On Thursday, we watched the Disney movie, Aladdin to celebrate Morayo’s 4th birthday. During the movie, Morayo asked me to pause the movie, she looked at me and asked:
“Daddy, why did God create Jafar? He is so mean and evil, and I am sure he supports the devil.”
For those who have not watched Aladdin, Jafar is the second most powerful person in the fictional Kingdom of Agrabah, answering only to the Sultan. He presents himself as a respectable and caring advisor to the Sultan and to the citizens of Agrabah, but behind the scenes he is scheming to take over the Kingdom. He briefly succeeds by using his magic and sorcery, but he is defeated by a young boy Aladdin.
Morayo’s question is a fair question and one that many Christians and non-Christians ask. If God is a good God, why did he create bad people to do bad things? Here is how I explained it to 4-year-old Morayo. I pray it ministers to each of us who may be dealing with this question today.
1) Everything God created and creates is good. When Jafar was “created”, he was good. He was not the evil sorcerer we see later in the movie.
Genesis 1:31 – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And There was evening and there was morning -sixth day.
1 Timothy 4:4 – For Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
2) God gives us a choice: Just as he gave Adam and Eve a choice. They chose to listen to Satan and eat the fruit, although they were in paradise with all sorts of delicious options. However, they wanted that one fruit that they could not have. Jafar was the second most powerful person in the kingdom. He could have anything he wanted in the entire kingdom, except for the position of Sultan.
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 – 15See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
3) God gave us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us make the right choices.
The Holy Spirit helps us choose to follow Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that exposes and reveals our sin, helps us see that Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and we are saved and forgiven from death and condemnation. The Holy Spirit leads us to make the right decisions.
John 16:13–15 – When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Roman 10:9-10 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
In conclusion, God created good people who have chosen to reject God and do bad things. God has also made a way for people who do bad things to be forgiven. Lastly, God loves us so much that he has given us a helper to help us do good things.
My prayer for each of us is that we will choose to follow Jesus Christ, we will depend on the Holy Spirit to help us make good decisions. But when we make bad decisions, we will repent, ask for forgiveness and surrender to God as the only one that can help us. Don’t be like Jafar! Amen!
Pastor Farooq Busari