Thank you for your excellent question. Let us begin with your second reference. Isaiah 45:7 says, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” The Hebrew word for evil is “ra” and is translated “sorrow,” “wretchedness,” “adversity,” “afflictions,” and “calamities.” God did not create moral evil or sin, but He created sorrow and calamities to be the result of sin. The context of this verse is that God is speaking to Cyrus, the king of Persia who conquered the Babylonians, delivered Israel from Babylonian captivity, and enabled the restoration of Jerusalem. God is telling Cyrus that He (Jehovah) is Sovereign (in control of all things) and that there would be blessing for Israel and calamity for Israel’s enemies. I can see why you included Isaiah 45:7 in your question, but I would suggest that this verse does not directly address the issue of birth defects.

However, Exodus 4:11 DOES address the issue of birth defects. The context of this verse is that God had chosen Moses to be His spokesman to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. However, Moses is very resistant to this idea. We read in Exodus 4:10-12, “And Moses said to Jehovah, Ah Lord! I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since thou hast spoken to thy servant, for I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue. And Jehovah said to him, Who gave man a mouth? or who maketh dumb, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? [have] not I, Jehovah? And now go, and I will be with thy mouth, and will teach thee what thou shalt say” (Darby translation).

In Exodus 4:11 God asks Moses rhetorical questions. In other words, these questions have an obvious answer, but God asks them anyway to try to persuade Moses to be His spokesman. God is saying that He, Jehovah, gave man a mouth, and also makes the dumb, deaf, seeing, and blind. God is telling Moses that He made Moses with a speech problem so that God could miraculously make it possible for Moses to be His spokesman. This way God would receive all of the glory and not Moses. We see in Exodus 4:14-16 that the Lord was angry with Moses for his lack of faith in what God could do and permitted his brother Aaron to accompany Moses as his spokesman.

Did God make Moses with a problem speaking because Moses had sinned? No! This issue is addressed by our Lord when He was on this earth. We read in John 9:1-3, “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” God made this man blind so that God’s glory could be seen when Jesus healed him. God did not make him blind because the man or his parents had sinned. So how is God glorified when He DOESN’T heal a person that He has made with a birth defect? As difficult as it is to accept, we must trust God that He knows what He is doing, loves every person immeasurably, has lessons for us to learn, and has a good purpose through it all. NO CHILD IS A MISTAKE OR ACCIDENT OF NATURE!! Every person who is unable to understand that they must agree with God that they are a sinner and believe on the Lord Jesus as their Savior will go to heaven (2 Samuel 12:23).

Why do I believe that God makes people with birth defects? We read in Psalm 139:13-14, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well” (NASB). We read in Ecclesiastes 11:5, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.” Other verses that say that God forms us in our mother’s womb are Job 31:15, Isaiah 44:2, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 49:5, and Jeremiah 1:5. Many Christians believe that God made us perfect, but that Satan contributed any imperfections. However, that is not what the Scriptures say. God made ALL of us. Yes, it is true that Satan has “blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Corinthians 4:4), but we do not read that Satan is involved in forming us in our mother’s wombs.

In fact, God made ALL of us with imperfections. Some people’s imperfections are more severe than others, but He made each one of us with imperfections. Some people are born with more emotional and mental problems than physical ones. Unless the Lord comes first, each one of our physical bodies will develop problems and die. Many people have turned against God because they cannot understand how a loving God could make a baby with severe birth defects. As difficult as it is to accept, “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and has a good purpose for EVERYTHING that He does. If we or our family members had no physical, emotional, or mental imperfections, we would be less likely to sense our need for God. We read in Romans 8:22-23, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” All those who have repented of their sins and trusted Christ as their Savior eagerly await the redemption of our bodies. We will receive a glorified body in heaven someday that is truly perfect.

My heart goes out in love to all those who are born with birth defects or have family members with birth defects. Please do not turn against the God who loves you so much that He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for you. Keep in mind that God sees the big picture and loves you so much that He may give you a child with severe birth defects so that you will cling to Him for help. We read in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” You can trust Him that He loves you with an eternal love, knows what He is doing, and has your blessing in mind.  (DJ)  (528.1)