Recently, someone wrote to me and asked: “why did God create Adam/mankind if He knew he/we were going to sin and do horrible things?”
Back in 1950, the first BIG game show hit television. It was called “The $64,000.00 Question.” And since then The $64,000.00 question has become proverbial for the biggest question of all. And every thoughtful person wrestles with truth on that level at time time or another. And that is GOOD!
But as we imagine, the really big questions are not always so easy to reduce to simple answers. And so here.
That however doesn’t mean we can’t get at some big answers in the process.
So, to answer the question in the shortest possible way – we don’t know. Just why He did it the way He did it remains a mystery in Him; the details of which He has not chosen to reveal to us yet in fullest way we would prefer. That said, there are a number of other things we CAN say about that question.
Sometimes, something which seems bad at first gloss, or considered only by itself, can be better accepted when we know that a better GOOD can be the result.
Example. If I have a diseased organ – say my appendix, which needs removed; I can willingly submit to something which is not good when viewed only by itself in order to achieve a greater good. So I allow someone to cut my body open and take out one of its original parts, in order to bring about greater health and longevity of life. In like, it is reasonable to ask in this case – is it possible that God had a greater good for more people in mind, when He allowed the Fall to take place? And indeed we get hints of that in His Word. So Paul can write: Romans 5:20b “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
No, Paul isn’t answering this exact question in that place; but I believe the principle he articulates can bear at least part of the weight of it nonetheless. As sin abounded in being manifest in myriads of ways by myriads of people, grace more than met the need. Though it was only through one man that sin came into the world, and that by but only one sin – still, the ENTIRE sin question is answered in but one remedy – the substitutionary death and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Jesus’ death didn’t deal with just one sin – Adam’s; it deals with ALL sins and all sin! It abounds, far exceeds all sin.
So if God’s plan will in the end reveal itself to be one that brought even greater blessing upon more people than allowing the Fall brought destruction upon some – wouldn’t we think that’s good?
He intimates that is so.
Now if we only had that to work from we’d have pretty slim pickings. So let’s go somewhere else: Romans 8:18–25 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
There are a few things we need to note here.
First: Whatever is to come after God’s plan reaches completion – is SO wonderful, it is not worthy to be compared to all the suffering sin and the Fall have brought collectively. Now in truth, how wonderful that must be in order to – not just offset the damage and misery done by sin – but to make that misery as not even worth comparing – is truly mind boggling. What will that be like? 1 Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— In other words, It’s beyond us. We have to trust Him that it is so because He said it is.
Second: It is evident that this plan IS in the process of being worked out now, and that we groan in this life until that day finally comes.
Now the other major thing, perhaps THE major thing we need to consider in addressing this question is that of FAITH.
You see it was Adam & Eve’s failing in the Garden that they did not trust God that what He told them was right. Eating of the Tree would bring death, and NOT eating was a bigger blessing than the one they THOUGHT they would get if they didn’t eat. And when it comes to salvation, each person is in effect brought back to the Garden to make that same decision all over again. Will I trust God’s character, that in His goodness, in His holiness, in His mercy and grace and infinite wisdom – His allowing it to happen the way it did, MUST be the best and wisest course possible?
Or will I rely on my own finite (in Adam’s case) and also fallen (in our case both) reasoning above His Word? This is the REAL $64,000.00 question. For God is not on trial – we are. And so will we trust Him to do only what it best and wisest? Or will we not? This is the question of Faith. He has revealed Himself as all wise, all powerful, all holy. And so, can I trust Him that His decision to allow the Fall, indeed to have it as part of His eternal cosmic plan – and to proceed down this present path – is better than if it had been done my way?
And there we are left. Trusting Him. Believing He cannot err, cannot sin, cannot do wrong or make an imperfect choice. And resting in that, even when He does not disclose to me the entirety of why some of those choices are best.
Some day, that will all be revealed in Christ. But for us today – it is to trust Him at His Word in His character. So that in those dark moments we can say with Job: Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, I will hope (or trust) in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.” In other words – I may still have my questions – but I will trust Him even with them. Even if they aren’t answered in full now.
I hope that helps some.