2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 14, December 24-30, Some Lessons From Job
Monday, December 26
Many inquire as to why evil exists. The tendency of discussions is to classify or categorize evil as a means of better understanding the reasons for why it occurs in our world. Whether we divide evil into categories such as natural or moral, we still must understand that all evil originates with Satan in his rebellion against God and His goodness. The first mention of evil in the Bible is found in Genesis 2:15-17, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” KJV, emphasis added.
By placing this tree in the garden of Eden, God didn’t create evil. But the tree was to be a pledge of loyalty to Adam and Eve. Don’t eat, remain loyal. Eat, enter the rebellion and evil. A pledge is a promise secured by something of value to be forfeited if the promise is broken. In this case, the value to be forfeited is the life that God gave to Adam and Eve. This is why death would result with disobedience.
“In the midst of the garden, near the tree of life, stood the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This tree was especially designed by God to be a pledge of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents. Of this tree the Lord commanded them not to eat, lest they die. He told them that they might freely eat of all the trees of the garden except one; but if they ate of that tree they should surely die.” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, January 16, 1879, emphasis added.)
“In the final execution of the judgment it will be seen that no cause for sin exists. When the Judge of all the earth shall demand of Satan, ‘Why hast thou rebelled against Me, and robbed Me of the subjects of My kingdom?’ the originator of evil can render no excuse. Every mouth will be stopped, and all the hosts of rebellion will be speechless.” (Ellen White, Great Controversy, 503, emphasis added.)
“The existence of Satan and the agency of evil spirits are facts fully established by both the Old and the New Testament. From the days of Adam to Moses, and through all the succeeding ages to John, the latest gospel writer, Satan is recognized as an active, personal agent, the originator of evil, the enemy of God and man. It is true that imagination and superstition have given their own coloring to these facts, and have linked them with legends and traditions of heathen, Jewish, and even Christian nations; but as revealed in the word of God they are of the utmost solemnity and importance. The connection of the visible with the invisible world, the ministration of angels of God, and the agency of evil angels, are inseparably interwoven with human history. We are told of the fall of the angels from their purity, of Lucifer their leader, the instigator of rebellion, of their confederacy and government, of their various orders, of their great intelligence and subtlety, and of their malicious designs against the innocence and happiness of men. We are told of One mightier than the fallen foe,—One by whose authority Satan’s power is limited and controlled; and we are told, also, of the punishment prepared for the originator of iniquity.” (Ellen White, Vol. 4, Spirit of Prophecy, 331, emphasis added.)