In a universe of infinites, the improbable becomes inevitable. -Asimov
How does a believer reconcile our belief that
- Our God is love (1-John 4:8), that God is all powerful and that God's will shall be done.
- Bad things happen. Genocide, Tribalism, Terrorism, disease, child and spouse abuse?
It is helpful to use words precisely. In moral matters it is important to discriminate between "Desire" and "Will".
I may desire a nicer vehicle or a new firearm.
My will directs me to be a good steward of my resources. Buying a new firearm (at this time) is in conflict with my over-riding priority. Therefore my desire pays liege to my will.
Inability to order priorities is a recipe for confusion and disaster.
When I dip my hand into a minnow bucket to collect a minnow for bait, I must gently scoop. Attempts to grip a slippery fish result in the minnow squirting out. Gripping is possible after a bit but in the early stages gripping does not work.
Holding a fresh watermelon seed between one's fingers demonstrates the same phenomena. Squeezing too hard results in the seed spitting out, often in unpredictable directions.
In a similar way, I know that my kid will eventually put the car in a ditch. It is part of the learning process. It is my will that they be wearing seatbelts, not cross oncoming traffic and not be driving excessively fast when it happens.
|God wants more from us that this. Picture from HERE|
Based on the evidence that I can deduce from the Bible, God gives us the ability to make moral decisions (including making bad choices) because it is His will that we grow and become more like Him. He could have created us with internal constraints that limited our range of action but that would have been a desire taking precedent over will.
Words, ultimately, fail us
It is arrogant on my part to presume that I can be God's lawyer. God is infinite. Words are finite.
Mental excercises like this essay are intended to help us focus on what we can control: living thoughtful, deliberate, morally guided lives.
We CANNOT to reduce God to a pile of words. We should not rewrite the Bible nor should we presume to audit God's performance.