So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Yesterday we covered the reason that God decided to “destroy man … from the face of the earth.” We learned that the results of sin had created a miserable and dangerous world.
Many wonder why and how a loving God could make this decision to destroy the majority of humanity. God is a God of love and loves all human beings (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8). But God reveals that He hates sin (Psalm 45:7). God’s decision to destroy humanity at this time does not at all contradict God’s unchanging character of love. This decision reflects a loving God who occasionally acts to stop behavior that He hates and the suffering it produces.
Here are two reasons why God’s decision to destroy the majority of those in the antediluvian world does not contradict His core nature of love or His prohibition against taking human life (Exodus 20:13):
- God has decreed that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The direct application of this law is that those who ultimately refuse to obey God, despite His desire to offer them repentance, will be given the penalty of eternal death in the future lake of fire (Revelation 20:15; Malachi 4:1). In the present age, God typically has a “hands off” approach to sinners and lets them live out their lives with the consequences of their own sins (Proverbs 1:31; Romans 1:24, 26, 28). But God also reserves the right to exact the penalty described in Romans 6:23 at other times. God occasionally ends physical life when:
- Human sinfulness reaches an unusually high level in society (Genesis 18; Deuteronomy 7:2-5; 9:5).
- When human beings are standing in the way of His plan and purpose being fulfilled (Exodus 11:1-5; Joshua 6:17).
In the case of the antediluvian world, the wickedness of man had reached such a high degree that God decided to mercifully destroy the majority of humanity, putting an end to the suffering and violence they experienced. He restarted human society through Noah and his three sons’ families. Despite occasionally deciding to end human life for these two purposes, God reveals that He has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11).
- God is the Creator of human life and has the right to end it. God destroying human life is not sin because:
- God is the originator and creator of human life (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 8:5). The God who created human life also has the right to end it.
- God will resurrect all human beings (Job 14:15; John 11:17-27). Though God occasionally ends human life, it is only temporary because He has a plan that includes the resurrection of every human being who has ever lived and died (1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 9:27). At a future resurrection, all those who died in the Flood will be resurrected and have Jesus Christ revealed to them as their Savior (Revelation 20:12).
God loves the human beings of the antediluvian world that He mercifully destroyed in the Flood. He did not destroy them forever or condemn them to pain in an ever-burning “hell,” but “desires [them] … to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
To learn more about how God will offer salvation to all mankind, including the antediluvians who died in the Flood, read about the “Plan of Salvation.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Noah Finds Grace.”