Jeremiah struggled with a question that we all do: How do we make sense of evil? But maybe that’s the problem, trying to make sense of what’s not sensible, what could even be deemed as “nonsense.”
In this regard, Ellen G. White wrote: “It is impossible to explain the origin of sin so as to give a reason for its existence. . . . Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin.”—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 492, 493. Replace the word sin with evil and the statement works just as well: It is impossible to explain the origin of evil so as to give a reason for its existence. . . . Evil is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be evil.
When tragedy strikes, we hear people say, or we ourselves think: I don’t understand this. It doesn’t make sense. Well, there’s a good reason that we don’t understand it: it’s not understandable. If we could understand it, if it made sense, if it fit into some logical and rational plan, then it wouldn’t be that evil; it wouldn’t be that tragic because it serves a rational purpose. How crucial it is that we remember that evil, like sin, cannot often be explained. What we do have, however, is the reality of the Cross, which shows us the love and goodness of God despite the inexplicable evil caused by sin.
1- Dwell more on this idea that evil and suffering don’t make sense, that they don’t have a rational or good explanation. Why is it better that way? Think about it. A horrible tragedy strikes: perhaps a young child dies of a terrible disease after years of suffering. Do we really want to believe that a good and rational reason exists for this? Isn’t it better to chalk it up to the terrible and evil results of living in a fallen world? Discuss in class.
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 4 – Rebuke and Retribution