The bible states the following: 'Forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil; I the Lord do all these things.' Before I enter upon this most difficult subject I want to affirm that God in Christ Jesus is light and life and love and the way (the only way) and the truth. Christ is the morning star that appears when all other stars fade. Therefore He is the only superstar and nobody can come to God the Father but through Him. Why then does it say here that God creates (actually IS in the process of creating [the participle is used]) evil, as if He might be the author of sin? Horrible thought. But it does not say that, most blissfully. It implies that He is the author and source of evil, but not the author of sin. We humans and angels turn evil into sin and so miss the intended goal of our existence. How great than is God's grace and Christ's Love, that Christ was made SIN for us, as if He were the cause of our sin, yes of our sinful nature, of our original sin!! Thus we will be free for ever...
Solomon stated that God decided to dwell in darkness, but it also says that the darkness is light to God. And so, even in the worst evil, God sees something of His own light. This seems to imply that humans and angels are incapable of perverting themselves to such a degree as to drain out anything good (however as far as the old nature, the old Adam, is concerned, we are 100% corrupted; that is why one has te be born again: the old nature cannot be fixed). Remember that it says 'the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.' It does not say that it is the tree only of evil. However the point is that Adam and Eve wanted to decide and determine themselves what is good and what is evil, thus making themselves independent of God. What makes it complicated is that the word for 'evil' is also used for what is sinful, as well as for calamity--as in the case of Job. But notice that He is creating evil, not making or doing! The knowledge of evil is infused by the conscience, and thus looking at it with the mind, I am aware of the consequence, viz. of sin. Adam and Eve, before the Fall, were innocent; they did what is good naturally and were free of sin. After the Fall we have landed in a grey and muddy pit, out of which God wants to raise us through the efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Let it be very clear however that God does not tempt anyone, let alone seduce. We are in the first place tempted by our own desire.
Having said this I go out of my way to expressly state that I am not advocating some kind of pantheistic notion of good and evil as being two sides of the same coin, as if the divinity is at odds with itself and contradicting itself. It cannot be said strongly enough that the godhead is absolutely indivisible. 'Hear Israel, I am ONE.' Even though one might sum up in eternity an infinite array of characteristics of the godhead, at the same time it must be affirmed that the divinity is absolute simplicity. Nor do I propagate the notion of evil being the absence of good (privatio boni), according to scholasticism. Sin, in the end, is the absolute God-hating rebellion against anything good in the Lord Jesus Christ. And the bible shows that this is the end of human history as far as sin is concerned.
In Hebrews 1.1 it says that God has finally spoken through the person of His Son the Lord Jesus, who is the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance. Both in the O.T. and the N.T. there was a progressive revelation taking place. This seems to coincide with God's 'forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil.' Catholic theologians will scoff at me for believing that matter, yes the entire planet earth, and, yes, even the heavens became tainted by the respective falls of the devil and of Adam. But why does Peter state, then, that all the elements will burn up melting and that the earth and all its (evil) works will be found out? Why, actually, will God create a new heaven and earth, if the old one is not so damaged and tainted that it will be rolled up like a mantle? That gnostic sects with their so-called knowledge or science, against which the apostle Paul warns, like the one of the Manicheans, turn this truth into something desperately foolish and even sinful (as the bible itself states that there were those that perverted the scriptures), that does NOT mean that sin and evil are limited to the will. Also our intellect and even our very bodies are subject to a broken and rebellious world. (But glory be to God that Christ has triumphed over Satan and sin and even death [in principle, as it is the last enemy to be made subject to Christ]).
Satan, as the highest angel, as the covering cherub, was the ultimate show piece of God's creation, according to the relevant scriptures in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. God even spurs the writer to say that one must take up a dirge for him! After all he was God's most original creation... Further, by the way, the bible states clearly that the lake of fire (the second death as the ultimate hell) was made for the devil and his angels (those that followed him in his rebellion). Thus, eternal hell was made after Satan's fall. And he desires to drag as many people along with him as possible.
