Cruelty In The Bible?
God unjustly condemn the entire human race?
THE CLAIMED CRUELTY:
He [God] drowned pregnant women and innocent children
and animals at the time of the Flood (Genesis 7:20-23)
Here is what
referenced scripture says:
water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh
that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming
thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry
land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He
blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to
animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out
from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him
in the ark. - Genesis 7:20-23
But this does
not give us the complete story... just the results. The humanist claims
of cruelty imply that God had impure motives. So why did God do this? There was
a major problem that could not be ignored:
the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every
intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. - Genesis
Now the earth was corrupt in the sight
of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold,
it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. -
The world was completely wicked...
to the point that people's thoughts were continually wicked. It was a world filled
with violence and evil. Evil was so great that the only option was to bring justice
on those who were evil and start over. So what did God do? Did He immediately
send a flood and wipe everyone out?
No. There was one righteous man, Noah
and his family. God not only told Noah to build the ark, Noah was also a preacher
of righteousness. Even though they were thoroughly evil, God loved those people,
and He gave then over 100 years to change their ways.
if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed
them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient
world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when
He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; ... then the Lord knows how
to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment
for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt
desires and despise authority. - 2 Peter 2:4-5 & 9-10
took over 100 years for Noah to build the ark. During that time he was
also preaching, warning the people about the judgment to come. They had many chances
to be saved. But they were wicked and evil, and turned away from Noah's preaching
Notice that Peter also says that the Lord knows how to
rescue the godly. For 100 years, while the ark was being built, people could have
turned away from their wickedness. They knew what was coming. They knew why it
was coming. Noah told them. But still they preferred their sin.
loved all of mankind. His love was so great that He provided a way of
escape for anyone who would listen. The ark had plenty of room for additional
people. Only Noah and his immediate family responded. Finally the door was closed,
the rain began, the fountains of the deep opened, and the flood waters rose above
the highest mountain peaks.
So justice was done. The food came and took
them all away.
What about the animals?
saved more animals than He did people. There were eight people on the
ark and thousands of animals. Two of every kind, and seven of some kinds. But,
why were the rest of the animals killed in the flood?
Scripture does not
directly answer this question. However, with the extreme level and persuasiveness
of wickedness and evil, it is likely that the corruption affected the animals.
As we saw previously in Romans 8:20-22,
all of the world was corrupted by sin. That would include animals.
that Genesis 6:12 (above) talks about "all flesh" being corrupt, and
verse 13 goes on to state that "the earth is
filled with violence because of them," referring back to "all
flesh." "All flesh" includes animals.
God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth
is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them
with the earth. - Genesis 6:13
Scripture focuses on
people, and animals are secondary, so we can't know for sure what God's reasons
were. But, there is no reason to think that God was unjust or cruel.
All the world was corrupted by extreme evil and wickedness. This could not be
allowed to continue as it harmed the world and the people in the world, and the
wicked certainly deserved punishment. God provided over 100 years of warning.
Plenty of time for anyone who believed God (through the preaching of Noah) to
have been saved. God gave people every opportunity to be saved from the flood,
and finally, after a long wait, delivered justice.
Next example: He
tormented the Egyptians and their animals with hail and disease because pharaoh
refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt (Exodus 9:8-11,25); and he killed Egyptian
babies at the time of the Passover (Exodus 12:29-30)
here to learn what God actually did.