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Did God Create Evil? Examining Isaiah 45:7

Have you ever had the question, "Did God create evil?" This query has come up for some because of a specific verse in the Bible, Isaiah 45:7, which in the KJV states, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." At first glance, it may seem clear that God Himself says He created evil. Yet, this can also seem perplexing, even contradictory to the notion of a wholly good and righteous God. This is why we have to look and examine Scripture and understand its context; by doing so, we can unravel its meaning and grasp the truth it holds.

isaiah 45:7 - did God create evil

Did God Create Evil? Examining Isaiah 45:7

When interpreting this verse, it's essential to consider three key points. 

Whole Counsel of Scripture

Firstly, attributing the creation of moral evil to God contradicts numerous other passages in Scripture that God is good, holy, and righteous. It goes against the whole counsel of Scripture. For instance, 1 John 1:5 declares, God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. Psalm 92:15 states, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. This verse emphasizes God's righteousness, affirming that there is no wickedness or perverseness in Him. Deuteronomy 32:4 speaks about God saying, He is The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. This passage again describes God as upright, just, and without injustice. James 1:13 reinforces the truth that God is not the author, nor does He tempt anyone with evil. Instead, He is inherently incapable of engaging in or promoting sin. Instead, God is holy, good, and righteous. He is also consistent in His character. Therefore, the notion that God creates evil in the sense of moral wrongdoing is not supported by Scripture. Using one verse to support a theological argument is not a good practice. It is essential not to take one verse and remove it from the whole counsel of Scripture. God is good. He did not create evil.

So what is Isaiah 45:7 saying? 

Context For Interpretation

Secondly, when looking at the wording used, it's crucial to note that the term translated as "evil" in some versions, including the King James Version, can also mean "calamity" or "adversity" in Hebrew. The ESV says, I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.

In this passage, the context of the verse and the surrounding language gives us the word's meaning. The verse in the KJV says, I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Each of the words used is the opposite of the other. Light versus darkness. Peace versus evil, but not in the sense of moral sin but calamity or adversity. God does create or give peace, but God will and has created adversity or calamity. This idea is further confirmed in scripture. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 says, Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

So, the context is critical to correctly understanding what the verse is saying.

Prophetic Declaration

Lastly, we must understand that Isaiah 45:7 is part of a prophetic declaration regarding King Cyrus, made centuries before his birth. King Cyrus of Persia would play a pivotal role in liberating the Jewish people from their exile in Babylon. In this passage, God speaks about the many outcomes He orchestrates through this ruler's actions. Some of the outcomes include judgment and adversity for the nations involved. Again, this context aligns with the words spoken.


In exploring the question, "Did God create evil?" we've looked into Isaiah 45:7 and its surrounding context and examined other relevant passages in Scripture. Through this examination, we've come to understand that while God exercises sovereignty over all things, including calamity and adversity, He is not the source of moral evil. Instead, God's character remains consistently righteous, and without darkness. Therefore, we can rest assured that even amid life's trials, we serve an inherently good and trustworthy God.

Question for Reflection

How does your understanding of God's character shape your perspective on the existence of evil in the world?

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3 days ago

In order to understand what God has said in Isaiah 45:17(KJV), we must go back during time of creation, specifically when God said , "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:17(KJV). Adam was commanded by God not to eat from it, Genesis 2:16(KJV). It is a test of loyalty. Man was given a freedom, a free will, a freedom of choice. Because God is love and love cannot be enforced and obedience to God's word is what makes the difference. Obedience to God's commandments will determine if we live or die. But let's take a look…

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