Question: How could a loving and just God condemn all men, women and children to such a horrible death as a global Flood?
There are a few fundamental truths about the nature of God and the nature of man that should help to put both the question and the answer in proper perspective.
We are All Going To Die. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person; and there are very few ‘nice’ ways to die. Drowning in a global flood, death by fire, cancer or car accident—they are all pretty horrible. Neither death itself, nor the way we die, is really the issue here. The reality is we are all going to die, and the timing and manner of our demise has always been in God’s hands, not ours. The real issue is what happens after we die:
Heb. 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…
We Are Already Condemned.
Man Is sinful by nature. Because God is holy, completely Good in His nature, without sin and without imperfection, all that He has made is likewise good, holy and without imperfection (Gen. 1:31). The presence of sin and evil in the universe is the result of man’s rebellion against God. That rebellion has deformed God’s creation, introducing death, disease and decay into a universe where these things were once unknown.
God Is Just
Ps. 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Justice, righteousness, love and faithfulness describe who God is in His very nature. Because God is just He cannot allow sin and evil to continue without some form of correction. In His love, God created human beings who are free agents, free to love their Creator and follow His ways of justice, righteousness, love and faithfulness—or not. In choosing not to love God above all else, in choosing not to follow God’s ways but our own, we place ourselves in opposition to Him and to His design for the universe. We are, in effect, lawbreakers. It is this rebellion against God that brought sin, evil, death and destruction into the world. To be on the wrong side of God’s justice is our own choice.
God is Love
The reality is, the entire human race is condemned already. Jesus came into the world to rescue us from that inevitable judgment.
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
For God to be just He cannot allow sin to continue unchecked. He must eradicate it, and doing so requires eradicating those who commit sin—and none of us are exempt. But because God is love as well as just, He has provided a way of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ from the judgment we all deserve.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.