In the Bible: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
On the Internet: “Believing there is no God means the suffering I’ve seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn’t bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future” (Penn Jilette, “There Is No God”).
This excerpt encapsulates the way many around the world view the God of the Bible: an all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful being who either doesn’t care about His creation or who wantonly subjects it to cruelty. Such a being, many atheists conclude, could not exist.
To their credit, they are right. No such God exists. What Penn Jilette—and countless others across the globe—doesn’t understand is that all the suffering in this world is in fact caused by a near-universal rejection of the true God and His commandments. God did not turn His back on us; rather, we as a world have turned our back on God.
God promises, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Suffering will end only when humanity learns to place God first in their lives. Won’t it be great when the First Commandment is finally kept?