45:7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
There are a lot of people who read the Bible that don't know how and this verse is a classic example of how that plays out. Probably the singular biggest mistake is the literal reading of the text. Here a literal reading says God does all things good and bad. In fact some English translations say God creates evil. I mean that's what the text says right?
There is a growing movement currently among the literal readers that says the earth is flat. They compile verses that speak of an unshakeable earth set on pillars and feel they have an airtight case. They of course omit the verse that says God hung the earth on nothing but that isn't their biggest mistake. It is their refusal to look beyond the words to what God was trying to convey.
For example the Word says that Jesus is bread. He's the bread that came down from heaven. Is He? Literally? He is also the Word. Is He a Loaf of Bread that spells Emmanuel? He's also a gate, a shepherd, a way, a light, and living water among many more. We typically don't trip over these because we know it's symbolism. Why do we understand that in one place and not in others? Why do we demand that one verse be rigidly literal while others not?
How can God be the creator of calamity if other parts of the Bible say differently? Skeptics jump on this and say "see the Bible is nonsense" but that's ok because the Bible admits within its own pages that to those who don't believe it is foolishness.
But for those of us who do believe what does this verse mean?
Think about it: Light and darkness. Light is a thing. Darkness is not a thing. You can have a light. You can't have a darkness. Darkness is simply the inevitable result of removing the light. We turn lights on and off. We don't turn dark on and off. Darkness just happens when all light sources are removed from a space.
The same is true for hot and cold. You can generate heat. Cold is just the absence of heat.
So in what sense does God create darkness? He removes the light. In what way does He create calamity? He removes peace. You see He is the Light and He is the Prince of Peace and when He withdraws Himself darkness and calamity are the inevitable result.
Flat earth? Nope. All God was saying is that the earth He created for us can't be altered by us. It's solid. It's not going away. It has "foundations". The "pillars" can't be shaken and yet it all hangs on seemingly nothing. Who but God could create a ball constantly in motion that is at the same time immoveable and hangs on nothing?
Judah was at peace. They were living in the Light. All of that is about to change. We should pay attention because our peaceful land is soon to walk the same path.
See what I did there? ;)