Why don't you teach that Isa 45:7 is the simple mistranslation it is? Otherwise, without untangling this one verse, one is left with a god of darkness and evil rather than the God of light and peace.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and DISPATCH darkness: I make peace, and DISPATCH ADVERSITY: I the LORD do all these things.
Thanks for your letter. I'm assuming you are referring to a previous email response of mine, "Is God the Creator of Evil?". I did, of course, refer the person to what I consider to be a better translation of this verse.
However, the difficulty with the version you have cited is, quite simply, that it offers a rather unlikely translation. The Hebrew term in this verse primarily means "create." It is the same term used in Genesis 1:1 to describe God's creation of the heavens and the earth.
According to the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon, there are 54 occurrences of this term in the Old Testament. The AV translates as "create" 42 times, "creator" three times, "choose" twice, "make" twice, "cut down" twice, "dispatch" once, "done" once, and "make fat" once. But its primary meaning, as any good lexicon will note is to create, shape, form.
Thus, I still think it's better to point out that, in its original context, the passage is an affirmation of the sovereignty of God over whatever happens in the world. Nothing happens apart from His will or permission. That includes whatever calamities or natural disasters occur. And while I would agree with you that God is not the cause of any moral evil in the world, the Bible still affirms that He is sovereign over whatever moral evil occurs. So you can prefer the version you cite if you want, but it takes a minority view on how this passage should be translated (as a simple comparison of different versions will quickly reveal).
Shalom in Him,
© 2008 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children. His personal website is michaelgleghorn.com.
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