The Breaking of the World
To the woman he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing . . . And to Adam he said . . . cursed is the ground because of you . . . thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. Genesis 3:16-18
I have often struggled with Genesis and the origin of evil. Did God create evil? I can blame sin on Adam or Satan, but who made them? If I believe that God is in control (I do) and that He knows all (He does), then God knew what Satan would become. Whatever semantics I employ to make it make sense, I cannot avoid this reality: God is behind it all. Did God choose that Eve eat the fruit? I don’t know, but I do believe that God knew exactly what was going to happen.
Oddly, my own failures and subsequent consequences have helped me in my understanding of the origin of evil. I know that God loves me and I know that He longs for me to love Him in return. For love to be love though, there must be a choice. Out of His love, God gave me a choice between following Him or following myself. In following myself, God has allowed me to meet with painful consequences. The pain I have caused then, though a result of my sin, was allowed by God, so that free will and love may exist. Without free will and evil, there is no capacity for true love.
The consequences of Adam’s sin, were of course, much more extensive than mine. When Adam and Eve fell, the world broke. Our bodies failed and began to decay. Adam and Eve came to know sickness and pain. Their very nature, their flesh nature, began to rot, being filled with defects. The earth itself was distorted. Thorns sprang up in the garden and nature became hostile.
All pain and evil then, have their origin in Genesis. All pain and evil in the world are somehow allowed (some say chosen) by God so that we may truly know Him and His love.