God allows people to suffer.
We have previously established that:
- Sin corrupted GOD’s perfect design for how creation should function.
- Sin is the root cause for all bad things that happen.
Earth is filled with sin and the consequences of that sin. We experience it every day.
One of the consequences of sin is more sin. Sin begets sin.
For instance, when one sibling shoves the other, what does the second sibling typically do? Push back!
Since Adam and Eve, every human (except Jesus) has chosen to sin at some point in our life. Sadly, sin is common, even for the most righteous people on earth, because we are weak and imperfect.
Since humans messed up GOD’s designed order for how life on earth should function, GOD has chosen to let us live with the consequences of that choice. Because of sin, people suffer. And GOD allows bad things to happen, even to “good” people.
Consider Joseph, son of Jacob. Joseph was the favorite child of his father. Jacob hadn’t hidden his favoritism, giving Joseph a beautiful multi-color coat. And I’m confident all of Jacob’s family knew that Jacob had loved Rachel most, how he labored for her for 14 years so he could marry her.
In Genesis 37, we read how Joseph’s brothers threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery. That’s pretty harsh!
And remember Job? GOD even prompted Satan to consider Job, ultimately leading to Job’s severe persecution and the death of numerous family members.
It can be difficult for us to accept that a good and holy God would allow suffering. When we see individual cases, such as a child suffering from leukemia, our emotions cause us to feel this is harsh, unfair, or even evil. In the case of Job, even after all that Job suffered, as far as Scripture reveals, Job never knew why he had undergone such suffering, despite being a righteous man.
GOD relayed the reality of human relationship to His might through the prophet Jeremiah, saying:
1 The word that came from the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house. There you shall hear My words.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and behold, he was forming something of wet clay upon the stones. 4 The vessel he formed in his hands failed. So he again made himself another vessel as it pleased him to do.
5 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6 “Surely as this potter, am I not able to form you, O house of Israel? Behold, you are as the clay of the potter in My hands.Jeremiah 18:1-6 OSB
GOD can do whatever He wants with us and to us.
(Praise GOD that He is good, otherwise, we would all be miserable and die.)