The sovereignty of God has drawn out some of the deepest thinking from the Christian church. The classic question of divine sovereignty for the church has been the problem of injustice.
Statement of the problem
Although some people accuse God of allowing too much evil in the world, in the Scriptures the problem is presented in very different terms.
1. The world is full of darkness, wickedness, unbelief and selfishness. The devil and his legions are the ‘gods’ of this present darkness and corruption.
2. All good gifts come from the Sovereign Father in heaven.
3. There is an amazing level of goodness and blessing throughout the world. Even the most wicked people often enjoy tremendous blessings from the Sovereign Father.
Now, how can this situation be explained? How can we continue to trust in a truly Sovereign God when there is so much goodness and blessing in this sinful world? It is a constant puzzle to the greatest minds in the Bible.
The Biblical Question
Job wrestles with this deepest problem in Job 21:7-15. It almost destroys the faith of the psalmist in Psalm 73. Jeremiah finds this question of injustice almost unbearable. Jeremiah 12:1-3
You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
Habakkuk states the philosophical puzzle in the simplest terms in Habakkuk 1:13 – “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?”
If God is good, why does He bless the wicked? Why does He fail to punish evil?