Isaiah 45:7, Create evil. Based on this verse some may be led to believe that all the evil that occurs in the world is YHVH’s fault, therefore, as the creator of evil, how can he be good? Some have even refused to serve and obey YHVH and rejected the truth of Scripture on the basis of this logic. But what is the truth?
First, let us analyze the Hebrew word for evil/רָעָה/רַע (Strong’s H7451; TWOT 2191). It is the generic Hebrew word meaning evil also meaning “bad, disagreeable, malignant, unpleasant, sad, unhappy, wicked, distress, wrong, injury.
As we can see, evil is only one of the many and varied definitions of the Hbrew word ra wich can also mean distress, adversity, unhappiness, sadness and so on. Can “bad” things happen to people that end up being good for the person? Of course. Such has happened to all of us many times in our lives. Keep this point in mind.
According to The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the word ra has as its primary definition the lack of quality or inferior quality of something or someone and is thus unable to meet standards of value or function beneficially. The word can connote moral deficiencies and is contrasted to the Hebrew word tov which is the generic word meaning good. TWOT notes that Elohim [as the Just Judge of the universe] acts with painful punishment against evil (ra) people who refuse to repent of their wicked or evil actions. If he failed to do this evil would take over the earth and universe.Continue reading