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Job 3:11-19 ESV

“Why did I not die at birth,

come out from the womb and expire?

Why did the knees receive me?

Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?

For then I would have lain down and been quiet;

I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,

with kings and counselors of the earth

who rebuilt ruins for themselves,

or with princes who had gold,

who filled their houses with silver.

Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child,

as infants who never see the light?

There the wicked cease from troubling,

and there the weary are at rest.

There the prisoners are at ease together;

they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.

The small and the great are there,

and the slave is free from his master.

Would it have been better if God had never created us?

Some people look at the evil of this world and conclude that the God of the Bible does not exist. This is an ancient argument. One form of the argument, attributed to the Greek philosopher Epicurus, goes like this:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

The trilemma strongly implies that God probably doesn’t exist, but even if He does, He either isn’t omnipotent or omnibenevolent. In other words, if any god exists at all, He cannot be the God of the Bible. He must be some sort of compromised god, lacking in either goodness or power.

Some people who argue in this vein add omniscience to the mix and question why an all-knowing Creator would create the world at all, when He knew evil would corrupt it. They try to portray God as less than good on these grounds.

Job didn’t go quite that far. He only wondered, in his extreme pain and anguish, why God had made him. Still, it was an odd thing to wish for.

If God is omniscient, wouldn’t He know better than finite humans whether it was better for Him to create us or not? To actually know whether He was evil for creating humans doomed to sin and experience pain we would have to be in the place of God.

In the end all they can say is that the world is not as they would have it if they were God. But they are not God!

Just like Job, people who ascribe evil to God, or who reason He doesn’t exist on the basis of evil, simply don’t know what they’re talking about. The difference is that Job never rejected God, let alone doubted His existence. Job held fast to his integrity to the very end.

Job was just a flesh-and-blood human like the rest of us. If he could hold on, we can hold on.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable… ~1 Corinthians 15:58a

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