Answering objections against God
This will be a
responce to the accusations against God made by militant atheists, and will
focus on 2 subjects, God's actions (things that God does Himself) and God's
direct actions (such as His orders to the Israelites and the Mosaic law). For
starters, we will assume that the atheists have grounds by which they can judge
something objectively, even though they don't. Part 1 will focuse on
theological questions while other parts will focuse on explaining the idea and
ethics behind some of the commands God gave to the Israelites and we will look
at some Biblical figures and their actions and if they are in accordance with
God's will. I will answer objections that are made, usually on the internet, by
popular atheists and will give reasons as to why the atheists objecting don't
understand the subject they speak about (for example, sites like ''evilbible''
Today many kids use the internet in order to get information easy and without too much work. This way, they are exposed to a lot of disinformation about God from radical atheists who quickly throw out verses from the Bible, without any context, in a attempt to show that somehow God is immoral. Some of the things they say are (taken from ''evilbible(dot)com''):
''The act of murder is rampant in the Bible. In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons such as working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night. In addition to these crazy and immoral laws, there are plenty of examples of God's irrationality by his direct killing of many people for reasons that defy any rational explanation such as killing children who make fun of bald people, and the killing of aman who tried to keep the ark of God from falling during transport. There are also countless examples of mass murders commanded by God, including the murder of women, infants, and children.’’
start with the following problem here and that is this part ‘’ there are plenty
of examples of God's irrationality by his direct killing of many people for
reasons that defy any rational explanation’’.
Let’s start from the beginning. What do we mean by the term ‘’God’’. By this term Christians mean a Maximally Great Being, who, among other attributes, is also all-good. This means that this Being is morally perfect. So now we must ask, can a morally perfect Being cause evil? Logically the answer must be ‘’No’’ because it would be illogical for a perfect all-good Being to cause evil. How is it then, that we find God creating evil, causing catastrophes or natural disasters, bringing famine, plague, animals (to kill) or Him killing someone Himself?
Some of the verses, that atheists love to bring up are:
‘’ And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter’’
''When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, for the oxen were making it tip. But the Lord was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God.’’
‘’ The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.‘’
''And at midnight
the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn
son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in
the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh
and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and
loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single
house where someone had not died. ‘’
‘’ If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins. I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.’’
And so on…
So here we see God ‘’doing’’ some things we would consider evil or immoral. The problem here, however, is that it’s impossible for Him to do these things since they are evil. So what’s going on here? In my research I have found out that the problem lies when we say God ‘’did’’ those things listed. How can a all-good all-loving Being cause these punishments on the (not-so-innocent) people? The answer : He can’t, at least not directly. When we say God, we also think of Him as the source of all that is holy, peaceful , stable, the source of all that is good. Now what would happen if this Source turned His back on some people or society because of their evil (or rather if they turned their back on Him)? The answer is obvious: disaster, chaos and destruction would follow. And indeed that is exactly what we see. So the main problem with the objections are that they make God seem like a human who goes around with a gun or sword killing the Egyptian firstborn or the pre-Flood people or the Babylonians etc… We see God bringing judgment to people again and again for their evil, yet at the same time, He isn’t causing these disasters to happen. He is merely allowing such events to take place so that the wicked people will get what they deserve.
This is at the core of the problem when atheists say something like ‘’well God kills XYZ’’. In response to this, Christians can ask ‘’how exactly?’’. If the atheists are going to make a case that God is somehow directly responsible for these events, then they must explain how exactly God does them, since it’s totally contrary to logic. This is the problem when atheists say ‘’God’’ but think ‘’human’’, since the actions are not the same for humans and for God.
Some people may object and ask things like:
1.‘’Well if God didn’t really do these things then why does the Bible say that He did?’’
