Context of Evil Isaiah 45:7

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Isaiah 45:7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things.



    It is important to note that the use of the word evil in the Hebrew word r “ is used in scripture has many contexts and this Hebrew word translated in English as evil has a much broader range than our English version according to D.W.Baker in his article entitled “Evil” which can be found the book “Dictionary of the Old Testaments/Prophets” on page 194. This Hebrew word translated evil in English is found in contexts such as a description of food (Jeremiah 24:3; 29:17). It is also used in the context of wild dangerous animals (Ezekiel 5:17; 14:15). The reason it is used this way is because the word evil in Hebrew without any context simply speaks to that which is at the opposite end of good. J. Walls, in his article entitled “Evil” states that “evil refers to that which is opposed to good and the right” which can be found in the book titled Dictionary of the Old Testament/Historical Books pg. 272.

    This Hebrew word r “ occurs as a verb; at times it occurs in the adjective form ra “. Other times it appears as a noun ra ‘a. Further it is important to note that sometimes the translation is used when describing a situation from man’s point of view. This is the case with Isaiah 45:7 where it is declared that God causes disaster. The use of the word here is indicating the terrible impact of a catastrophe. As Baker says we need to be very careful in determining which sematic nuance fits the context of the word.

    Millard Erikson, in his book “Christian Theology pg. 544, declares it is not possible that God is the author of moral evil. James 1:13 that God does not do such a thing. So what we have discovered here is that evil in scripture does not have to mean a moral evil every time it is used or simply because it is used many times elsewhere in scripture. When we compare the scripture of James 1:13 to the scripture of Isaiah 45:7 we can determine that should the Isaiah passage mean a moral evil then we would have a conflict with the James 1 passage. The James passage is clear and the context of the Isaiah passage is as well. James says God cannot tempt man to sin, this is unambiguous. The Isaiah passage is also clear in that we can see God is declaring there is no such thing as any other God in reality and only He can bring judgement and disaster on people. The commentary of Barnes speaks to this issue this way:

    “The parallelism here (Isaiah 45:7) shows that this is not to be understood in the sense of all evil, but of that which is the opposite of peace and prosperity. That is, God directs judgments, disappointments, trials, and calamities; he has power to suffer the mad passions of people to rage, and to afflict nations with war; he presides over adverse as well as prosperous events. The passage does not prove that God is the author of moral evil, or sin, and such a sentiment is abhorrent to the general strain of the Bible, and to all just views of the character of a holy God.”
     
  2. BrotherJoseph

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    Revemitchell,

    I suggest you do your research from the scripture before you go about creating such threads. I agree the Hebrew word used in Isaiah is indeed "ra" and is translated to say God creates "evil". This same Hebrew word is used 125 times in the Old Testament and almost every time it is referring to moral wickedness. Posters do not need to take my word for it, all 125 verses that this word appear in are listed here- http://biblehub.com/hebrew/ra_7451.htm Study the context of the vast majority of them and it is clear is almost always means wickedness. If you don't have the time, I suggest posters at least just glance at the first few verses in which this word is used in the Bible and they will reach this conclusion by the context of the verses.

    By the way, are you aware God also created the "crooked serpent" Satan? "By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent." (Job 26:13). He created him and he will also destroy him, "In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea" (Isaiah 27:1)
     
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  3. Revmitchell

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    I suggest you actually read the op. This is addressed. Also, this is the same failed argument made in my other thread. The amount of times it is used in that context does not determine the context in the Isaiah passage. Such arguments are irrelevant and unnecessary. The context of a particular word, in this case evil, is always determined by the immediate context in the passages before and after. Further, James 1:13 refutes your personal interpretation of that passage.
     
  4. BrotherJoseph

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    Rev Mitchell,

    Perhaps you do not grasp basic Biblical hermeneutics, besides looking at the verse in it's context, one of the basic procedures to determine the meaning of a word from the Bible is to see how it is generally used throughout the entire Bible by looking at all usages of the word in the Bible-hence why we have things such as Strong's Concordance.

