Why did God make people and angels who would fail and fall away?

Q. I have a friend who is wrestling with understanding how so many people and even angels could turn their backs on God. When you consider all the great names of the Bible, they usually come with some failures; 1/3 of the angels fell; Judas turned away from Jesus. My friend wonders not just at the failure and what that means for us who have never even walked with God like our forefathers, but also why God chose to create such fallible creatures, knowing He would have to destroy many if not most of them? He also asks why God didn’t protect Adam and Eve in the garden. Instead, He permitted Satan to hang out there. My friend is asking some honest questions that many people wrestle with, I think. I came across this blog and enjoy the well thought-out answers that you’ve written, so I thought I’d throw in these questions and see what comes back.

Thanks for joining in the discussions on this blog!

You said that you thought many people wrestled with the same honest questions as your friend, and I’d have to agree with you, as I’ve already had the challenge on this blog of trying to respond to some questions very similar to the ones he’s asking.

For example, he was concerned about why God would choose to create such fallible creatures, knowing He would have to destroy many if not most of them.  I’ve shared my thoughts on essentially the same question in this post entitled, “Why does God make people He knows are going to reject Him?

Your friend also asked why God didn’t protect Adam and Eve in the garden, rather than permitting Satan to hang out there.  I address that concern in my post entitled, “Why didn’t God protect the children he created from an evil being like Satan?

And as for why people who walked with God, and even angels who saw God face to face, could still fail and fall away, see these posts, for example:

How could God call David a “man after his own heart” when he committed adultery and murder?

Why did God create Satan?

Perhaps you and your friend can both read these posts and then discuss them together.  Maybe that will help address his concerns.  But please write back with any follow-up questions you have afterwards.  Thanks again for joining the conversation here.

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is a writer and biblical scholar who is also an ordained minister. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He has an A.B. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

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