Question: If God created all things, doesn’t it follow that He also created evil?
It is true that the Bible states that God created “all things:”
Col. 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth…all things were created by him and for him.
The phrase “all things” is to be understood in the context of the creation account in Genesis:
Gen. 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
If all creation at its inception was “very good,” and all creation at its inception was made not only by God but for God, where did evil come from, if not from God?
In the biblical record of the first humans God provides a pristine environment where they can thrive and multiply. They are also provided something unique throughout the created order—with the exception of the angels—the freedom and ability to love God and obey Him as a matter of choice. The animal kingdom was given no such choice. Birds, reptiles, insects and fish were given no such choice. In creating mankind, however, God brought into existence a being much like Himself, a being designed to interact with God in a deeply personal relationship.
Gen. 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Sometimes people complain that God was being unfair to Adam and Eve by placing temptation in front of them, knowing they would not be able resist. That would be like saying that it is unfair for a married man to be able to see because he might be tempted to be unfaithful to his wife by the sight of a beautiful woman. Should all married men be made blind? Of course not! A man and a woman choose to remain faithful to each other and to love each other for life because that choice demonstrates their love.
The truth is, God tempts no one:
James 1:13-14 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
Sin, evil and all the tragedy they bring into the universe has its source in the choice not to love God and to live in opposition to His design for life as free beings within His created order. And, as with all things that are treated contrary to their design, mankind and the universe are breaking down at an accelerating pace. Humanity not only duplicates the sin of Adam and Eve but multiplies it.
Rom. 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
And that is why all creation is in such dire need of the salvation that God Himself has provided through Jesus Christ!