Is the sin and evil found in our world a bug or a feature?
Read / Listen
Read Genesis 1:31 and Ecclesiastes 7:29
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 6
Q. Did God create people so wicked and perverse?
God created them good and in his own image,
that is, in true righteousness and holiness,
so that they might
truly know God their creator,
love him with all their heart,
and live with him in eternal happiness
for his praise and glory.
The first section of the Heidelberg Catechism deals with the misery of humankind caused by sin. Last week’s readings reminded us that humans cannot keep God’s law perfectly and are inclined by nature to hate God and our fellow human beings. So, Q&A 6 follows up with inquiring into the source of the problem by asking, “Did God create people so wicked and perverse?” In other words, is all the sin and suffering because God made humans that way? Can we blame the world’s problems on God?
The first proof answer 6 points to is the beginning of the universe and the first chapter of the Bible: Genesis 1.
We read of God creating all things in heaven and earth marked out across six days. At the end of each day, there is a phrase pattern repeated seven times in Genesis 1, “And God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, & 31). When God’s creation act of the universe is over, he looks it over and declares it is all—including human beings—very good (Gen. 1:31).
Considering the beginning state of creation, we can start to understand that sin and evil are a corruption of the good world God created. So, the wickedness we see around us and even in our own hearts is a bug that has invaded God’s good creation and is not an original feature, just as computers are made to work a certain way and help you do countless tasks, but if the computer is hacked or has a virus, it does not work the way it should anymore and is used for ill instead.
Paul in the New Testament reminds us in 1 Timothy 4:4, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” Even though you know the misery sin and evil have brought into the world too well, you can still enjoy many of the good things God created and be thankful for them.
Praise God for his goodness still present in giving another sunrise today or the beauty of the trees and rolling hills under a fresh blanket of snow. Thank him for the crops, produce, and animals that are the source of your meals today and all the people who work along the process to get it to your plate.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Almighty Creator, you made everything good.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Help me to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— [may I] think about such things (Phil. 4:8)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Mark 11