The wickedness of men!



Was the Lord truly justified in destroying all of mankind save Noah and his family in the account found in Genesis chapter 6? Recently I spoke with a believer who was struggling with the justification of this. If God is love he argued, what could cause Him to perform this display of total destruction? 

This question is answered quite simply and succinctly in Scripture…and of course I love when this is the case. Genesis 6:5-8 says:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

Notice the condition of those living during this time. Scripture denotes a sort of double whammy, if you will. Each and every thought of men, women and children were consumed with evil at every waking moment. There was not the slightest sliver of light emanating from their depraved minds. By the grace of our Lord, Noah was somehow able to break free of this bondage and live a life pleasing unto the Lord. This in of itself was a miracle. To this, the impossibility of building a massive ark seems to pale in comparison.

This demonstrates to us all that our God is a patient God, not wanting anyone to perish. The Lord declared that his Spirit should not strive with men always, that He would leave them to be hardened in sin, and ripened for destruction. Let this be a lesson to us in our own lives today as we live them……for Him.

Jim Richardson




4 Responses

  1. Well…I happen to believe that the whole story is metaphorical and that “flood” stories occur in very many ancient religions. A flood (or floods) may indeed have occurred, I have seen conflicting evidence.

    At any rate, and that being said, I agree with your interpretation of the lesson of the story, God did not act to destroy his creation until it was so foul and corrupted that he was left with no choice.

    I don’t have nearly as much of a problem with this story, which it seems to me contains a great lesson (that it is possible to become so corrupted as to be beyond redemption) as I do with Exodus 12 where it is clear that children who could have done no possible wrong were destroyed by Jehovah. Unless God allowed them directly into his Kingdom and Presence forever, I see this as a wicked and evil act. They were children, the very emblem of innocence that Christ says a man should have to enter the Kingdom of heaven.

    This is the essence of the New Testament/Old Testament dichotomy and I know not how to resolve it.

    Let the argument commence…

  2. Aaron,

    Indulge this rabbit trail a moment if you will: I understand the flood as an event that actually occurred as unbelievable as it may seem. Here’s why: The first few chapters of Genesis hold vitally important theological data. For example, the origins of sin are traced back to Adam. (Romans 5:12) The genealogy of Christ is traced back to Adam. (Luke 3:23–38). All of a sudden there is a rather lengthy narrative about some guy Noah who Luke confirms is a real person via his genealogy. Peter also foreshadowed this type of water baptism in 1 Peter 3:20-21. I endeavored to discuss this here:

    Now, to your comment: It appears that God destroying ‘innocent” children is a stumbling block to you, therefore it’s worthy of our discussion. Since His thoughts and ways are not ours we are incapable of understanding them let alone judging them. Agree? Scripture says that God knows the end from the beginning but moreover that He is holy and just. Therefore, I trust that God knew and judged the hearts of those children and made a just decision. We don’t like that answer but it’s accurate. What appears wicked and evil to us is purely a emotional reaction to our pre-judgment of an event for which we do not have all of the facts. We see emblems of innocence, God knows the heart.

    Food for thought!

    Merry Christmas!

    Jim Richardson

  3. Well, I would say we have to agree to disagree in the sense that as you say “His thoughts and ways are not ours we are incapable of understanding them let alone judging them”. This sentiment, which I have heard many times, I agree with in that I am not as Great as God, I am not as Knowing as God, and so am therefore on shaky ground judging Him.

    Here is the problem, Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross is judged to be the supreme act of love. But how can it be judged by me, a man and not a God? If I can not, because of my human nature, judge the act of God in the Sacrifice and Resurrection, how can I therefore know it to have been an act of Love and Mercy?

    I am not trying to be hostile here. Nor an apostate. I do believe it to have been an act of Love.I am simply pointing out the ontological can of worms we open when we suggest that an act which to every human witness and victim is cruel, is in fact, to God, a being of an entirely different nature, loving, or good.

    The argument can work both ways. Which is why I prefer not to have it.

    John Hagee received a good dose of deserved outrage when he, for all intents and purposes, suggested that it was God’s plan for European Jewry to die in the Holocaust in order that the survivors would return to their ancient homeland.

    Even were I to accept this argument (which I emphatically do not) it would not serve to make the acts committed against human beings unspeakably cruel. I can not even pretend to understand why such a thing would have been allowed to happen. Like I said I am not God. I can not judge men’s souls.

    There is a great lesson in this which I try to emphasize for my students and which is beautifully made in the documentary Shoah. As far as I can tell from my study of history there is nothing that separates you or I from the people who committed these acts, nothing biological,
    intellectual or spiritual.

    There is simply an inherent capacity for hatred and evil in all of us (in this sense I do believe we are fallen) and we neglect God’s command to love one another at the peril of our souls. The Command to Love is, as far as I am concerned, Christianity’s greatest contribution to mankind far an above its offer of Salvation. It is this imperative that makes me proud to call myself a Christian.

    I know I am getting myself in hot water with your here but, if I had the choice between offering some poor suffering soul in this world love and comfort at the loss of my Salvation I would cast aside my Salvation in an instant.

    When I lay my burden down, I will happily loose my soul if I have made the path easier and kinder for my fellow travelers in this world.

    Of course, I’d rather have my soul as well.

    Death does not concern me greatly. I had a massive heart attack when I was 29 and found, somewhat to my astonishment, great peace even after being told that there was a good chance that I would die. My thoughts were simply for those I love. I did not want them to grieve.

  4. Oh! And Merry Christmas to you and yours! I make my living helping churches to make and worship with music and tonight I get to see a church full of people enjoy (or endure) my labor.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

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