Genesis 8.6-13,20-22; Ps 115; Mark 8.22-26
God’s anger—his righteous indignation at the evils he sees on earth—is one of the Bible’s profoundest themes. Why doesn’t God dramatically intervene, as he is sometimes in the Bible said to do, at every evil act? Why does God allow evil to continue, even to flourish?
When Jesus began to talk with his twelve disciples about his coming suffering and death, Peter, often the disciples’ spokesman, exclaimed his intention to contravene. ‘God forbid!’ he bellowed, ‘This shall not happen to you!’
But this indignation, Jesus swiftly retorted, is how Satan thinks, not the way that God thinks and acts. God, the true God, the only God, stands aside and allows evil to have its way. In a sense the totality of Jesus’ passion is a kind of taunting invitation to the powers of darkness and destruction, ‘Do your best! Do what you can do to me!’ And the worst they can do turns out to be impotent and inadequate. ‘Death was not strong enough to hold him.’ [Acts 2.24] God turns the worst that human beings can do into a force for good. [Genesis 50.20]