I have been saying that God created light, but that darkness already existed. I used the verses in Genesis one to show that God created light and then separated the light from the darkness. The verses didn’t say that he created the darkness. The verse says nothing about the idea that he made darkness, but in this passage, he separated the light from the darkness. Evil is always associated with darkness because it was not part of God’s light or what he creates because all that he creates (as it says in Genesis one) is good. I put this idea to a Bible study that I attend, and the idea wasn’t well received, however, several other people that I approached who also knew the Bible understood my stance.
One of my friends from the Bible study said that she had recently read that God created evil and darkness. She pointed out the verse–Isaiah 45:7 which says “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
And yet I John 1:5 says, “This then is the message which we heard of him (Jesus Christ) and declare unto you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.”
These two verses seem to contradict one another, but do they really?
Let’s first look at Isaiah 45:7 for a moment in context with the rest of the passage. What he is doing here is showing that he created contrast between light and darkness. Because he formed light, he created the contrast with darkness. Because he created peace, he created a contrast with evil.
In Genesis, he told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die. They knew the light of God already. It was the darkness of evil that they did not know. When they ate of the tree, they then knew the contrast of good which was evil.
In contrast, the Israelites were given the law so that they would have a contrast between what was right and wrong. Before they had the law they did not know transgression because they did not know the law. Afterwards, they had a contrast between sin and righteousness. They couldn’t live up to it.
Jesus is the Only Way to God’s Eternal Life
When we understand that God’s way is separate from the way of the world, that there is no darkness (evil) in God and that God is only light (good), then we should be able to understand that it is not through the law that we are saved, but he offers us the only way in his son Jesus. If everything EXCEPT Jesus is in darkness and evil is in darkness, then the only way to eternal life with God is by following Jesus. I know, that’s a spiritual concept that few can grasp even among Bible believers, but it true whether we believe it or not. As it says in Acts 4:12 “There is no other name (authority) given among men whereby we must be saved. God is tolerant on a lot of things, but not on this point. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I John 1:6-7-If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowsip one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin.”
Another Related Seemingly Contradicting Passage
“What about what it says in Romans 9:14-24,”, you may ask, “where it talks about God raising up the Pharaoh that he could demonstrate his (God’s) mercy to Moses?” The word there for raised is not the idea that he “made him that way” but that word “raised”does not mean that he created Pharaoh for that purpose. It means that he “resuscitated him or kept him alive”. When I read that passage in that context,, God kept Pharaoh from destruction to prove to Moses God’s ultimate power over the Pharaoh. Pharaoh was marked for destruction or God’s wrath, but God prolonged his life for Moses’ sake so that Moses could see that God was even more powerful than Pharaoh. In other words, God knew that it would take this object lesson for Moses to fully trust God.
God is Always Good
If we stand by the idea that God is always good, that he always works from wanted the best for you as his follower, it does make it easier to understand these verses that seem to contradict that idea. When we come across one of these verses that seem to indicate that God makes evil or bad things happen, we should take a moment and examine those verses more closely. If like the Bereans of Acts 17:10-12, we search the scriptures ourselves and not just listen to what others tell us the word says, we will discover that Romans 8:28 is exactly true, “All things (DO!)work to the good of those who love the Lord who are called according to His purpose.”
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has published a nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.