QUESTION: “Can you please explain the meaning of Isaiah 45:7 which says, “God creates evil”?
ANSWER: This Scripture does not suggest that God creates such evil as sin, but rather that He creates punishment of guilt which may be in the form of an evil calamity. The evil that God creates is the penalty which in justice He measures out against sin.
A further word might be added to this explanation in order to confirm from another viewpoint what has been already submitted.
The law of contrast so easily applied to Isaiah 54 provides an illustration which elucidates this problem. Israel had known days of light during which God’s presence in their midst dispelled the ignorance of moral darkness. Because of their departure from Him, days of darkness descended upon them, namely, their captivity in Babylon. They had enjoyed peace from His right hand, but now in judgment they were suffering evil.
Eventually through Cyrus this was to be reversed. Verse seven is a forceful assertion of the sovereignty of God over the affairs and circumstances of nations in their prosperity and in their calamity. Surely here we have a word of wisdom to the people of God in this distressing era of human history.
QUESTION: “Would you have any word as to why the gift of tongues was given to the early Church?”
ANSWER: The gift of tongues may be considered, first, as a sign to the Jewish nation of her rejection because of failure to give the world the knowledge of the true God (See Isa. 28:11. 1 Cor. 14:21-22). It, likewise, may be seen from this sign that the Church is to learn the universality of her mission, her responsibility to evangelize the world with the true gospel. Until Pentecost the knowledge of the true God was almost entirely confined to a nation of one language.
The gift of tongues served notice on the Jewish nation that she had miserably failed in her mission and that the Church was now to carry out the divine intention, the giving of the gospel to the nations of the world in their respective languages.
Japhet now dwells in the tents of Shem, for their casting away has meant the reconciling of the world (Rom. 11:15). The grafts from the wild olive have displaced the natural branches, but let them not boast for God is able to displace anyone as a witness who neglects to discharge his debt by preaching the gospel to the world.