Psalms 22: What Is the Purpose?
David wanted to know why God wasn’t necessarily answering his prayers immediately in Psalms 22.
Psa 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
Psa 22:8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Don’t we hear this one a lot today? People wonder how we can believe in God when he doesn’t always give us what we want when we pray. Maybe we are praying for an incredibly noble things. We might be asking for healing for a loved one or something much larger than like the end of suffering in the world. It seems like those would be great things for God to answer. After all, isn’t healing people or ending suffering in the world a good outcome?
This is a difficult question because to answer that God would or would not do something presumes knowledge of the mind of God. Could it be possible that God does have a purpose for all of these problems? Could it be possible that God has not eliminated evil from the world for some purpose? I am not forcing you to absolutely believe that, but I am asking you if it is possible that this is the case.
Is it possible that an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-good God can allow evil in the world?
I have argued this case before when I wrote about Psalms 10, but I think it is worth repeating that this entire problem falls apart if we can affirm the case that God does indeed exist. Then, we do have the simultaneous existence of God and evil.
We certainly might not understand everything about the world, I don’t think that the problem of evil needs to be all that we sometimes make it out to be. Yes, we might not always understand why there is evil in the world, but the affirmation of the existence of God eliminates that problem and should not necessarily become a stumbling block.
It seems that David was in the same spot in this Psalm. If you listen to the rest of the chapter, you’ll see that he was certain that God was real. He still had the question at the beginning of the chapter and did not understand the reason God was not answering his prayers, but it is not like that question alone drove him away from God.
There is a lot to be said about the problem of evil, but I don’t think that it is nearly as powerful as some people will give it credit for. If God and evil are both real things in the world, then it certainly is not the case that one necessarily eliminates the existence of the other.