Question: If Jehovah is all-knowing, then he had to have known that Satan would rebel and that Adam and Eve would follow. Since God had to have known beforehand, why did he go through with it and allow all the misery and mayhem? Doesn’t that make him responsible for all of the evil in the world?
Jehovah endowed angels and humans with the gift of free will. We can choose our own course. Obviously, then, the Creator is aware that the potential exists that some or even all individuals may choose not to submit to his rule. But God possesses other qualities other than foreknowledge. He is the source of wisdom and power and the personification of love. So, it doesn’t really matter what his creatures choose to do or not do. God’s will cannot be thwarted —only defied and resisted temporarily.
God’s wisdom came to the fore on the very day Adam and Eve subjected themselves to the Devil. That is when God announced his response to the rebellion, saying to the serpent: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”
There, encapsulated in one simple enigmatic statement, Jehovah laid out the resolution. Without going into detail, Jehovah’s Witnesses know that the primary offspring of the “woman” is Jesus. His being struck on the heel by the serpent had to do with his death. It is described as a heel wound because Jesus’ death was only temporary since he was resurrected to immortal life in heaven –as opposed to the crushing head wound destined to be inflicted upon the serpent that will mean his permanent extinction.
As the last book of the Bible indicates the execution of Satan and his offspring will occur after the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ will have eliminated all traces of original sin and restored mankind to the perfection that Adam and Eve originally possessed. All the evils that humanity has suffered will be undone. It will be as though the proud Satan never even existed.
Certainly, the way Jehovah has responded —giving his Son, even allowing for some of sinful humanity to become immortal life-givers themselves, will be a cause of everlasting glory and honor to God —far surpassing the honor he would have received had the rebellion not taken place in the first place. As a result of God allowing the evil to temporarily prevail and even culminate in near-self-extinction in the great tribulation, it is hard to imagine that anyone in the future, be it a human or angel or something as-of-yet uncreated, would ever doubt or question Jehovah’s character or right to rule his creation, ever again. That is God’s wisdom.
As for the question, why did God create mankind if he knew they would not turn out the way he wished, we might liken the situation to human parents. Mothers and fathers realize that their children may not grow up to be the sort of adults the parents had hoped. Or worse, parents know that they will suffer heartache if their children suffer some horrible tragedy or illness. Still, millions of people choose to have children and hope for the best.
So, while God certainly knew that the angels could rebel against him and cause great harm, and he knew that Adam and Eve could choose to disobey him and bring death and ruin upon their offspring, Jehovah did not allow that to alter his intention to fill the earth with beautiful people living in paradise.
In a sense, though, God is responsible for the evil; not that he causes it or wishes it, but that he allows it, temporarily, in order to accomplish a much greater good. Paul explained it this way: “For I consider that the sufferings of the present time do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us. For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
The Scriptures indicate that God does not choose to use foreknowledge to know how creatures will decide. For example, Jehovah observed that Cain was harboring jealously that could lead to murder and so he warned Cain of the terrible consequences if he were not to get the mastery over his feelings, and then he posed the question to Cain: “but will you get the mastery over it?” Had Jehovah known the outcome would he have presented the question to Cain?
Moreover, prior to the Flood Jehovah said that he regretted that he had made man. But if God had known the outcome beforehand why would he subject himself to heartache and regret?