Supplanting God’s Timetable

How the “Problem of Evil” shows arrogance worthy of repentance

A poster hangs on the wall in the office I work in. It pictures the cover of one of our magazines with a question, “How should Christians respond to the problem of evil?”

I think two aspects of the “problem of evil” that are overlooked are: first, arrogance and second, God’s timetable. A great and classic passage is Luke 13:1-5:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

First, we’re on God’s timetable. The Christian God, the only true and living God, is good and sovereign over all things. He does not need to resolve injustice according to our perception of “due process”. When Jesus is approached about the Galileans, the people are bringing an injustice to Jesus’ attention in order to receive an explanation of why God allowed their death – were they greater sinners? Jesus turns their attention to their own sin. He refocuses their timetable – God’s on His own timetable, doing as He pleases (Psalm 135:6), concentrate on the timetable you yourself are on (which is also God’s) – are you right with God?

Second, when we ask a question of why God ordains evil, most of the time we are assuming that God must conform to our timetable to make things right. God has promised a day of judgment. We should be confident in it. God will make things right. We should not demand that God do so according to us. We sin in arrogance when we question why God is not making things right or why He is allowing things to happen. This is just one of the many sins we have to repent of when we realize we are sinful and need to repent.