What does Isaiah 45:7 mean when it says God creates evil?

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I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).

The New International Version renders the passage, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster.” Similarly, the New Living Translation offers, “I am the one who creates the light and makes the darkness. I am the one who sends good times and bad times.” The New JPS Translation according to the Traditional Hebrew Text confirms this understanding with, “I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe—I the Lord do all these things.”

So, this verse is not to be understood in the sense of all evil, but of that which is the opposite of peace and prosperity. God directs judgments on the wicked and He presides over adverse as well as prosperous events.

Although God allows moral evil and sin, He does not create this kind of evil. The entire Bible is full of evidence of God’s goodness and His marvelous plans for mankind. James 1:17 assures us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (NIV).

Satan is responsible for all the evil of this present world. And when people choose to do evil they bring misfortune and pain on themselves. But the good news is that the Lord is ever ready to heal us from our self inflicted wounds and restore in us His image. The Lord proved His love for humans when He offered His only begotten Son to die and redeem mankind from the consequences of their own sins “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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