And here we tread on occult and perhaps even holy ground. Satan turned evil into sin. He is called by the Lord the murderer of humans and the liar from the beginning and the father of a liar. The Lord also states that he saw Satan fall to earth as a flash of lightning. As He that is creating evil, He tested the devil who subsequently fell in hubris and then turned his pride into full-blown sin. Satan did not guard his heart. He looked at his own greatness instead of the infinite greatness of God. And so evil became angelic sin and sinfulness. As said before, Satan was 999 along with all the angels (do not ask me how he could be the highest form of 999; perhaps 999.999 [just joking]; what counts is that angels are 999 by their unfallen nature, just as those born of Christ through the Holy Spirit are 888 as to their new nature: it is a question of character). He did not have a disadvantage over against the elected and holy angels. He could have stood firm and triumphant. Did God seduce him then? No, He tested him, just as He tests all angels and all of us. As I said, here we tread on occult and even holy ground as far as Satan and God are concerned. The above scripture in which the Lord Himself calls Himself the One in process of creating evil and darkness, is further best left alone, I think. One could involve yet the vision of the prophet Micha in this and the first two chapters of the book of Job, but the hidden things, as it is also written, belong to God! Yet it is obvious from the bible that Satan threw the glove before the holy countenance of the Lord and the Lord in His wisdom took up the challenge. And to his chagrin the devil finds out that time and time again it all works out for the best of those that love God. All ad maiorem Dei gloriam. The devil cannot do anything against the express will of the Almighty. Augustine posed that fallen angels are set in their will. That must mean as much that they have no freedom or liberty left (ultimately). But the Bible teaches that humans also are bent on evil and sin, since the fall of Adam, through whom sin came into the world. Note, sin and transgression (not evil!) came into the world through Adam. Sin is lawlessness, according to the apostle John.
Evil, in the above verse (Isaiah 45. 7), seems to be some kind of possibility to allow sin. If one watches evil too much, one can become mesmerized and turn it into sin. If one thinks, however, that if one occupies oneself only with good one will win out, then one is bound to become naive. The bible itself is full of evil examples that serve as warnings. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to take every thought captive into obedience to Christ and to break down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
Now as to the other part of this most difficult scripture, viz. 'forming or shaping light and making peace' we may well wonder whether all things are a form of light!? (Notice that it says 'is [in the process of] forming light'. It does not say that He is creating or has created light!]). God is light, the bible states and since all things are out of Him (not out of nothing, [so-called creatio ex nihilo; see Did God create out of nothing? on this]), one is left wondering whether by some creatio ex illo ipsissimo He has turned and is turning things into light and fire. Angels are called serving spirits of fire and God Himself is called Spirit by the Lord. The bible does state that the earth once consisted in and out of water, but that does not necessarily mean that water could therefore not be a form of light! As to His being in a process of creating darkness; that also can be interpreted as a form of light: as the bible itself says that darkness to God is as light. But let the reader be warned here that the Lord states that sinners shun the light and that the righteous seek the light that their works may be shown to be light!
But, one may ask, why did the Lord create a world with the possibility of so much sin? I believe that if God had been under the obligation to create the best possible world, then He would have been under some kind of determinism greater than Himself. But He is God, that is the very Greatest (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-holy); He cannot be subject to something greater. Maybe I am allowed to say that we will enjoy the best possible world in eternity (the new heaven and earth) more, because we had to go through a sinful one. If everything had been perfect from the start, would we have really loved the Lord? Augustine here uses the expression Felix Lapsa ('happy Fall'). This goes far in enthusiasm, but is very true. [Evil tongues here may say that this is all evidence for double predestination. See Lapsarianism in another Light to answer to this kind of blasphemy].
Here I also think of scriptures that talk about the visible and invisible things that are respectively temporary and eternal. One may as well state, I think, respectively material and immaterial soul and spirit. God is Spirit. He does not consist, as Tertullian thought, in the finest form of matter, nor are angels material. Humans are both material and immaterial and that makes us unique. Light is both material and immaterial (particles and waves). And that brings us to the number 2, the number of union and division; 1 being the ultimate number of absolute uniqueness. And it brings us to the number 3, the number of stability ('a threefold cord is not broken lightly'). Light consists of actinic rays (that serve growth), illuminating and warmth rays; a sort of triune union. But this goes beyond the scope of this study. We refer the reader to the writer F.W. Grant on various meanings and significances of numbers, to the numerological studies of Willy Jack Pasedag and some of the ideas of Panin.