Friday, 29 July 2016


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Daily reflection

“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good…” Genesis 1:31 (NRSV).
I am so glad to welcome you, lover of God’s word, to this day’s reflection. May you be graced abundantly and I pray that you shall be nourished with this food of heavenly pilgrims. I hope this reflection meets you in good health, praise be to God. Today I will like to reflect on the last verse of the first chapter of the book of Genesis. I have captioned this reflection “He saw they were all good; then where comes evil?”
After creation, God took a survey of all that he had made and found them pleasing. He found them good. It pleased him because they all conform perfectly to his wisdom. No wonder the Psalmist says in Psalm 104:24 “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom, you have made them all…” The orderliness we see in creation is a manifestation of the wisdom of God. A disordered being cannot bring order. We simply judge someone to be insane by the actions he portrays especially by the words of his mouth. It is a blessing to be counted among these amazing works of the heavenly craft master.
The scripture says emphatically, that everything God created was beautiful. beauty entails perfection. This is the initial stage of creation when all was in right conformity with the wisdom of God. Also, Saint Paul affirms this in his first letter to Timothy when he says, “For everything created by God is good…” (I Timothy 4:4). Now, having seen from the scripture that God made all things good in creation, our problem is, how comes evil? If everything was made good, evil should have existed at all. Could it be that there was an imperfection in God’s work? Could it had been that he didn’t foresee the danger of evil while he was creating the world? These questions need answers but who will go to God and get it for us?
Let me clarify you a bit about evil. In the order of created things, evil has no place, for it is not a being. Because it is not a being, it couldn’t have been created. But if evil is not a being, then what is evil? It was Saint Augustine, supported by Saint Thomas Aquinas, who defines evil as a privation of a good that is natural to a being. It is an absence of a good that is supposed to be in a being naturally. So evil by its very nature is not even a thing, rather it is a kind of deficiency. It can be a deficiency of virtue, as to when a person lacks a good virtue. We call a person who lacks the virtue of truth liar, not because lying is a nature, but a privation of the nature of truth which is due to the being of man. And so we see the person as evil who does not conform to the nature due to him as human. The theologians call this lack of perfection in man (due to his limitation) ontic evil. There are many types of evil – like metaphysical evil, existential evil, moral evil and name them. But in all these, our question still remains unanswered: where comes evil?
This question is not new, it has been one of the most challenging questions and in fact a major point of the Atheists' denial of the goodness of God. But Christians have also given credible answers to this question, which is often referred to as “the problem of evil”. The author of the book of Job makes this attempt to answer the question of evil. And he adeptly gives a story that illustrates the problem of evil and the triumph of good.Part of the dialogue in the story goes thus;
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel with words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" (Job 38:1-4).
God goes on to list his great and ineffable acts, this humiliated Job and he came to realise that God does always have a purpose for everything and most times, his purpose is beyond human comprehension.
Saint Augustine posits that evil came to the world as a result of human freedom. Now, everything God does is for good. If God were to allow evil in the world it must be for a particular purpose, and that purpose must be for good; not just any good but for a greater good. Origen of Alexandria believes that this greater good is 'free will'. Yes, God allows evil in the world because of human free will. It is as a result of man exercising his free will that evil came to the world. So, evil did not come from God rather from man. It is a consequence that precedes human freedom. But let us not see human freedom as evil rather as a necessity for good. Human beings are free and also they change. These two qualities cause great diversity and divergence from God when they converge. Nevertheless, without freedom, we cannot talk about moral culpability, no moral judgment, for these cannot be possible if there is no moral choice.
So my dear child of God, let us not blame God for the evil we cause ourselves. God’s plan is for our good. He can never deny us of any good because he is goodness himself. Anything that comes out from him is always good for goodness is his essence and existence. Let us approach with love and see reasons to everything that happen to our lives. God has a purpose for your life and that purpose is for everlasting happiness. He wants you to share his glory in paradise, so do not think otherwise. He loves you, so love Him.
N:B; thank you dearly beloved of God for having finished this daily reflection with me. Please, don’t leave without doing what I’m about to recommend. Remember that the prayers of the saints go up to God like incense (Revelation 8:4), and so I invite you to read the life of the saint whom we are celebrating today. Grace to You!

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