Answer: The Old Testament is a theocentric book, meaning it puts God at the centre of the story. It shows Him as the one who brings destruction and blessings, the one who creates light and darkness. The ancient Hebrews didn’t have the same view of things as we do today and they would interpret disaster as God’s punishment and blessings as God’s reward. That is why God explained His role in the universe to them in a way they would understand and that they should know that He has the power to unleash all kinds of disasters. I use the term ‘’unleash’’ since it implies that evil is ‘’leashed’’ ( under control). Nothing can happen without Him allowing it. This kind of perception (that God causes both evil and good) changed over time as the Hebrews grew intellectually. It is the same with the question ‘’who tempts people? God or Satan?’’. In some places it’s written that God tempted people but then it would say that He didn’t, and that it was Satan who tempted. Theologians have known that this means that God doesn’t tempt you but that Satan is the one who tempts. God just allows him to tempt you (for whatever reason). The same is with destruction or judgment. In some places it says God brings these disasters but then it changes and says that it was not God but some other cause for it.
you give an example where it says that God brought some disaster to some wicked
people but then it switching to another cause for it’’
Answer: Indeed, take for example the events surrounding the death of the Egyptian firstborn. We see two scenarios here:
‘’ “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstbornof both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.’’
‘’ When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.’’
Here we see that
it’s the Destroyer who is going around killing the innocent Egyptian kids and
anybody who didn’t listen to God’s warning. This being is probably the one
mentioned in the Book of revelation chapter 9 (and also mentioned in Hebrews
11:28), called Abaddon or Apollyon, and is anything but good. So here we see
God as being not the actual cause of the disaster even when it’s narrated that
He is. Actually the situation is more in favor for God as a protector in this
scenario. We see God not allowing the Destroyer to go around and kill everyone,
and those who listened to Him were spared.
We can give numerous other examples where we find God not actually causing evil but rather permitting evil against evil for a greater good.
For example, in Genesis 19 in one place it says that God is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but then it switches to the angels who are the actual cause for the destruction(more on that later).
We see times where it says that God will:
‘’ … put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you return
by the way you came.’’
Yet nobody thinks that God will somehow materialize in front of the Assyrians, take a giant hook and put it into the nose of Sennacherib. This does however show, that this is a possible fate of Sennacherib by some other pagans, since we know that the pagans tortured people this way.
3. ‘’Does that mean
that God never destroys anything but always
leaves it to a third party to do the job?’’
Answer: No, not really. For example, in the Book of Revelation we see the angels pouring the ‘’bowls of God’s wrath’’ on the earth. These ‘’bowls’’ are disasters that come to pass as a result of God not being there for (corrupt) humanity any more. So these horrors are not God’s direct action either. However, later we see Jesus coming in His full glory where He destroys (with one word) every sinner left on the world who served the Beast. The actions of Jesus, can be considered a direct action where God destroys someone.
how do we know what is caused directly by God and what isn’t?’’
Answer: Easy, everything that is good is from God, and everything evil is not of God.
should make a comparison as to show how God functions in the world. Imagine a
person we will call John. John is a rich man and loves to give money to people.
John sees a man called Bob and helps him by paying his bills, giving him food,
clothes, a place to stay… Now one day, Bob starts acting violent and selfish.
He starts drinking, insulting, robbing, beating his friends and spending money
on himself instead of buying medicine for his sick mother. John sees this and
tells Bob that he should stop doing this at once. Bob doesn’t listen. John
warns again and again until John has enough. John tells Bob that he’ll bring
misery to Bob, make him sick and hungry and force him to eat the rats on the
street. Bob is still too arrogant and as a result John stops paying his bills,
he stops sending him food, he stops sending him money. As a result, Bob is
living on the street, he gets sick, he is hungry and he is forced to eat the
rats on the street. In such a scenario, can anyone say John was unjust or
cruel? No. Can we blame John for causing such torments on Bob? No. Who is to
John= God. Bob= sinners
Now that we know
that God doesn’t bring evil and disasters, we will try and find the actual
causes for some of the disasters attributed to Him, and will use quotes from
‘’infidel’’ sites that like to bash the Bible (by ‘’evilbible(dot)com).
