Does God create evil? Does He send evil to people?

Scripture: Isaiah 45:7, Job 1:6-7
In Isaiah chapter 45 it says that God is the Creator of evil? What does this mean? Isn't God only good?
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Caller: I have a question about Isaiah 45:7 where God says He creates evil. Can you explain what it means?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, we’ve had that question before, and you can also couple this verse with where it says that the Lord sent an evil spirit to King Saul. There’s another place where Michaiah the prophet is talking to Ahab and he says that he saw that the Lord sent a lying spirit to the prophets of Ahab, and then, of course, you got where it says the Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart. In all three or four of these verses it appears that evil is proceeding from God, and yet the Bible says ‘Every good and perfect gift comes from God’. So how you reconcile that?

My answer would be—if you read in the book of Job, there’s the key that unlocks the relationship between good and evil and God’s involvement. The devil is asking permission of God to go and to tempt or to torment Job. The devil cannot do anything without God allowing it. God must withdraw His protection and lift the hedge. He must pull back His protective forces. In that sense it appears that God is allowing the evil. The Lord is the One who placed the Tree of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. That doesn’t mean that the Lord wants us to ‘eat evil’ it means He gives us the freedom to choose. Sometimes the Lord will withdraw His angels that protect us, and in that sense you can say He’s allowing evil to come, but the Lord Himself, He doesn’t tempt anyone, James tells us, neither can He be tempted. Do you see what I’m saying?

Caller: Okay, yes.

Pastor Doug: Let me put it this way. The devil is an individual being—Lucifer, this spirit who is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour. God constantly is putting him in check to the degree of what He allows the devil to do. From time to time the Lord draws back his hand of protection to accomplish some purpose, like He did in the story of Job, and that’s when Isaiah says that evil comes from the Lordhe simply means that the devil can’t do anything unless God allows it, because God is sovereign. That’s all it’s saying.

Caller: Now in the story of Job, when it says the sons of God came together and Satan came in, is that sons of God referring to angels?

Pastor Doug: I believe those sons of God are maybe the rulers of other worlds, the same way that Adam is called the son of God in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 3, as the father of this planet. So these could have been representatives, ambassadors of other created worlds. Sometimes angels are called sons of God. We don’t know. Every scholar speculates and that’s my view. Okay?

Caller: Okay. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Good question, Marvin. Thank you.

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