7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things. (NIV)
ESV - 7 I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
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Yes, God is love, but He is also a God of justice. Just as His love graciously provides a way (in Christ) for all of sinful humanity to be saved if they repent of their sin and turn to Him in faith, His justice requires the punishment of unrepentant sin and those who commit that sin (especially when that sin threatens those who repent) -- if not in this life, then in eternity. When that justice and punishment comes (that is, when darkness and disaster overtake the wicked), it is not merely by chance, but by the action and will of God (apart from any of the adverse "random" events that can occur in this fallen world through His permissive will, and that can affect anyone -- although, as indicated in Romans 8:28, God also makes all such events work together for the ultimate good of those who love Him).
When we put these verses in chapter 45, in context, we discover that God is speaking directly with Cyrus, king of the Medo-Persian empire, the most powerful man on earth. God is declaring his sovereignty over all his creation: v3 I am the Lord the God of Israel v5 I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God v6 I am the Lord and there is no other v7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster, I, the Lord, do all these things v8 I the Lord have created it v9 Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker v11 This is what the Lord says - the Holy One of Israel, its Maker v12 It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens, I marshaled their starry hosts. v18 For this is what the Lord says - he who formed the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited God declares his plan and purpose for his people: v13 He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the Lord Almighty. v17 But Israel [all OT Saints & all Christians] will be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting v19 I have not spoken in secret from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek me in vain". I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right. v22 Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. v23 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked; Before me every knee will bow; before me every tongue will swear. v24 They will say of me "In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength". All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. v25 But all the descendants of Israel [all OT Saints and all Christians] will find deliverance in the Lord and will make their boast in him. God declares his dominion over the affairs of king Cyrus: v1 Whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut v2 I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. v3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, I am the Lord who summons you by name v4 I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me v5 I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me v9 Woe to those who quarrel with their maker, those who are nothing but potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, What are you making?" Does your work say "The potter has no hands?" v11 Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? In Summary, why does God create darkness and disaster? 1. Because He is the Lord God Almighty and is sovereign over all his creation 2. Because it reveals his plans and purposes, a) to punish those who are rebelling against his will, b) to lead to repentance those who have been called to receive his salvation 3. Because it demonstrates his dominion over the affairs of human beings, even the most powerful king, in the fulfilment of his plans and purposes
God as the Creator is the embodiment of all things, since we are reminded that all things were made by Him (Colossians 1:16-17). There are no limitations to the definition of “all,” since the Creator encompasses the all or whole of the universe, and the whole is the sum of the parts, wherein good and evil are contained. The Creator being the whole, eternity, or infinity mathematically contains all possibilities, when we speak of the things of God. Therefore, what may be defined as darkness or disaster to man, may very well be the manifest will of God, since His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Accordingly, He will orchestrate His divine will by innumerable possibilities, some of which man (with an unrenewed mind) may style as being a disaster, darkness, etc. If we remember when Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate inquired of Jesus, but He answered him not. Pilate then declared that he had the authority to either release or crucify Jesus. But Jesus reminded him that God is the originator of his so-called authority that he attempted to wield: “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above” (John 19:10-11). Therefore, whether a man does good or evil, He would not be able to do so, unless God removed His breath from Him, understanding the Creator as the animating force of all things. Remember, the creation in Genesis was twofold– man was made from the dust of the earth, and then God breathed the breath of life into Him (Genesis 2:7).
I agree with the above answers and would like to offer one thought on the cultural context of this verse. Isaiah wrote in the 7th century BCE. In the religions of the ancient Near East, there were often two gods at the top who would battle it out. This battle was often depicted between a god of order and a god of chaos and destruction. One example is the Persian deity - popular in Isaiah's time - Ahura Mazda - a good, orderly, creator god who does battle with Angra Mainyu - the god of chaos and destruction. According to the Bible though, there is only one God. If there is only one God and there are chaos and destruction in the world, then they must be caused by the one God. When chaos (storms, famine, etc) would show up in the ancient world (or even today) there exists a compulsion within humanity to want to "sacrifice" something to the god that is obviously causing it. Even the Israelites would turn to other gods when they felt their God wasn't going to act on their behalf. But God has authority over the chaos and destruction. When the chaos arrives - and it will - you don't turn to a false god in order to solve the problem. You must turn to the only God - the Creator God - who has authority over your chaos.
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