‘’ God Kills the Curious
And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?‘’
The objection is
that God somehow ‘’killed people’’ for being curious. But taking into
consideration what I just wrote we can switch perspectives and see what’s
really going on here.
The Ark was filled with incredible power of God and no man could see it because they were not holy enough. God warned people many times about this and the people didn’t listen. As a result, when they saw the power of God, they died since they couldn’t handle it. God did not kill these people as we would think of it in today’s view, rather they were killed by the incredible amount of power that was in the Ark.
(we should also note that the numbers seem very exaggerated).
‘’ Killing the Good Samaritan
The ark of God was placed on a new cart and taken away from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab guided the cart, with Ahio walking before it, while David and all the Israelites made merry before the Lord with all their strength, with singing and with citharas, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor
of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, for the
oxen were making it tip. But the Lord was angry with Uzzah; God struck
him on that spot, and he died there before God‘’
As we have seen with the previous example, God warned people not to look (or touch it directly) since they couldn’t handle it. Just like with the previous example, we need to take into consideration the perspective here. Uzzah had good intentions but still touched the Ark and died as a result. God didn’t literally strike Uzzah, rather he died when he came into contact with the power within the Ark.
comparison of what happened would be that of a parent who tells his child not
to touch the electric cable if his hands are wet. The child may have had a good
intention but still touched the cable and got shocked.
‘’ Killed by a Lion
Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, "Strike me!" But the man refused to strike the prophet. Then the prophet told him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me." And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him‘’
We may want to take into consideration that this doesn’t prove anything. The prophet told the man to strike him and the man wouldn’t (perhaps out of deliberate disobedience to God or His prophets). The result was that the prophet told the man what his fate will be, meaning that he’ll be eaten by a lion. So we need to keep in mind the perspective in the story. The only way that there can be some objection to this is that if God somehow commanded the lion to eat the man, yet we know animals do it naturally, so there is no reason to think God is the source of this incident.
‘’ Kill Brats
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!" The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces‘’
This is a popular story that atheists like to bring up but there are several problems with it. Just like with the previous example, God is in no way responsible for what happened. If anything Elisha misused His name and cursed the boys (and Jesus has told us that we shouldn’t use curses against people).The term ‘’curse’’ is used in the sense of wishing misery to happen to the other person, not in the sense of ‘’naughty words’’. Second problem is that the whole situation is not as clear as people would think. For a more detailed analysis of the event, see JP Holding’s (humorous but very well made) video concerning this event called ‘’Elisha and the two bears – retooned v2’’
(the following objections are taken from ‘’skepticsannotatedbible(dot)com’’)
‘’ I will destroy ... both man and beast."
God is angry. He decides to destroy all humans, beasts, creeping things, fowls, and "all flesh wherein there is breath of life." He plans to drown them all.’’
‘’ "Every living substance that I have made will I destroy."
God repeats his intention to kill "every living substance ... from off the face of the earth." But why does God kill all the innocent animals? What had they done to deserve his wrath? It seems God never gets his fill of tormenting animals’’
Here the author of the site is talking about the Flood and how God supposedly caused this disaster. Now as stated before, God doesn’t cause disasters. God is the one who made nature and everything in it ‘’very good’’. Disasters and instability in general are the result of people’s sin and turning away from God (the source of all good and order). The result of such actions are things like the Flood. If the atheists want to make God seem like a villain, then they would have to show how exactly God cause this. We would think that it’s obvious that God didn’t spill a giant bucket of water on Earth and cause the Flood that way. That would be a caricature of God and His way of bringing judgment. If someone should be blamed for the disaster, it’s the people who did violence and polluted the land with sin, which then resulted in the Flood.
‘’ Because the Samaritans chose to worship another deity, God will dash their infants to pieces and their "women with child shall be ripped up."’’
