What does the Bible Say about Natural Evil?
The Origin of Natural Evil
It all began in the Garden of Eden.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17
God had prohibited Adam and from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this tree was exclusively for God.
Then we find out in Genesis 3:1-5 that there was a crafty serpent (Satan speaking through the serpent) in the garden who deceived Eve by twisting God’s words.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘Youshall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The serpent distorts what God had said to Eve, emphasizing God’s prohibition and minimizing God’s provision. Eve questions God’s commands and believes the serpent’s lies that God’s words are harsh and restrictive rather than sincere and protective. Eve thought God was holding her back from something good and so she ate from the tree and then shared it with her husband Adam and he ate it too. Adam listened to his wife rather than God’s command not to eat from the tree. And so because Adam and Eve ate from the tree Genesis 3:7-8 says,
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Their eyes were opened and they felt shame. They saw each other naked and felt shame, they hid themselves from God by hiding among the trees because they felt shame. All because they doubted God and believed the distorted truth that the serpent fed them, the both of them had the rest of their life to learn the difference between good and evil.
Okay, so now how did natural evil enter the world?
Genesis 3:17-19 says:
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
The Bible tells us that natural evil came into existence when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. When Adam and Eve sinned they took the rest of creation down with them. That is why we live in a world with death and decay and it wasn’t suppose to be that way. Adam and Eve were meant to live in the Garden of Eden in harmony with one another, with God, and with the rest of creation (animals and the land) forever! That is what paradise was supposed to be like. So because of our first parents mankind suffers and the rest of creation suffers too. Natural evil arose with Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God’s commands. The ecology of the earth is affected by Adam and Eve’s sin. Adam and Eve’s natural relationship to the ground was for them to rule over it, but when they rebelled against God it was reversed and now the ground is cursed. (Check out these verses: Genesis 4:12, Genesis 6:7, Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 11:13-17;28, Joel 1-2)
Yup, Adam and Eve ruined everything for the rest of mankind. All men come from the line of Adam and since Adam was God’s ultimate creation that meant anything that Adam created could never be better than God’s creation and all he could produce are depraved human beings. So because of Adam and Eve’s sin all humans will go through this life learning about what is good and evil and we also get to live in a fallen world that has natural disaster (natural evil). If we are to learn anything from our parents Adam and Eve that is, we need to HATE SIN.
This is not the end of the story there is a remedy to this problem. More on that later. ‘Til next time!
In the meantime please consider helping those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines:
SAMARITAN'S PURSE http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-response/
WORLD VISION http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?funnel=dn&item=2639566&go=item§ion=10339&
INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS BOARD https://netcommunity.imb.org/SuperTyphoonHaiyan
RED CROSS PHILIPPINES http://www.redcross.org.ph/
HABITAT FOR HUMANITIES http://www.give2habitat.org/philippines/ReBuildPhilippines