Cruelty In The Bible?
Did 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:
The 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:
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
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
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.
For 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
It 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 of righteousness.
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.
God 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?
God 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.
And notice 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.
Then 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.
Conclusion: 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)
Click here to learn what God actually did.