DOES GOD DO OR DECREE EVIL?
Since God is creator of all things, then the agents of evil, mankind and demonic angels; and the capacity to do evil was created by Him as well.
Since God decrees all that happens even the choices that we make to do evil ; but since He does not cause it but permits it for His purposes which is largely to prove out that only His sovereignty can prevail otherwise evil comes into play. Some events such as plagues and earthquakes that God decrees are devastating judgments by God as a result of man's evil. Man himself does evil without the devil's help - that by the way is where most of the evil in the world comes from = right out of man, without demonic help. And of course, the devil and his minions are constantly doing evil 100% of the time prompting man to do even more evil. The world itself reflects the Fall so events such as devastating hurricanes, fires, mud slides, floods, seem to cause the death of the 'innocent;' but recall that all of us deserve nothing less. We are born in sin and sinning from conception - even cute little babies are sinful from the womb.
Esau hated in the womb:
Ro 9:8-16 in answer to Mal 1:1-3
Pharoah raised up to do evil:
God hardened Pharoah's heart multiple times to do evil, yet it is Pharoah who chose multiple times of his own volition to do evil:
Ex 4:21; 7:3, 13, 14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 12, 34, 35; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 13:15; 14:4, 8, 17
God takes hold of Cyrus'
right hand, i.e. God leads Cyrus on a warring and conquering mission,
Cyrus - an unbeliever:
Isaiah 45:1-5 (NASB)
(Isa 45:1 NASB)
"Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the
right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of
kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:
(Isa 45:2 NASB) I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.
(Isa 45:3 NASB) I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may
know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
(Isa 45:4 NASB) For
the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My chosen one, I have also
called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you
have not known Me.
(Isa 45:5 NASB) I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;"
[Bible Knowledge Commentary]:
"45:1-4. Besides issuing a decree permitting the captives to return home, Cyrus also avenged God's wrath on the nations. Amazingly the Lord called Cyrus His anointed. The word "anointed" referred to the relationship Israel's first two kings, Saul and David, had with God (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:6). Since Israel in exile had no king, Cyrus functioned in a sense as her king (the anointed one) to bring about blessing. Like the Messiah (lit., "the Anointed One") who would come after him, Cyrus would have a twofold mission: to free the people, and to bring God's judgment on unbelievers.
Cyrus would easily conquer other nations (Isa. 45:lb), with God's help (v. 2), and would receive wealth from the nations he overcame (v. 3). This he did in conquering Lydia and Babylon. All this would be for the sake of Jacob, God's Chosen People (see comments on 41:8-9). And even though Cyrus would enjoy a special relationship with God (God called him by name; cf. 43:1) and was honored by God, he still was not a believer for he did not acknowledge the Lord as the true God.
45:5-7. Again the uniqueness of God is stressed. The fact that there is no other is stated in verses 5-6, 14, 18, 21-22 (also see 43:11; 44:6; 46:9). In Cyrus' day the Lord was not universally acknowledged, but eventually He will be (cf. Phil. 2:10-11). People will realize that all that happens—light (life), darkness (death), prosperity, and disaster (not "evil" as in the kjv; cf. Amos 3:6)—comes from God. As the sovereign Lord of the universe He can do everything."
God creates disaster:
God turns Gog, (present day Russia), around and puts hooks in Gog's jaws and brings her out with her whole army to to do evil & attack Israel along with other nations from the north. God actually orchestrates an attack on Israel:
(And yet at the same time Gog & the other nations will think up an EVIL scheme to invade Israel
(Notice that it is all to the glory of God)
Slave girl has a spirit of divination / fortune telling, i.e., prophesying under the power of demons
(Acts 16:16 NASB) "It
happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl
having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much
profit by fortune-telling.
(Acts 16:17 NASB) Following
after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are
bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way
(Acts 16:18 NASB) She
continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and
turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus
Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment.
(Acts 16:19 NASB) But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,
[Expositor's Bible Commentary]:
While on their way to the Jewish place of prayer (note the present
participle poreuomenon), the missionaries were met by a slave girl Luke
describes as having a "Python spirit" (pneuma pythona). The Python was
a mythical serpent or dragon that guarded the temple and oracle of
Apollo, located on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus to the north
of the Gulf of Corinth. It was supposed to have lived at the foot of
Mount Parnassus and to have eventually been killed by Apollo (cf.
