by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20)
In this scientific age, it is essential for us to remember that “science” can never answer any question beginning with “why.” Scientific research seeks to answer questions of “what” and “how,” and sometimes “where” and “when,” but it can never deal with “why” questions. Such questions require a moral or theological answer.
Probably the most vexing of all such questions is: “Why do the righteous suffer?” Or, put another way: “Why is there evil in a world created by a God who is good?” The question becomes especially poignant when personal calamity comes and we ask, “Why did this happen to me?”
Many think the book of Job was written to answer such questions, for Job was one of the most godly men who ever lived, yet he suffered more than anyone. But God answered Job’s searching questions only by pointing to the wonders of His creation. God has made us for Himself, and He is “forming” us for His own holy purpose; that is all we need to know right now. “What I do thou knowest not now,” said Jesus, “but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7).
Yet even Jesus in His human suffering cried out on the cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). We do know, at least in part, the answer to this question. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
For answers to the other “why” questions, we may well have to await God’s own time. Until then, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28), and we can say with Job: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).