If the authors of these internet sites actually read the Bible, they would have known that Hosea only prophesied that Samaria, for being violent and cruel, will be destroyed by the Assyrians. God only warns them (apart from criticizing their cruelty) of what will come to pass. He will no longer be with them and will let them be destroyed by the cruel pagans.
‘’ God killed two of Aaron's sons for offering "strange fire before the Lord."’’
Here the author is speaking about an event from Leviticus 10. We should take a better look at it before passing judgment. Here we see Aaron’s sons offering ‘’strange fire’’. We know that Aaron’s sons knew how to make a fire and an offering, yet despite this they used ‘’strange fire’’ (by whatever method they used) which got out of control and ended up burning them alive. Now someone might object and say that the fire ‘’went out from the Lord’’ and that in verse 6 it says that the God did it. Yet something being ‘’from the Lord’’ doesn’t mean it’s literally sent or caused by God. Indeed we even see an evil spirit being ‘’from the Lord’’ and people know that this doesn’t mean God literally ordered a evil spirit to torture Saul or that God has an evil spirit. For a detailed explanation, see http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=1278
‘’ God will rip humans apart and then eat them like a lion.’’
‘’ God will send plagues and destruction upon Ephraim’’
The author (of the internet site) here is referring to Hosea 13 again. As we already mentioned, God isn’t literally eating people nor somehow sending plagues. The plagues are the result of God’s departing from Israel and the animals are also a horrible consequence of Him turning His back on them. This is even visible in Hosea 13 when God says ‘’ “You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your helper’’( Hosea 13:9 ). God is a helper to Israel and these are the consequences of turning away from Him.
‘’ God "accomplishes his fury" by making women eat their children’’
The author here is speaking about a verse from Lamentations 4 and Jeremiah 19 where God supposedly is causing people to eat their children. Now it is obvious that God is not making people do this in the sense the atheist authors want people to think. Nobody thinks God is somehow responsible for this. These parts of the Bible speak about the consequence of what will happen (or what has happened) to the Israelites when they turned from God. They turned their back on Him and so He turned His back on them, resulting in all kinds of horrors (which are listed in the passages). For a detailed look at the blessings that come from listening to God, and the result of not listening to Him, see Leviticus 26.
There are many other passages that are taken out of context by atheists. Passages like Psalms 109 and 137 are one such example. Psalm 109 was obviously written by a angry psalmist and it only reflects on his emotions. The part in psalm 137 uses the words ‘’blessed’’ while it is usually translated ‘’happy’’ (referring to the killing of infants). It is important since this only describes the state of the ones who will do these things. As we know, pagans who destroyed Babylon had the habit of doing this so the psalmist is only reflecting on what will happen to Babylon’s children and describes the state of the person doing this. There is nothing in the psalm to suggest that this kind of behavior is ok with God. Actually, not killing infants and babies is obedience to God (Exodus 1:17).
Another passage that atheists like to quote is Exodus 20:5 in an attempt to show that God punishes children for their parents sins. Now we know this is false (Ezekiel 18:20), so what does this passage speak about? It speaks about (as we have stated previously) the consequences of rejecting God and His teaching. The result is going to have consequences on the children and their offspring as shown by many prophecies in the OT where children suffer because of what their parents did. This in no way justifies the punishments (that are inflicted by some natural disaster or by humans), it only narrates what will happen and serves as a warning.
(other examples, taken from ‘’evilbible(dot)com)
‘’ 6) David's Punishment - Polygamy, Rape, Baby Killing, and God's "Forgiveness" (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB)
Thus says the Lord: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan answered David: "The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die." [The child dies seven days later.]
This has got to be one of the sickest quotes of the Bible. God himself brings the completely innocent rape victims to the rapist. What kind of pathetic loser would do something so evil? And then he kills a child! This is sick, really sick!‘’
Let’s start of by explaining what is really happening here. David killed a man (or at least he allowed him to be killed) so he could have his wife. This was a wicked thing David had done, so God (presented by Nathan here) told David what will happen because of this. His wives will cheat on him and his son will die, but David (since he repented) will live. This only illustrates a ‘’domino effect’’ that will result from David’s sin. God has nothing to do with what will happen.
