Why did God create evil?


Isaiah 45:7 - “I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things”.
Why does God do this if he is supposed to be omnibenevolent?


May be that the existence of evil serves a purpose in our salvation, what?


From the D-R online version:

[6] That they may know who are from the rising of the sun, and they who are from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is none else: [7 - see note] I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. [8] Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a saviour: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him. [9] Woe to him that gainsayeth his maker, a sherd of the earthen pots: shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it: What art thou making, and thy work is without hands? [10] Woe to him that saith to his father: Why begettest thou? and to the woman: Why dost thou bring forth?

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



This verse must be read in the context of the entire passage. The LORD is speaking to Cyrus, King of Persia, who is anointed to fulfill the will of the LORD (cf. Isa. 45:1). The LORD is revealing that He alone is the ultimate cause and creator of all things (light and darkness, order and chaos). There are no lesser gods, or causal forces at work. The LORD says: “By myself I swear…”(Isa. 45:23). This is not an admission by the LORD that He creates evil in the sense of sin and the effects of sin (death, decay, war, famine, disease, hatred etc.) The LORD creates all that is good and beautiful but also that which is woeful and adverse (in the Hebrew the word is “rah”). But we can rest assured that where sin increases, grace is abounding or overflowing (cf. Rom. 5:20).
Evil or Sin is the fruit of disobedience, a rebellion against God. First by Satan and then by Humanity who participated in the rebellion at the Fall (Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil in direct disobedience of God).
The LORD alone is the Lord of the Universe and in His loving kindness He sent His only begotten Son to be born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…” (Jn. 1:14), to redeem us from evil, death and Hell, which was prepared for the devil and his angels (cf. Matt. 25:41). This is the Good News, the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the God of all, He did not create evil but His love and mercy are the remedy to all things and the hope of all the universe.


I am puzzled to why God has created a world that was so easily fallen. But this wondering is only the result of my own weakness and limitations, and also my own frustrations with my own spiritual weakness and struggles with sin. I wish holiness wasn’t so dang hard! :slight_smile:


I won’t say that it is a bad translation, but it could easily be misunderstood by a contemporary person.

“Evil” - though not so often these days - was frequently used to describe ill or disastrous things, i.e. “There is an evil wind tonight”, “Planting season is going through evil times”, etc. God creates disaster as Judge and in response to sin. It is not referring to moral evil. From eternity, God had conceived of a plan of how St. Satan was suppose to live with him as one of his precious beloved. It was Satan himself who fell and chose to rebel and commit evil.


I think the falling was the test. People can choose good or evil, and nobody is forced to go to Heaven against their will. Sadly, some souls do not want to obey and would not be happy in Heaven. They’d rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.


“I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the LORD, who do all these things.” - Isaiah 45:7 (RSV-CE)

“I form the light, and create the darkness, I make well-being and create woe; I, the LORD, do all these things.” - Isaiah 45:7 (NAB)

“I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil*: I the Lord that do all these things.” - (Douay-Rheims Bible)

  • Create evil: The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin.” - Douay-Rheims Bible Commentary


We have free will to choose love and goodness, or to reject it, that is, reject God’s love and goodness in our lives.

If we reject love and goodness we are welcoming lack of love and lack of goodness.
If we act without love, goodness and kindness we are accepting to behave unlovingly towards others. This unlove of God and others and this rejection of good choices, means that what we do is motivated by absence of love and goodness, evil. Humans then sometimes do terrible things because they do not allow God’s love and goodness to fill and motivate them.

This is what evil is…If love and goodness is light, then lack of goodness and love is lack of light, which is darkness.
Satan, the devils were beautiful and wonderful creations, but they were the third of the angels who rejected God who is source of all goodness, love, and holiness, and by rejecting God, they became the ugly absence of light, goodness and love so are instead dark and hateful.

Even where people believe they choose God and goodness, yet act with hate, cruelty and destruction, then they are deceiving themselves. When Jesus judges us, see Matthew 25 verses 31-46, He will judge us on the goodness and practical acts and choices of love in our lives, and if we have failed to live in practical kindness to others, that is, if we thereby reject His love and spirit, then we have chosen, for ourselves, an eternity of lack of love and goodness. Evil exists because creatures created by God, angels or humans, choose to reject God’s active spirit of love and kindness lived out in their lives. We cannot blame God for evil, the blame is with any of us who reject God’s grace to live in compassion and goodness.


But WHY though? Why would you create evil in the first place, especially if in some sense we were supposed to live in ignorance of what is right and wrong?


God did not “create” evil and it’s* impossible for Him to do what He hates*! He allows evil! God knew sin would occur - it started with Lucifer & 1/3 of the angels due the sin of pride. “Non-serviat” - I will not serve was their rebellious decision. (One group of people after another have been rebellious even to this day, huh?)

Later @ the garden, the sin of Adam was made again by a personal choice not to obey God. God is the ultimate gentleman. He lets us make our own choice and live with the consequences good or bad but has generously provided us with a way out! Jesus’ triumph over evil is proclaimed so beautifully @ Easter Mass in the reading of the Sequence. Read it!


I took that passage not that God creates evil for evil purposes, but He “creates” evil in the sense that people fight over Him, do bad things to persecute his believers because of their belief in Him, that strife exists because His laws exist and people hate His laws etc.


In formal metaphysics, something with which I am not very familiar, the concept of “perfection” includes unity and changelessness (in a particular sense). The finite, physical world is a mass of aggregates which are in constant change, excluding man’s spirit/soul perhaps.

So it may be, given that this material existence cannot help but be imperfect to begin with, that the imperfection and “evil” we see has been established in order to prevent greater evil.

The “evil” we see is the least “evil” that can exist in a world which has been created as good as it can be.
If it was (“created”) any “better” than it is, then it could not exist at all.


Just as darkness is the absence of light so evil is the absence of God. God is Love and could not create evil the way you are thinking. The Bible uses language that can be confusing if not understood in the right context.


Isaiah 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.


The evil of punishment and chastisement, NOT sin.


I want to respond to xvFIRESTORMvx and COPELAND 3 – God did not create evil. God created only good. Your question has to do with interpreting Scripture, understanding what is meant by what has been expressed in words. “I’m gonna knock your block off!” “Don’t beat around the bush.”

When we read a newspaper we interpret the difference sections with a different mind-set. The headline news … the sports … the obituary … the comics … the editorial page … and the advertisements. When we read sections of the Bible we must try to read with the proper mind-set. In the Bible there a kind of history (generally not history as we know it) … poetry … parables … even fables to make a point … and more.

Yes, the world God created, in its present condition, is very prone to evil … AND … at the same time is filled with God’s grace. God’s purpose in creating the world will help us understand better the presence of so much evil. “Why did God make me? God made me to know Him and to love Him and to serve Him and to be happy with Him in Heaven.” If it were not for OUR JOY in Loving and Serving Him, God would never have created.

How infinitely great is our destiny … and so great is the difficulty in attaining it! We were never created to become “perfect human beings.” Rather we were created to be real children of God Almighty, real sons and daughter of God – and this is utterly beyond creature ability to attain. The difficulty is not because of Infinite God … but because of us finite and imperfect creatures. God wants us to become as real as God Is! And that requires our free co-operation – and we really do give God a hard time!

The presence of evil is necessary so that the Divine Good God wants for us can come into being from us acting freely (in our imperfect condition this means able to choose what is right and also able to choose wrong or evil).

There is so much to fill in here with a number of clarifications. /// I’m happy to correspond with anyone about these things. Please bless me as I do surely bless you. John (JohnJFarren)


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.