Thinking of Evil

Over last few years, I have sent out many, many messages. And through them,  we have discovered all kinds of things in the Scriptures, simply because we take Paul’s instructions to Timothy seriously:

Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15)

We have even seen how Ezekiel devoured the Word of God! Which is cool. I have, at times, shown you some (I hope) fascinating things that you can discover if you move beyond merely reading your Bible and actually studying and meditating and absorbing the Scriptures. Since they are indeed alive and active, we need to discover the life the Scriptures are offering. Don’t you agree?

I am being serious. Have you ever sat around wondering about things? You know, those really big, and ugly, questions, like, “Why are my eyes the color they are?” Or when you are gazing up at a night sky, “Wow! Where did all of those stars come from?” The Psalmist did that! Read about it:

O Yahweh, our Adonay, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

Your glory is sung above the heavens.[b]
From the mouths of little children and infants,
    you have built a fortress against your opponents
        to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens,
    the creation of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have set in place—
         what is a mortal that you remember him
            or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
         You have made him a little lower than yourself.
        You have crowned him with glory and honor.
         You have made him rule what your hands created.
        You have put everything under his control:
             all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals,
             the birds, the fish,
            whatever swims in the currents of the seas (Psalm 8:1-8)

Well, did you know can find the answers to those things in the Scriptures? Oh, not why your eyes are the color they are, but many other wondrous and mysterious things. Let me show you.

I have said this many times, but our Universe operates with some very strict laws that govern it — the iron-hand laws of Physics — and in these “laws,” everything has an opposite. In electromagnetics, if there is a positive charge, there must be a negative charge because they are in relation to one another.

In our Universe, if there is far, there of necessity must be near. If there is up, there must be down. If there is short, there necessarily is tall. If there is front, there is back. If a coin has a head, it must also have tails (in other words, it has two sides), because it is impossible in our Universe for anything to exist that does not have an opposite.

Yeah, one of the things that bugs the bejeebers out of me when I order a pizza and ask for a small pizza. They will say, without exception, “Do you mean a medium?” Well, medium implies that there is, at least, one size larger and, at least, one size smaller, right? But no, they have either a large or a medium. How can that be? It is a physically impossible!

Years ago, our pastor had a whole series on this by explaining that if there is a future, there must be a past — that is the way time operates. And, if there is life, there must be death. If there is faith, there must be fear, if there is sickness, there must be health and healing. That is the way it was Created to work!

No matter what phenomenon you can think of, there is an opposing phenomenon in the make-up of the Universe in which we live. Why is that? Because, as I already said, that is how Yahweh designed it! He did it that way to accomplish everything He had planned.

But let’s dig deeper into this so we can see things from a completely new point of view. To do this, we are going to turn to something I learned from Tom Bradford, of The Torah Class, in the sixth chapter of Genesis. Specifically, verses eleven to twelve:

The earth was corrupt before God, the earth was filled with violence. God saw the earth, and, yes, it was corrupt; for all living beings had corrupted their ways on the earth (Genesis 6:11-12)

Do you remember this story? Well, right from the start I will tell you that the twelfth verse is possibly one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible. It says that the Lord looked at everything He had made, and saw that it had gone to ruin. It is so sad to read.

The Hebrew word used here is shachath; and yes, corrupt would work, but as we use the word “corrupt,” it means being dishonest; as though the point of the Lord’s concern was that men were ripping each other off, or that they were lying to each other, or stealing from each other.  But you see, that doesn’t catch the true sense of the word, shachath.

A better way to think of this word would be to say they were polluted to the point of ruin. That would give us a better sense of the word. Now, when you compare that to what God said just a few chapters earlier, in the last verse of Chapter one: “Now God saw everything He had made . . .” and at that time He described it as “exceedingly good!” Wow! Creation had gone from perfection to utter ruin in just a few generations! How shocking! How disappointing!

So, Yahweh went to Noah and said:

“The end of all living beings has come before me, for because of them the earth is filled with violence. I will destroy them along with the earth” (Genesis 6:13)

Eeck!

Now, something rather interesting is said — but something even more interesting is omitted — God says that the cause of the problems is the living beings He created. Huh? Now, often the Hebrew word used here, basar, is translated as flesh, which is a perfectly good translation. But, here‘s the thing: basar, and flesh, do not just mean man — instead, it also refers to animals. Adam means man or mankind, and that is not used here. So, the idea is that of all living flesh, everything He had given life, was at fault. Man and animals. Even more interesting is who or what God does not blame: He does not blame Satan! Interesting, huh?

I did not just throw that out on the table for us to just stare at . . . we need to notice it because it brings us back to the concept of the source of Evil. And, while I do not agree fully with every aspect of the Hebrew view on evil, I have to say that more and more I cannot refute the bulk of it.

As Bradford points out, the Hebrews often discuss many important things regarding evil, things that we do not generally find within Christian doctrine. They teach that men have both good and evil inclinations within us. And, that we have choices to make. The more difficult issue to deal with, though, is that, as I mentioned above, God created both good and evil. However, it is not necessarily the way that immediately comes to your minds.

Now, I realize that this is a poor place to stop, but what I need to share with you will require much deeper thought and patience. So hang with me, and tomorrow, we will dig much deeper.

Nickolas
Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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