‘’ God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.’’
Numbers 5, the Passage talks about a ritual that shows if the wife was cheating
her husband. The priest is to give bitter water to the woman and if she was
unfaithful then the infant she is carrying will die. I fail to see how this is
God’s fault since it’s the wife who is taking the water. The water won’t have
any effect if the wife was faithful but it will act like a curse and cause her
pain if she was unfaithful.
So the fault is with the unfaithful wife, not with God.
‘’ 10) God Assists Rape and Plunder (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)‘’
The obvious problem here is with the idea of ‘’assisting’’ this. As stated numerous times before, God is in no way responsible for this. He is Israel’s helper and the one protecting them. When Israel started acting wicked, God stopped being their helper. And this is, again, only a result of God’s departure from Israel.
We would do well to
remember what God said in Hosea 9 ‘’Woe to them, when I turn away from them’’
or as other translations have it ‘’It will be a
terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone’’.
‘’ God Will Kill Ethiopia
"You Ethiopians will also be slaughtered by my sword," says the LORD. And the LORD will strike the lands of the north with his fist. He will destroy Assyria and make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. The city that once was so proud will become a pasture for sheep and cattle. All sorts of wild animals will settle there. Owls of many kinds will live among the ruins of its palaces, hooting from the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will lie open to the wind and weather. This is the fate of that boisterous city, once so secure. "In all the world there is no city as great as I," it boasted. But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a place where animals live! Everyone passing that way will laugh in derision or shake a defiant fist. (Zephaniah 2:12-15 NLT)‘’
As with all the previous examples, we see God not literaly being the cause for this. This is only a narration of what will come to pass. Obviously God doesn't literaly have a sword or a fist by which He can destroys cities, nor do the physical cities literally talk.
''Kill Sons of Sinners
Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)''
The authors of the site should take into consideration that this whole passage in Isaiah is figurative and in no way speaks about children. A reading of Isaiah 14 from the beginning would have shown this.
1 Chronicles 21 is also an example that atheists like to bring up as a ridiculous reason for bringing judgment. Now we should note that the numbering didn't have as much to do with the sin as did David's direct berayal (or offence). Now was this such a great sin as to allow such a drastic punishment by an angel of destruction? We can assume that God wouldn't have unleashed the angel to punish Israel if they weren't already stating to sin. It's only David's insult that took it over the top. This is only speculation of course, but we are justified in thinking that God had some good reason to allow such a tragedy, not only to teach David a leson but also perhaps the rest of Israel. It is noted in the chapter that both David, Gad and Joab knew that this was something that shouldn't be done. Whatever the reason may have been, we can in no way accuse God for the catastrophy. The cause for this was the angel of destruction and not God. As for angels, I will now cover it in the answer to the last few objections.
will conclude with an objection to Ezekiel 9 and the famous story of Sodom and
Gomorrah. The Ezekiel passage talks about judgment on the idolaters and people
who have been violent. Here we see a combination of an direct order by God and
an example of God bringing judgment the same way he usually does (indirect,
which we have covered by now). Now the person objecting usually mentions verse
6 where the ''men'' are to go around and kill ''old man, the young man and the virgin, and
little children and women’’. This would
seem wicked since we assume that these people are innocent. We can grant that
some of these people were innocent. So why would God order such a thing? The
most probable reason is that these innocent ones (referring to the maidens and
little children) would have grown up to be as evil as their parents. Therefore
God would have had morally justified reason for doing this. But doesn’t this
mean He ordered something that is evil (punishing the innocent for something
they didn’t do)? Indeed it would be. So how could God directly order this?
