What Is the Cause or Source of Evil Activity?

January 28, 2022
Guidance, Perceptions

Why is there evil in the world? Some would say: if the Eternal One created all things, He must have created evil or at the very least is responsible for it. However, scripture reveals there is no shade of darkness in God and no evil activity or temptation comes from Him. (a)  [see end notes for Scriptures] So, what is the cause or source of evil activity? If not from God, then where does evil actually come from?

Creating the Universe

The Scriptural account of God creating the natural universe is recorded in the first chapter of the Bible. It starts with the pronouncement: “God created the natural universe with its heavens and earth.” (b) Then we are given a short overview of the processes God used to create the earth’s unique environment. In six creative cycles, God made day and night for planetary growth, fish for the water, birds for the air, animals for the land, and mankind as His offspring.   

The Hebrew word translated ‘day’ in our Bible actually means ‘cycles of time’. These cycles can be more than twentyfour hour days. This becomes obvious in Genesis 2:4 when we are told: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven.” In this verse and throughout the first chapter, the word ‘day’ speaks of cycles that God used to form this natural earth so it could support the development of natural life.

After creating the planet with its various life forms and mankind, the account concludes: “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. (c) The first chapter overview of God’s creative activity is still in process since many of its hosts are still being birthed into existence. God is still “at work” (d) forming and making His growing family of offspring into His image and likeness as reflective resemblances of His heart. (e) 

Following the first verse declaration and the first chapter overview, Genesis refocuses on the sixth cycle to provide intimate detail regarding mankind. The rest of Scripture is a historical record of God birthing His offspring into existence and forming them as children. 

Did you notice that all God made was “very good”? Scripture forcefully states: “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness.” (f) Since God did not create evil, where does it come from? 

God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness.”

Understanding Our Choices

Our life in this natural world involves many variables that allow us to choose our actions. We can come out of the cold into warmth, out of darkness into light, or we can remain inactive. Our choices in this life are boundless. We are even able to decide when to choose something and to what degree we pursue it. 

Our choices also apply to our state-of-mind, what we believe, and the attitudes we project. We choose the values and motivations that cause us to do right and wrong, to love and hate, to be positive and negative, and to act as instruments of good and evil.     

When Scripture says, “Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father” (g) we are encouraged to keep God and His ways as our central focus and aspire to reflect and resemble His heart. The Greek word translated as ‘perfect’ actually means “mature.” Only God is perfect and can represent perfection. As children, we begin life as immature beings with the potential to grow into levels of maturity. 

During life in this earth, we will continually deal with light and dark, right and wrong, as well as good and evil. As we are responsive to God’s enlightening presence, we transform more quickly into what God created us to be: children who reflect and resemble His Heart’s love and light.   

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me (by proving experience) and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me  in the everlasting way (as a fatherly shepherd). (h) 

When we receive God’s Light through the filter of our comprehensions, we interpret it through our personal perception of truth. What we perceive as truth is really more of a gray area than black or white. Our insights are really a mix of right and wrong, good and bad. In this life, some light and darkness resides in all of us. Our reflection of God’s Light is never as pure as we may assume.

Only God is perfect and can represent perfection.

Darkness & Light

While the light is a feature that comes from a source, darkness has no source. Darkness is a place and condition in this natural life as well as in our perceptions where light is missing. When light enters, darkness fades away because it has no power. The only power in darkness is its ability to remain without light. When God’s influencing ways are not present, destructive evil is allowed to exist.

The ‘godly good’ in this world is manifested more as a balance between extremes. Extreme darkness restricts healthy growth and extreme light produces heat and unproductive desertlike conditions. We want to live and function in the moderate balance between the extremes. Balance is a condition where the “Prince of Peace” presides to lead and guide us into more maturity.

So, what is the cause of evil? The source of evil and its activity is a result of man‘s darkened ideas. When God’s good shows up, evil is dispelled. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (i) Surely you have noticed how a small imperfect light, when joined with others, helps produce a greater light.

God really wants to be our primary source of light. His insightful presence can expel the light-less perceptions in each of us and discharge the darkness that produces so much destructive evil. (j) Our experience in God’s fellowship enlightens us with improving degrees of light and love. 

Be encouraged today and “Let your light shine,” (k) so we all can become brighter shining lights!   

The source of evil and its activity is a result of man’s darkened ideas.   

a) James 1:13, 17; b) Genesis 1:1; c) Genesis 1:31; 2:1; d) Philippians 2:13; e) Genesis 1:26; Galatians 4:19; f) 1 John 1:5; g) Matthew 5:48; h) Psalm 139:23-24; i) Romans 12:21; j) Matthew 5:16; Isaiah 60:1; k) Matthew 5:16

Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder
Created To Relate author

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