|“|| God is just and impartial
ABC:Psalms 92:15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
ABC:Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
ABC:Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
ABC:Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
ABC:Ezekiel 18:25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
God is unjust and partial
ABC:Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
ABC:Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
ABC:Romans 9:11-13 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
ABC:Matthew 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
The critic makes some serious mistakes in trying to attribute injustice and partiality to God. First of all, Genesis 9:25 contains something Noah said, not God, and that was because his son had immorally looked at his father's nudity. As a result Noah cursed his younger son. However, even IF that had been something God had said, not Noah, it would not have necessarily shown injustice or partiality since it was a condemnation of an immoral action. Using that as the primary example of God's injustice displays seriously flawed reasoning, as well as carelessness, on the part of the critic.
The critic seems to be arguing that Exodus 20:5 displays partiality because children experience the consequences of their ancestor's decisions to the third and fourth generations. This may well be a reference to disease. God punishes individuals who hate Him with diseases and physical maladies that carry over into their later generations. However, despite this God forgives those who repent, healing their lives and bodies. The critic noticeably does not mention the next verse, Exodus 20:6, which specifically states that God shows mercy to those who love Him and righteously keep His commandments.
In the Mosaic Law, God elsewhere specifically states that children are not to be put to death for the actions of their parents, or parents for what their children have done, but punishment should be based upon their individual actions. Therefore, while God may execute forms of punishment on later generations through disease, execution was to occur only when an individual had done that which was clearly evil.
|“|| ABC:Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
ABC:2 Kings 14:6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Ultimately final judgment at the end of the time will be based solely on a person's actions irrespective of what their ancestors have done.
|“|| ABC:2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
ABC:Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Concerning the critic's third allegation of injustice/partiality by God and Romans 9:11-13, God did determine before Jacob and Esau were born which should rule over the other. However, this is because God is able to know our personalities and what we are like inside before we're even born. Evil people begin thinking and doing evil from the womb, just as the good are known from this time as well.
|“|| ABC:Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
ABC:Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
However, God still pleads with those who are evil to change and do what is right, and makes clear that He takes no pleasure in the deaths of those who are wicked.
|“|| ABC:Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity;
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
So, in conclusion, just because God knew enough of what Jacob and Esau were like while they were still in the womb to foreordain aspects of their lives, does not mean that God is unjust or impartial. It simply evinces the depths of God's knowledge and understanding to realize what kind of people we are from the moment we are created, even before we leave our mother's wombs. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that Esau, like his brother Jacob, was blessed permanently with land that God has permanently left to his descendants. (ABC:Deuteronomy 2:4-5)
Finally, the critic accuses God of injustice and partiality because in Matthew 13:12 Jesus says that those who have will be given more, and those with little will have that little taken away from them. However, the fuller context shows that this was spoken concerning knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The ones Jesus was speaking to had closed their own eyes (Matthew 13:14) because they did not want to realize the truth.
|“|| ABC:Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Truth is something given to those who seek it earnestly, who wish to know righteousness. Therefore it is not unjust of God to take away the understanding of those who close their eyes and ears because they don't want to know or accept the truth. God is fair and gives wisdom generously to those who seek in a right spirit by trusting God (James 1:5-6).
|“|| ABC:Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
ABC:Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Verse 4 (Again)
|“|| God is the author of evil
ABC:Lamentations 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
ABC:Jeremiah 18:11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
ABC:Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
ABC:Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?
ABC:Ezekiel 20:25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
God is not the author of evil
ABC:1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
ABC:Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
ABC:James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
As pointed out by the Scofield Study Bible III in its note for Isaiah 45:7, the Hebrew word ra translated as "evil" in places like Isaiah 45:7, Jeremiah 18:11, and Amos 8:6 would be better translated as calamity, and carries the idea of suffering or punishment. Indeed, Isaiah 45:7 when examined reveals this, for light is indeed the opposite of darkness, but the opposite of peace is not evil, but chaos or calamity.
|“|| 45:7 create disaster. God is not the author of sin (Hab. 1:13; 2 Tim. 2:13; Tit. 1:2; Jas. 1:13; 1 Jn. 1:5). One of the meanings of the Hebrew word ra carries the idea of adversity or calamity, and it is evidently so employed here. God has made sorrow and wretchedness to be the sure fruits of sin.
-The Scofield Study Bible III, Oxford University Press
Jeremiah 18:11 when read in context with the surrounding verses becomes even more apparent that God is not doing evil in the sense of unrighteousness but in the sense of calamity, or in other words producing just punishment for the wicked. Thus God says that if nations turn from their evil He will repent of the evil He'd planned to do to them (v. 8). Likewise God says that if a nation God had planned good for does evil, then because they have done evil, God will repent of the good He'd planned to do for their benefit (vv. 9-10).
|“|| Jeremiah 18:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
As for Lamentations 3:38 it is a rhetorical question, and when read in context makes clear that the "evil" being referred to is simply just punishment for a person's evil deeds.
|“|| ABC:Lamentations 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
The context of Ezekiel 20:25 also makes plain that God is not doing evil in the sense of unrighteousness but rendering a just judgment upon evildoers. Israel at the time was performing heinous idolatry which included the abominable sin of sacrificing their own children alive to idols like Baal and Molech, which was why God punished them with ra, which while translated as "evil" by the KJV would better be translated as "calamity" or "affliction."
|“|| ABC:Ezekiel 20:21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
22 Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
23 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.
27 Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
28 For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.
29 Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name whereof is called Bamah unto this day.
30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.