Why Does God Permit Wickedness?

YOU do not have to look far to see that evil and suffering abound. Wars kill civilians as well as soldiers. Crime and violence are commonplace. Perhaps you have recently been a victim of prejudice or injustice. In view of what you have seen and experienced, you have very likely asked, ‘Why does God permit wickedness?’

That question is not a new one. Some 3,600 years ago, a loyal servant of God named Job asked: “Why is it that the wicked themselves keep living?” (Job 21:7) Troubled by the evil deeds of his countrymen, the prophet Jeremiah of the seventh century B.C.E. asked: “Why is it that the way of wicked ones is what has succeeded, that all those who are committing treachery are the unworried ones?” (Jeremiah 12:1) Both Job and Jeremiah knew that God is righteous. Yet, they wondered why there was so much wickedness. Perhaps you too are puzzled by this.

Some people blame God for wickedness and suffering. Others wonder: ‘If God is all-powerful, just, and loving, why does he not put an end to evil and suffering? Why has he allowed evil to continue until our day?’ The following article considers answers to these and other vital questions.

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AP Photo/​Adam Butler