How could God allow something like the Holocaust? Why did God allow the Holocaust?
Confronting the whys of evil in the world can cause us to wrestle with atrocities such as the Holocaust of Jews during the time of the Second World War. Why did God allow this atrocity to take place?
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Often we do not really know why God allows such evils to occur. However, there are certain principles the Bible suggests that can help us deal with tragedies such as the Holocaust.
First, we must acknowledge that God's ways are higher than our ways. As Isaiah 55:8-9 states, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Second, God can permit evil without being evil. At the first human sin in the Garden of Eden, God allowed Adam and Eve to break His law, yet this did not make God evil or sinful as a result. Likewise, other evils that appear much greater, such as the Holocaust, may be permitted by God, yet are certainly not due to evil actions on His part.
Third, God often uses evil for His Sovereign purposes. We do not know all of the ways God used the Holocaust for His ultimate good, yet at least one part of God's plan was accomplished in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Following this period, the modern nation of Israel was re-established, offering a nation for the Jewish people after 1,900 years of being scattered among the nations.
Fourth, God can allow evil to take place in history to teach us lessons in the present. For example, still today many look back at the atrocities that took place in the Holocaust and seek to find ways to prevent a similar evil taking place today. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people often looked back at Jewish slavery in Egypt and sought to live in such a way that such evil would not take place again in their own society.
In summary, there is not an easy answer for why God allowed the Holocaust. However, this does not mean God has left us without answers. His ways are higher than our ways, He can allow evil without being evil, can work even in the aftermath of evil to accomplish His purposes, and can use past evils to teach lessons to those living today. Those who can learn from the evils of the past can use this knowledge to make a difference still today.
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