    Another basic principle of Biblical hermeneutics is the law of first and last use. This is when we look at the meaning of the word the very first time it is used in the Bible and the last time. Lets apply it to the Hebrew word "ra". First use in the Old Testament is Genesis 6: 5, " And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." The word "evil" here clearly means wickedness. Now, what about the last time this Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament? It is found in Malachi 2:17, "Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" Again the word evil here clearly means wickedness, thus from the principle of first use, last use, and how the word is generally used in the entire Bible it is safe to conclude in Isaiah 45:7 it means wickedness. The problem with your method of hermeneutics if you limit your study only to the one verse and the verses surrounded it, this procedure can easily lead to the developments of false doctrine-take for example if one decided only to study the doctrine of justification, but only looked in James, they would conclude you are justified by both faith and works.
     
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  5. BrotherJoseph

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    No mainstream theologian or Baptist confession of faith that believes in the doctrine that God predestinated or "ordained" all things that come to pass believes God is the "author of evil". You are setting up a straw man argument. Show me a confession of faith that states that. You can't because there aren't any. They actually explicitly state he is not the "author" of sin.

    God can create evil, but not be the author of sin if His intention for creating it is Holy and good. Intent is what makes something sinful. The common example I use is a physician, if he amputates a man's leg to save his life is it evil? No. Now what about if he does it simply to cause pain, is it evil? Yes. You want an example from the Bible? God predestinated that His son be crucified as it states "it pleased" the Lord to bruise Him, was this evil? Of course not because he did it to save people. Now that same act when performed by the Pharisees who crucified him was it evil? Yes because it was done to murder the Son of Man.
     
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  6. BrotherJoseph

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    I would like to see these so called "theologians" you are quoting from would explain the following verses,
    "But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him" (1 Samuel 16:14)

    Ezekiel says: “And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. (14:9)” It was God who deceived the prophets.

    Looking again in the book of Second Samuel it says: “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. (24:1)” Here we see that the Lord was angry with Israel again and he (the Lord) moved David against them in numbering the people. The word for “and he moved” means to “prick” or better yet to “stimulate, seduce, entice, persuade and provoke”. So we see the Lord “causing” David to say “Go, number Israel and Judah” because of his anger towards Israel. Then King David tells his captain of the host Joab to go out and number all the people. Then after it is all said and done, David is convicted or pricked in the heart for numbering the people and says unto the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. (24:10)” David confessed to sinning greatly before the Lord. Here it was Jehovah who moved (directed his steps) David to sin in numbering the people and then we see David confessing his sin to Jehovah for numbering the people. (To me, this is a perfect invalidation to the accusation that if it is God that causes one to sin then that person can just turn around and blame their sin on God. David was moved to do this action and yet it is evident from these verses that he was convicted of that sin and confessed that sin before the Lord.) Now, I can probably guess as to what some are probably thinking: But it says in 1 Chronicles that: “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (21:1)” Yes, that is absolutely correct and that verse is as much Scripture and truth as the verses quoted above, yet scripture is also very clear elsewhere that Satan is nothing but God’s servant, or better yet His puppet and he does what he is told to do (Job 1:8, etc.). And one cannot deny that these Scriptures in 2nd Samuel very clearly state that it was God who moved David to number Israel.
     
  7. BrotherJoseph

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    One final point I will offer you for you to consider on the matter Rev is from the book of Job. "12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord" (Job 1:12), then after calamity falls upon Job, Job attributes the disasters that were done to him as coming from God, not Satan. Job says in the same chapter "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21). Was Job wrong in attributing what happened to him to God when the Lord said all that Job had was in Satan's power? The next verse tells us, "22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." (Job 1:22). These events prove Satan is just God's pawn to accomplish God's purposes. Contrary to popular belief nothing happens outside of the will of God per scripture, "according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Ephesians 1:11). The verse says "all things", not "some things" are worked according to God's will and you, nor anybody else can get around that.
     
    #7 BrotherJoseph, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  8. Revmitchell

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    I am sorry you are threatened by the "so called" theologians. When you have to attack like that it means your theology is weak. I do not care to engage in such confrontation. You are welcome to your personal view of these passages. I have made a clear case for my point. At that....I will leave you to it. Just know that any statements made around here that people do not respond to the posts of some of the cals is because your personal doctrine is irrefutable and so we will not respond is false. I have just proven that. People do not respond because of comments like "so called theologians". No one wants to deal with that Jerry Springer mentality. In fact a know of a handful of people who will no longer post here because of it.
     
  9. Jerome

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    Just as the Geneva Bible explains in the margin:

    "I send peace and war, prosperity and adversity"
     
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