Isaiah 45:7 - God creates evil

So I came across a reference to this passage this morning and decided to look it up:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Why would God create evil?

Is there anything that happens outside of God’s providence? Everything that exists is from God, not from some other source.

To expand on this, though, Christians have long understood evil to not be a thing that exists in itself. “Evil” doesn’t have being on its own. Light is something that exists, and darkness is the absence of light. So evil is a privation that exists in something that does have being.

All things that exist are good insofar as they have existence, or to use analogy, all light is good insofar as there is light. But if God allows light to not shine in every corner, but allows darkness in some areas, shadow in others, brighter light here, and lesser light there, that is ultimately His will. The light is created and is good. The absence of light is not really a true existing creation in itself, but it is within God’s providence to limit the light, so in a sense, it is within His domain.

So where there is evil, it may be very dark indeed, but what little light there is is itself still good.

YHWH creates evil because doing so suits His purposes which are unknowable and not understandable by human beings.

Get behind me, Satan, for you are thinking not as God does, but as man.

In my mind our Lord’s crucifixion was the most evil event ever to take place on the face of the earth, but YHWH allowed it to happen because it suited His purposes.

God creates evil in the same way a light creates shadow. Shadow is not inherent to the light, it is the result of something blocking the light. Similarly, evil is not the result of God, but rather of something blocking, or rejecting, God.

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Hi, Mark!

…consider what is at play here…

Yahweh God is the Creator… in the Beginning… and He saw that it was good…’

Creation was made/brought into existence by God; Creation was Good.

…Lucifer turns; he convinces one third of the angels to turn from God… God Creates hell, the place where Satan and his minions will end up in eternity… is hell good or bad?

…in the Old Testament we find many instances where Israel rejects God; we also find many instances where men in general commit themselves to a wicked existence… both are punished through physical afflictions… were these afflictions good or bad?

…so God can Warn man that He, as Omnipotent as He is, can bring goodness or evil to and through Creation.

…now the problem most people have is that they jump to conclusions… they take a passage such as you’ve cited and convince themselves that it is God Who made Lucifer evil and that it is God Who makes man evil/commit to evil.

Wrong conclusion!

Poor judgment in the use of freewill made Lucifer the father of all lies and a murderer, from the Beginning! Poor judgment in the use of freewill makes man reject God’s Authority and embrace wickedness/evil.

Maran atha!


Ver. 7. Create evil, &c. The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin. (Challoner) — I afflict and comfort my people.

The Douay-Challoner Bible has the following footnote for this verse:

[7] “Create evil”: The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin.

new jerusalem bible

45:5 I am Yahweh, and there is no other, there is no other God except me. Though you do not know me, I have armed you
45:6 so that it may be known from east to west that there is no one except me. I am Yahweh, and there is no other,

45:7 I form the light and I create the darkness, I make well-being, and I create disaster, I, Yahweh, do all these things.

keep it in context. God is explaining that He is God.

And God, when we anger Him,
has through the ages , created disaster. Read Psalm 78.

Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 7. Create evil, &c. The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin. (Challoner) — I afflict and comfort my people.

So the evil of sin is allowed because it is logically necessary for creatures to express charity.

The important distinction for Catholics is that God did not cause Christ’s persecutors to crucify Him-that was a matter of their own wills. Likewise God is never the direct cause of any other evil-He’s opposed to it by nature while allowing it for His purposes. His ultimate purpose is that we-His creation-may learn, by experience, to oppose evil as well, and embrace the Good alone. Another way of saying this is that we may come, with the help of grace, to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the definition of man’s justice.

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