"It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him" ( Hebrews 2:5-8 )
Have you ever wondered why there is so much suffering in the world? A common question that I hear both believers and nonbelievers ask is why does God allow it? Why is there pain and suffering? How can a loving God permit such things to happen? Or my personal favorite, why does God cause sickness, disease, natural disasters and tragedies in our lives?
Many wrongly assume that these things are sent from God or that He somehow approves of them. There is an underlying doctrinal teaching assumed in such questions, that God controls everything in our lives, whether good or bad. He lets the bad happen to teach us a lesson. Or He uses them to make us reliant on Him. Even some churches teach that He will put sickness on us so that we submit to him and repent of the sin that got us punished in the first place. But none of these ideas are scriptural.
Complete Authority Was Given to Adam in the Garden
When we ask how God can allow such suffering to take place, we are blaming God for our mess. He's not at fault. In the garden God gave complete authority and control of creation to Adam.
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so" ( Genesis 1:26-30 ).
God created everything but as soon as it was done, he turned the keys over to Adam as humankind's representative. Why else do you think that Adam had the power to plunge the entire world into sin? He had it, because it was given to him by God. This is also evident in the fact that God brought the animals to Adam to name them. It wasn't because God couldn't think up two thousand plus names, he did it because they fell under the authority of Adam, not God. "Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name" ( Genesis 2:19 ). He turned over creation to mankind, lock, stock and barrel.
Over the next four days we will look at Hebrews 2:5-8. We will look at the transfer of authority to Satan during the fall. We will look at how Jesus won it back at Calvary. And we will look at how everything is now subjected to Jesus.
Tomorrow we look at Part 2: Authority and Dominion Was Transferred to Satan during the Fall