Well, what I think is going on here is not a direct order from God but rather
another case of God not protecting the Israelites. Firstly, the ‘’men’’
mentioned here are not humans but angels. If so, this changes things a bit. We
assume that these angels are ‘’good guys’’ however, I would postulate that they
aren’t. Just because they are angelic beings, doesn’t mean they are on God’s
side. God may have authority over them, just like He has authority over Satan
(see Book of Job), but it doesn’t mean these beings are good. Indeed, even the
‘’sons of God’’ (Bene ha Elohim) are thought by some as being fallen angels. We
also see evil angels being mentioned in Psalm 78:49. This is why I base my
understanding that these angels are angels of destruction. If this is true,
then we can assume that they are beings who like to destroy and annihilate and
that God only permitted them to do that which they want. The only exception
were the people who suffered. Some might object that the passage clearly says
that God gave a direct order to them. However, we can see this order not as
though something that they must do, but rather as something they are allowed to
do. This would explain why one of the ‘’men’’ had an assignment to go around
and put a mark on the people who suffered, so that the angels of destruction
wouldn’t strike them too. If these angels were just and good, then they would
have known not to strike them. But God obviously had to mark the afflicted
people so that the angels wouldn’t kill them too. So if this is true, then the
accusation that God directly ordered an immoral act would be false, since He,
like with the previous examples, only let the angels of destruction do what
they wanted. This judgment, and others where God sends angels to destroy, seems
to some extent like the example in the Book of Job. Even though some atheists
object that God caused a lot of suffering to Job, it’s obvious that Satan was
the one who had the ill-intent and brought the disaster to Job. Another line of
evidence for this idea (that angels are the ones bringing disasters and not God
per ce) is an example from 1 Corinthians 10:10. In that example, we see that we
are warned ‘’ do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the
destroying angel.’’. Yet ,according to Ellicott’s commentary, the parallel is
made to Numbers 16 where it says that the Israelites were killed by the plague.
This suggests that indeed some catastrophes are caused by angelic beings and
not by God, hence God is not to blame.
Now let us also have a look at the situation at Sodom and Gomorrah. These cities were very immoral and cruel and God had enough of the people’s sin. As a result we see angels being sent by God to destroy these cities. Judging by the whole story, these angels seem to be pretty just and aware of what’s happening. They had the task both of destroying the city and warning Lot and his family. This would mean they weren’t just angels of destruction that were unleashed to destroy everyone they wanted. Rather they were aware that there are innocent people around that must be saved, and the guilty ones destroyed. Judging by this, we can conclude that they do not fall under the same group as the ones in Ezekiel 9 where we had separate angels who only destroyed and an angel who only had the task of putting marks on people. If my analysis of Ezekiel 9 is true, we can see that God uses in some way, both just angels and unjust angels to bring judgment. Just like when He uses just people like the ancient Israelites to bring judgment on Canaan and when He uses unjust and cruel pagans to bring judgment to the rebellious Israelites. There are other examples where we see righteous angels under God’s direct command, and angels who are evil and corrupt but still serve for some purpose (to bring judgment). Now we can’t talk about Sodom and Gomorrah and not mention what happened to Lot’s wife. It’s written that she was turned into a ‘’pillar of salt’’. Now let’s imagine what is happening there. We see the angels warning Lot and his family, again and again, to run and not look back. Now since we know that fire was falling down incinerating everything and everyone, we can see why the angels warned Lot to run. However Lot’s wife ‘’looked back’’. I think it would be reasonable to assume that she didn’t just look back but stayed to see the ‘’spectacle’’. And when it says that she turned into salt, we can postulate that it meant she was hit by the fire falling down and as a result, she got incinerated.
With this I have given my thoughts as to why people, who object against God doing something evil, have little or no understanding of theology. The central point was that God does not cause evil or calamity (like in Isaiah 45), rather He permits it to be done by some third party be it natural or supernatural. It’s my opinion that therefore, God is in no way evil nor can He even be considered evil since it would be contradictory. God by definition is good.