I am having a real struggle with understandingand accepting today’s verses, especially verse 7b: “I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things” (NRSV). In The Message, the wording is, “I make harmonies and create discords. I, God, do all these things.”
I had to look up what “weal” means, and the meaning is different when it’s combined in the phrase, “weal and woe.” According to my sources, the weal refers to good times of joy, success, and prosperity while the woe refers to tough times of sadness and adversity.
With that understanding of terms, I read the verses as the Lord makes the harmony of good times that include joy, success, and prosperity, and He also creates the discord of tough times that include sadness and adversity.
I am having a tough time with the idea of God making/creating all of those good and bad circumstances. Didn’t God create and make all the good things? But the bad things–I thought they were on us humans. What about humans having our own free will to make our situations better or worse?
I believe the intent of the verses is to show how big and powerful God is so that the people could trust Him to lead their way. In verse 2, He told them that He is going to level the mountains and clear the path for their journey.
But, today, it’s really hard to read these verses without wondering about how they apply to what is happening in Ukraine. Where is God in that situation? Is He creating the woe? I cannot accept that. I don’t see His stepping in to make weal, or a harmonious resolution, either, though. I don’t see any reports of His leveling the bad guys and clearing the path to peace and prosperity for the people of Ukraine like the verses say He was going to do for King Cyrus and the Israelites. I thought the responsibility was ours, as God’s people, to make a positive difference. But, those verses say that God is making and creating both the good and the bad in all this.
Does God create–or even simply allow–evil to win the day?