And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. Genesis 7:21-23
(Part 1 HERE)
One of the more popular things that the New Atheists are using to shake our love for the Creator God is to show how awful God can be to people He isn’t happy with. Of course, they aren’t likely to use the Flood as an example since they don’t want to admit it did kill every breathing thing on land. Instead, they gleefully point out the places where God told His people to destroy whole civilizations with their swords.
Here’s what they don’t want to admit. God brought us into the world, He has every right to take us out again. I’ve heard Bill Cosby say that, but do parents actually bring a child into the world? Being a mother I know better than that. They were already weeks old before I even knew they existed and the whole time the were growing inside me my only job was to eat, sleep and take care of myself so my body and the baby could do what they were already programmed to do. I did not bring them in, so I don’t have the right to take them out.
But God does have every right to require our lives back when He decides it’s time. The truth is every one of us, from the youngest baby and most “innocent” special needs adult, to the worse criminal has sin in our heart. It is because God is merciful that He hasn’t done away with the whole lot of us long ago.
It is very sad when little children die because of the sinfulness of their culture, like we see in Joshua and I Samuel 15, but think what would have happened if God had spared them. These cultures were already so wicked it would make you ill if I told you what they were doing to their people. Left alone they would have continued on their disgusting path, growing worse and worse with each generation. It would be at least 1,000 years before Jesus died and opened the way for us to find new life in Him and the power of the Holy Spirit. They would have wiped themselves out long before then.
I don’t know why God lets some people have the full force of His anger at sin and spares others. God has kept that to Himself. It is part of what makes Him God and me a creature far below Him.
When I read about the stories of the multitudes of people God has killed for their wickedness, it doesn’t make me hate God and find Him disgusting. It makes me worship Him in gratitude for His mercy and power to change a wicked soul like me into one of His own children worthy to live with Him for all eternity!
“Now then, that’s the picture,” says God, the Master, “once I’ve sent my four catastrophic judgments on Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, disease—to kill off people and animals alike. But look! Believe it or not, there’ll be survivors. Some of their sons and daughters will be brought out. When they come out to you and their salvation is right in your face, you’ll see for yourself the life they’ve been saved from. You’ll know that this severe judgment I brought on Jerusalem was worth it, that it had to be. Yes, when you see in detail the kind of lives they’ve been living, you’ll feel much better. You’ll see the reason behind all that I’ve done in Jerusalem.” Decree of God, the Master. Ezekiel 14:21-23 THE MESSAGE
This same judgment on Judah led Jeremiah to say, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24
As for us, Peter said, “They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and this very planet were brought into existence out of watery chaos by God’s word. Then God’s word brought the chaos back in a flood that destroyed the world. The current galaxies and earth are fuel for the final fire. God is poised, ready to speak his word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment and destruction of the desecrating skeptics. Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” II Peter 3:5-9 THE MESSAGE
For those in high school and older, I highly recommend this speech by John Dickson:
Violence in the Old Testament