Strabo Geography 9.3.12). Later the word python came to mean a
demon-possessed person through whom the Python spoke—even a
ventriloquist was thought to have such a spirit living in his or her
belly (cf. Plutarch De Defectu Oraculorum 9.414). Undoubtedly all who
knew the girl regarded her as neither fraudulent nor insane but as
demon possessed and able to foretell the future. By her fortunetelling,
she earned her masters much money.
As the girl followed Paul and his companions around, she kept on
screaming out (note the imperfect ekrazen): "These men are servants of
the Most High God, who are telling you [hymin, pl.] the way to be
saved." Her screaming recalls that of the demons during Jesus' ministry
(Mark 1:24; 3:11; 5:7; Luke 4:34, 41; 8:28). In both instances there
was a compulsive acknowledgment of the true character of those
confronted. Here the acknowledgment is stated in terms acceptable to
the Jewish world and readily understandable to Gentiles. The title
"Most High God" (ho theos ho hypsistos), while originally a Phoenician
ascription for deity (El Elyon), was used by the Hebrews of Yahweh (cf.
Num 24:16; Ps 78:35; Isa 14:14; Dan 3:26; 4:32; 5:18, 21; 1Esd 2:3) and
by the Greeks of Zeus (cf. C. Roberts, T.C. Skeat, and A.D. Nock, "The
Guild of Zeus Hypsistos," HTR, 29 [19.36], 39-88). And the announcement
of "salvation" (soteria)—while for Paul and the Jews referring to
deliverance from sin—would have connoted for Gentiles release from the
powers governing the fate of man and of the material world. It was,
therefore, cast in terms Gentiles could understand but Paul could build
But while the demon-inspired words provided some free publicity for the missionaries and helped gather an audience, when it continued for many days, it became a nuisance. The demon's words were getting more of a hearing than the proclamation of the gospel! So Paul commanded the evil spirit "in the name of Jesus Christ" to come out of the girl, and the demon left her.
Presumably, having been delivered by the power of God, she became a Christian and—along with Lydia the businesswoman and members of her household, Luke the physician (notice that the "we" section stops at v. 17), and an unnamed army veteran and jailer (vv. 27-36)—a member of the embryonic church at Philippi.19-21 What Paul did for the slave girl was not appreciated by her masters. In exorcising the demon, he had exorcised their source of income. Because of interference with what they claimed as their property rights, and with callous disregard for the girl's welfare, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace (ten agovan, "the agora") to face the city's authorities. The charge laid was that Paul and Silas were advocating a religio illicita and thus disturbing the Pax Romana. But the charge, being couched in terms that appealed to the latent anti-Semitism of the people ("these men are Jews") and their racial pride ("us Romans"), ignited the flames of bigotry and prevented any dispassionate discussion of the issues."
[Bible Knowledge Commentary]:
Some men were exploiting a demon-possessed slave girl for her ability
to predict the future. The English words, a spirit by which she
predicted the future, translate two Greek words, "a spirit, a python."
This concept goes back to the Greek city of Delphi where the god Apollo
was believed to be embodied in a python snake. The original priestess
at Delphi was purported to be possessed by Apollo and thereby able to
predict the future; therefore anyone possessed by the python spirit
could foretell coming events. No doubt an actual demon gave such a
person predictive powers. Demons took advantage of people's worship of
false gods (cf. 17:23; 1 Cor. 10:20).
The girl attached herself to Paul and the others and was shouting (imperf. tense) who they were (servants of the Most High God) and what they preached (the way to be saved). Though her statements were true, the gospel of Christ would be damaged by an association with a demon-possessed slave girl. So after many days... Paul exorcised the demon, speaking directly to the spirit. (Other cases of victory over the occult in Acts are recorded in 8:9-24; 13:6-12; 19:13-20.)]"
repeatedly attacked by Satan, God permitted this evil but limited it to
prove out Job's faithfulness implying that Satan did have supernatural
(Job 1:20 NASB) '''Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.'''