We live in a world plagued with suffering, a world where evil wanders to and fro, preying on the innocent and the weak, chaos howls like the wind, and death hangs ominous like stormy weather. How can a loving God tolerate so much injustice? How could such wickedness be permitted? In order to answer these questions we first need to understand why we were created. Were we put here merely to display the glory and power of God’s sovereignty? Or is there a deeper and more intimate purpose for why we are standing here today?
At the heart of every human being is the overwhelming desire to love and to be loved. Thus it is not sufficient that we love someone if the gesture is not reciprocated, in order for us to find fulfillment the affection must be mutual – that harmony between loving and being loved. The scripture tells us that we were made in the image and likeness of God himself; thus if our heart is merely to be a reflection of His heart, what then does this tell us about our created purpose? The Bible often uses the metaphor of God as a loving husband and the church as His bride. It has been depicted to us in manner which we can relate to; we can imagine those who are closest to us – whether a spouse, a child, or a good friend – just as we desire companionship in this way, so God desires it from us.
An honest and genuine relationship is deeply rooted in the ability to choose. True intimacy could never be coerced, just as you could never force someone to be your friend. Love suspended in complete and utter free-will is the mark of authenticity, no strings-attached. Because love is not a feeling that can be imposed, rather it’s an individuals personal decision. Sure God could have created a world of robots where everyone bowed down and worshiped him; but in order for our relationship to be meaningful and authentic it must hang in the balance of free-will. He has already chosen us, now we have to decide whether we’re going to choose Him.
There is no reason why we should have desired anything else other than to faithfully love God all the days of our lives. A relationship with God is the most satisfying existence that we could ever experience. But it was Satan, the father of lies who came in and seduced us that we should deny our first love and give ourselves over to sin. Thus the extent to which our love was real and authentic, so now is the extent of our evil and wickedness. There are no strings-attached to our evil just as there are no strings-attached to our love. There is no limit on the wickedness of man; at one end of the spectrum we have perfect unfailing love, and at the other end we have callous and cold-blooded murder. God created man with free-will knowing all the while that if we should choose to turn away, the ramifications would be without measure.
Genesis 6:5 “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and the Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart
But the Lord did not distance Himself from our suffering, rather He became apart of it. Fredrick Nietzsche once said “The gods justified human life by living it themselves – the only satisfactory response to evil ever invented” Nietzsche was speaking of the Greek deities, he never drew the same connection to Jesus. The Lord is ever present and deeply concerned in the affairs of man, but He won’t step in and stop us from being wicked anymore than He we would ever force us to love Him. We know that God has the power to preserve the righteous and the power to destroy the wicked, the time is coming when the Lord will put all evil beneath him and cast it into the lake of fire, He has promised to come back and deliver His children from the wrath of the wicked, but He is waiting, delaying his return, for time is mercy that the lawless might come unto repentance.