Good God—Bad World? How Can That Be?

on November 7, 2011

Our world can be brutal. But would it surprise you to know that the Creator of all this got the worst of that brutality? And, oh yeah, He did it for you.

Good God, bad world? How’s that possible? This exclusive clip from Death the Enemy (part of the Foundations series) flies back in time to uncover the reason. Share everywhere.

When things get messed up on this planet, it’s easy to wonder if this all-knowing, all-powerful God you’ve heard about could really be so good. Would a loving God allow poor kids to starve to death? Would a good God let tsunamis wipe whole towns off the map? If He’s got all this power and He really loves us, shouldn’t He do something?

The simple answer? He did. But before we get to that, we need to talk about why things can seem so dismal.

Back in Time

The earth wasn’t created like it is right now. If you think about it, you probably have some sense of this. After all, death seems so wrong, and we struggle to make sense of our suffering. We fight injustice because we believe in something better.

So, why do we feel like our world isn’t quite like it should be? At one point, in the beginning, that perfect state we long for really did exist. God made a universe that He could look at and call very good (Genesis 1:31). But God’s “very good” isn’t like ours. We’re not talking just satisfactory. He meant that it was perfect—no death, no suffering.

Then we happened . . .

The Human Factor

You may have heard what Adam and Eve, the first humans, did in a garden (check Genesis 3 if you haven’t). Adam disobeyed God and ate a forbidden fruit. But the problem wasn’t with the fruit itself. Our great-great-great-great . . . great grandfather had it all but gave it up because he wanted to set the rules. He basically said, “Hey, all-knowing, all-perfect God, I’m ignoring what you said because I want it my way.” Bad idea.

After that, the universe started to unravel quickly. Thorns, diseases, disasters, supernovae, death—they all came rushing in. (Watch the video above for more.)

But before we blame Adam for everything, we need to point a big finger at ourselves. We’re all just as guilty of wanting to do things our own way. We hurt each other, lie, steal, lust, and we even curse God—the list is long. We’re just as much to blame as the first Adam (Isaiah 53:6).

God Breaks Through

Notice we said this guy was the first Adam, so let’s introduce the last one. You see, God never intended to leave us in our misery. He had a plan long, long ago to get us out of the mess we made (hinted at here: Genesis 3:15).

Obviously, no matter how hard we try, we can’t fix the world. We can’t stop the bad stuff from happening. We have a rough time even stopping ourselves from doing what we don’t want to do (like this: Romans 7:18–19). In the same way, we can’t fix our relationship with God. Adam torched it, and we keep the fire burning.

Since we couldn’t fix it, God did. And that meant becoming like us, putting on skin and bones, and living the life we couldn’t (John 1). This last Adam—Jesus—lived that “very good” life of always obeying God that the first Adam failed at (1 Corinthians 15:22). In the end, Jesus faced one of the most brutal deaths human beings have ever dreamed up by dying on the Cross (Luke 23).

Our Creator loves us too much to just watch from a distance. He stepped onto this spinning orb so He could make things right again, to fix the broken world and broken relationship.

In other words, He suffered for us. He died in our place—just as predicted in Isaiah 53:5 and Daniel 9:26. To top it off, His claims of being divine were verified when He came back to life (Luke 24)—just like He said He would (Matthew 20:19).

How does that help us? Well, if you turn from your disobedience (repent) and receive Christ’s offer of salvation by faith, you will live with Him in a new heaven and new earth forever. Just think about it. No death. No suffering. No evil. Ever.

That’s some very good news in a messed-up world.


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