God Resists Evil
God is good. We learn of His goodness as we observe the world around us. Nature itself contains a glorious design testifying that there must be one who designed it. When we hold a newborn baby, we don’t doubt that God is good. In His goodness, He has presented the human condition in His written Word. There we find why man feels estranged from God. Nature and life testifies that God is good and involved with the circumstances in the world, but man feels that they are at a distance from Him. God explains why that condition is present in His Word.
(1 Pet 3:12) For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Evil is in the world. God didn’t place it here. Evil isn’t what God wanted in the world when He created it. The history of mankind, recorded in the Bible, explains that man himself brought evil into the world and this was against God’s will. (Here again we discover the goodness of God.) God gave man the freedom of will. By doing this, God gave real value to love. If God would have created man in such a way that man could have done no evil, the love of man would have been without any real value. However, a man who has free will and freely loves God, that love has true worth. Yet man disobeyed God and in doing this, man became estranged from God. Thankfully, the message of the gospel is that God seeks reconciliation with man. He so loved man that He made a way for reconciliation by giving His only begotten Son for man. What happens when man refuses to lay hold on God’s offering for reconciliation? Man remains estranged.
The verse given above from 1st Peter presents God’s constant attitude toward righteousness and evil. The Lord is close to those who are righteous while He is opposed to those that do evil. As long as man lives life with no care for their actions, they will find God in opposition to them. God’s plea is for man to repent of their evil and become righteous. In this way, man can come back to God. The estrangement can be over. Then those who experience the beauty of creation can also experience the closeness of the Creator.
How can man, who has committed so much evil, be reconciled to God? God presents this answer in His Word. (Rom 5:19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous. Notice that a disobedient man brought sin into the world and another man, Jesus Christ, brought righteousness into the world. When a person realizes that the evil that they have been a part of, they have only one answer to become right in the eyes of God. The answer for man is found only in Jesus Christ.
Closeness to God is just as real as the estrangement from God. That is, as a person knows that they are distant from God, so they know that they have closeness with God. When a person who finds they are guilty of committing evil, there is an unsettled condition down in their soul. This condition cries out that it needs the righteousness offered from God found in Jesus Christ. When this righteousness is obtained, peace takes the place of the trouble in the soul. Notice this verse: (Rom 5:1) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is good. As He allows those who do evil time to realize their need, He expresses His goodness. While guilty of committing evil, people find God in opposition to them. If they would only look to Jesus Christ for deliverance from evil, they would find closeness with God. Then we can join together and confess: not by anything that I did, but by what Jesus Christ did for me, I am a child of God.