions and actions of love, but they were installed by another.  Same thing regarding my love for God. How am I loving God if it’s put there by God?  It would be like recording my voice on my phone saying, ‘I love you Don’ and then playing it for myself.  Does the phone love me?” 

“OK.  I see what you’re saying.”

“And as far as the tempting of the snake, you know the snake was Satan?”


“Satan himself was created good and was called ‘light’…you see that in the meaning of the word ‘Lucifer.’  But he too apparently was not programmed or coerced to obey God.  And who was he tempted by?  I think even if Adam and Eve had not been tempted by Satan, they would have exercised their will and eventually disobeyed, as Satan did.  But…let me say this, I really don’t know why Lucifer sinned….maybe that’s unanswerable for us.  There are some things—in fact, many things—that are in the realm of mystery.  But we are told in the Bible that evil and suffering are the consequences of human rebellion.”

“Hmmm.  But why doesn’t He stop all the pain and suffering now?”

“…or centuries ago?”


“I don’t know, but if He stopped it all a thousand years ago, you or I would not have been born and offered the joy of life and eternal love.  God will vanquish the effects of the sin of Adam and Eve someday, but in the meantime, He is drawing people to Him in the middle of suffering and evil.  People tend to—and I tend to—be drawn to seek God because of suffering and evil.”

“I have seen that in my life, and even in my work.”

“It’s alright to not know why God runs the world the way He does.  But it makes sense that we don’t know the mind of God.  After all, He wouldn’t be God, but be on our level, if we understood or agreed with all His ways.”

“That helps me. Thank you.”

References: Revelation 21:1-4

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