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Why Did God Kill Babies In The Flood?
Noah's flood killed everyone on earth, except eight people, Noah and his wife, and their three sons and their wives. So God killed millions of babies and little children. Killing babies and children! That's a wicked and evil god.
BUT, does this mean God is wicked and evil. We need to know the rest of the story.
To begin, why did God bring the flood?
"Then 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 6:5
The world was evil. So evil that every intent of all of humanity was evil. So evil that every thought of all humanity was evil. And this was continual. The wickedness of mankind was beyond imagination... beyond redemption. All the earth, everywhere and everyone was corrupt.
“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.” - Genesis 6:11-12
All the earth was corrupt... except for one man, Noah.
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. For you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.” - Genesis 6:8 & 7:1
We also need to note that God did not destroy the world without warning. We know Noah was a righteous man, meaning he lived a godly lifestyle. We also know Noah was a preacher of righteousness, proclaiming God's truth.
“[God] 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.” - 2 Peter 2:5
Knowing this, we can assume that for the approximately 100 years it took to build the ark, Noah was preaching about the coming flood and the need to turn away of wickedness. This would be what a Godly man would do. We can also see in the rest of scripture that God gives a warning of coming judgment. So Noah preaching, warning the people of his day about the coming judgment, is a logical assumption that is consistent with scripture.
Also, the ark was large enough to take on additional passengers. The door was open until God closed it as the flood began. God did not establish any prohibitions against others joining Noah. God did not prohibit people from bringing their children and putting them on the ark. But none did. The world ignored the warnings and was caught by surprise by the flood.
Yes, the adults were wicked and deserved to die. They were warned to change their ways. And there was plenty of room on the ark. But, no one except Noah and his immediate family got on the ark. But, the claim is, what about the babies and children? Surely they can't be held accountable for things they did not even understand. Why did God kill them?
There are some things described in scripture that God does not explain. In this case God does not tell us what He was thinking. But, based on God's character and what scripture tells us in other places, we do know some facts and can make some logical assumptions.
1. We see throughout scripture that God deals with sin on a personal level as well as on a corporate level. For example, when a nation turns away from God, the entire nation comes under the wrath of God. God's wrath is His removing of His blessing (His restraint of the effects of sin), and life gets worse and more difficult for everyone, adults and children (see Romans 1:18-32). As God removes more and more of His blessings (as God's restraint on the effects of sin decreases), even the world begins to fall apart, and that impacts everyone.
2. Unfortunately we use one word to describe two types of events. Death is not good, yet physical death can mean life, and that is very good. People in general think physical death is the worst that can happen. But it is the second death that we should fear.Speaking of physical death, Paul wrote in Philippians 1:20 --
“That with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Paul does not care whether he lives or dies physically. It is not important, as long as Jesus Christ is exalted by what happens to Paul. He goes on in verses 21-24 to clarify this:
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.”
He is conflicted, not knowing which he prefers. Physical death would be much better for Paul. However, it is better for those to whom he is preaching Christ for Paul to remain (alive).
Another fact: we know that when children die, they go to heaven. This is the result Paul calls “very much better” than continuing to live physically on earth.
We also know that once children reach a age at which they know right from wrong (an age that varies depending on the person), they are then accountable for their actions and face the possibility of the second death. In the case of the days of Noah, people knowingly refused to believe God (being warned through Noah's preaching of righteousness), and so they receive the just consequences, physical death and the second death.
So it is a merciful act to allow the flood to take children, because they will then have eternal life. On the other hand, if because He did not want the children to die God did not bring the flood, the children would grow up as a part of the wicked generation and would receive what they chose in their wickedness, the second death (Revelation 21:8), the lake of fire for eternity. The better choice is for the children to have life! Physical death in the flood is the merciful and loving option.
3. Why didn't God just take the children, living at the time of the flood, directly into heaven?
Consider this, if God directly took children into heaven before the flood, and since God knows the future, the question would be: why doesn't He take all children into heaven, if he knows they are going to die?
Because children before the flood lived in a world affected by sin (as do we), they were sinners. Sin is defined as disobeying God. (Children disobey God. However, God does not hold them eternally accountable for this until they can recognize right from wrong. But they are still sinners.) Because they are a part of the human race, children face the earthly consequences of sin just as all humans do (Romans 5:12-14).
We only know of two people who were directly translated into heaven. Enoch in Genesis 5:24 and Elijah in 2 Kings 2:11. Children are not spared the common result of sin, physical death.
4. One final thought. The flood and Noah's ark were part of God's plan that included preparing the world for the Messiah (Jesus). There is coming a time when all life on earth will be destroyed, except for those who, in effect, believe the preaching of Noah. Just like in the days of Noah, when only those who went through the door and onto the ark were saved, the time is coming when only those who go through the door (that is Jesus Christ) will be saved. The flood and the ark give us a picture of the future.
QUESTION For YOU
Do you believe killing babies is good or evil? What about abortion? Scientifically and morally we know the baby is a baby from the moment of conception.
Noah's Flood: why? (CIM Magazine Article)
Why Did God Allow The Israelites To Kill People? (AIG Kid's Article)
Killing Babies Is Wrong (CIM Article)