Why Does God Permit Evil to Exist?

In a nationally televised debate about the existence of God, CNN host, Larry King publicly denied his belief in the God of his ancestors because of the death of six million fellow Jews during the Holocaust.

King argued that if God is truly good, he would have prevented the Holocaust as well as all other suffering in this life. He concluded that the biblical God of unlimited power either doesn’t exist or isn’t good.

Like King, many wonder how a good God would permit evil to exist. Why does he let innocent people suffer? Why didn’t he prevent the Holocaust? Why does he tolerate wars, rapes and murders? 

So, does God not care about our suffering and pain? Or is there some other reason why he does not intervene and prevent suffering?

Perhaps the answer to that question begins with an understanding of what God is really like. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God revealed, 

“I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things.” (Jeremiah 9:24 NLT)

In this passage God reveals these attributes of his nature,

  • He is a God of unfailing love
  • He is a God of justice
  • He is a God of righteousness

If God has unfailing love, he certainly should care about our suffering. If he is just, he would presumably judge those who commit evil. And if he is a God of righteousness, we must believe good will ultimately prevail over evil.

Yet, we live in a world where we see evil all around us. We experience pain, suffering and death.  We are caught between questioning God and remaining hopeful for a better future.  Even those who trust in God’s unfailing love, justice and righteousness are often driven to ask, “Why?” 

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