Have you ever heard this question? Why does your God allow evil to exist to bring harm and suffering to good or innocent people?
Many philosophers and clergy have written and preached volumes of books and innumerous words to answer this same question which existed 3000 years ago. In a novel, I briefly surmised what King Solomon, based on his proverbs, may have answered the Queen of Sheba when she asked him these same questions. The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to our modern times.
“Solomon, Israelites appear to love and revere your God very highly to have built so elaborate and beautiful a Temple to house and honor him. One really has to see firsthand to experience the aura of a presence of your God. I am impressed with the fervor of the religious culture of your people and the frequency of your daily religious services and rituals.”
“However Solomon, I do have questions about your religious beliefs.” She commented in a curious, with a hint of an apologetic tone in her voice.
“May I ask what questions you have?” I asked in a helpful tone of curiosity as I inwardly braced myself for her questions.
“Explain to me why your God allows evil to exist to bring about harm and suffering to good people.”
“Bilqis, what I will now explain to you are my personal thoughts about your question. You will discern whether to accept or reject my explanations and beliefs. Many wise men and priests may offer beliefs that differ from mine. However, your question will remain a mystery until Yahweh chooses to reveal otherwise. Until then, the answer is a matter of religious faith.”
“I will first begin my explanation with the subject of creation. As I stated before, I believe no person on earth was ever born with the power to create the world we live and the perfect order that exists on our earth and heavens above. I believe it is wise to understand and acknowledge this reality.”
“I believe that what God has created, sovereignty belongs to Him and we are all subject to His will. Because evil does exist, these questions arise. Did God create evil? Is evil an equal power to God? Is God more powerful than evil and allows evil to exist for a reason?”
“I believe Yahweh created both an order and purpose to make all things in relation to what answers to its counterpart, and so the wicked man for an evil day. I believe Yahweh allows both the good and the wicked free choice of their actions. Every act has a consequence and is self-regulating rather than an effect separable from a cause that would require Yahweh to intervene on every action to either justify or condemn.” Yahweh has made everything in relation to its counterpart, and so the wicked man for an evil day. (Proverb 16:4)
I noticed her eyes narrow after I made this remark. Up to now, she had been expressionless as she listened to my explanations.
“Men make free choices that will affect their health or subject them to the risks of harm from nature, weather, or man-made disasters. For example, Israelites have beliefs and strict rules of diet for purposes of sacrifice along with cleanliness to prevent sickness in our community. Someday, we may come to know more about the cause of sickness if we study the nature created by Yahweh.”
“If a man chooses to sail into a storm, he may bring harm upon himself by engaging in a greater risk of sinking rather than embarking in good weather.”
“If a man chooses to build his house on land known to shake, he risks harm by living in a house that may someday collapse on him.”
“Men start all wars and bring harm and suffering upon themselves because of war. The cause of war is the same as a pregnancy. A pregnancy will not occur if there is no intercourse same as a war will not occur if there is no discourse initiated between men.”
Bilqis smiled in recognition of my point of comparison.
“Bilqis, my belief is that whatever plans a man may make, he will not accomplish his plan without God ordering his steps. I choose to believe that Yahweh sent us The Goddess of Wisdom to help us make wise choices to help us prevent bringing harm upon ourselves and to aid us to create a better life in accordance to his plan. In other words, Yahweh has a reason for allowing every step man takes whether their step results in either a good or evil act.” A man plans his way, but Yahweh orders his step. (Proverb 16:9)
“To summarize what I have just stated of my beliefs to you is this. The reason why Yahweh allows evil to exist is a mystery. Yahweh has made a plan or reason for every happening on earth, whether it is good or evil, wind or weather, or his reasoning for allowing men to make wise or foolish choices.”
“Think of a good man being a wandering bird in flight. No undeserved curse will come to a wandering bird in flight unless there is a reason or cause for it to land.” As a sparrow on the wing and a swallow in flight, so is an unmerited curse, which does not alight. (Proverb 26:2)
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka
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