Why Did God Kill People in the Old Testament?

When you pick up your Bible and begin to read it, it doesn’t take long before you read about God taking people’s lives. He took the lives of many individuals, entire nations and during the time of the global flood (Genesis 6) God killed every Human except Noah and his household. It’s not only in the Old Testament, He took lives in New Testament times as well and still does so to this day. God takes lives.

How Could a Loving God Kill People?

Death is a direct result of sin. God is sovereign over all (in control of everything everywhere) and omnipotent (all powerful). This means there is nothing that He is not in control of. Nothing why did god kill peoplehappens that is outside of His control. So God not only took the lives of all of the people I’ve previously referred to, God will take the life of every single person on this earth in some manner and at some point in time. He will do so because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Every time we tell a lie, take something that doesn’t belong to us, take God’s name in vain, have lustful thoughts, have hateful thoughts toward another… (the list goes on and on) we break God’s law. We know that these things are wrong because we have a God-given conscience that tells us we are doing something that we shouldn’t do. This is sin. Since God is good… holy… perfect, he cannot let sin go unpunished. It must be punished and it is.

Just as a good judge would not be a good judge if he let criminals go without sentencing them for their crimes, God, being good, cannot allow sinners to go unpunished. The punishment is death. This death is not only physical, it is also spiritual.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:17

On that day, Adam and Even died spiritually. They lived on physically (for a while), but on that day, as God promised, they died spiritually. This spiritual death is separation from God. We all inherited it. All of mankind is dead to God because of sin. Prior to this death Adam and Eve were in daily fellowship with God. They were literally in God’s presence and God nurtured and cared for them. But once they sinned, disease, pain, suffering and physical death entered the world. It remains to this day.

We could blame Adam for our sin. But we’re not forced to sin. We choose to sin on our own. Just as Adam chose to sin, we choose to sin.

Did God Break the Sixth Commandment

The 6th Commandment is “Thou shalt not kill” (Exod. 20:13), so doesn’t that mean God broke His own commandment? The answer is no! God’s Commandments are for mankind and they were given to show men their sin (Romans 3:20).

When we willingly kill someone it is murder because we do it with sinful motives. But when our Holy God kills someone it is justice because His motives are always righteous. God has never killed a good descendant of Adam because a good descendant of Adam doesn’t exist and never has. We are all sinners. (Psalm 14:3 “…there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”)

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

All have sinned, all are dead to God, and all will physically die. If those outside of Noah’s family, who died in the flood (or any of the others who’s lives God cut short), had not died in the way they died, they would have died in some other way, at some other date.

Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

All who have not repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus Christ alone should be concerned about their sin problem and their eternal destiny. This is more relevant than why God takes the lives of some people earlier than He takes the lives of others.

God has Provided a Way for Sinners to be Saved!

The good news is that although we are all sinners and there is nothing WE can do to change that, God has made provision for us. You see, 2,000 years ago God became flesh in the person of His Son Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life and then He offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice for YOUR sin, my sin, and for the sin of all men!

When Jesus Christ died on that cross He became a Perfect Substitute, allowing our Righteous God to save sinners while remaining completely righteous and Holy! Now sinners can be saved!

Romans 5:8 – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” is a very important statement! It means that we do not have to be perfect for him to save us. This is very important because we are not ABLE to be perfect! This means that “while we were yet sinners” (our sin has already set that in stone… unchangeable by any of our own good works) he died to save us. This means that if you agree with Him, that you are a condemned sinner, unworthy of any good thing, and you repent of your sin (regret it and turn from it), you can trust in Him and be saved!

Imagine a judge behind the bench of a courtroom. His son was just caught in the act of committing a number of crimes. He is brought before his father, the judge, crying and deeply hurting due to the deep regret he has for the crimes that he has committed. Out of pure love and mercy for his penitent son, the judge stands up, removes his robes, steps down from the bench and walks toward his son. The judge then puts his hands on his son’s shoulders, moves him out of the way and takes his son’s spot. The judge then gives the verdict. He will receive the full sentence that the son deserved.

That is what God did for sinners when He became flesh and died on that cross. God the Son, Jesus Christ, died physically and spiritually, as God the Father “forsook Him” (Matthew 27:46) on that cross. The Father turned His face from His Son for your sin and my sin… because He loves you and me. He doesn’t want us to have to receive His righteous judgement!

2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

All that is required is that we simply take Him at His Word, agreeing with Him that we are sinners, repenting of our sin and trusting alone in Jesus Christ and what He did for us on that Cross as the Only Way to salvation for condemned sinners.

So, why does God kill people? Because people are criminals before God because of their sin. But praise God, Jesus Christ paid it all! Though our flesh will age and die, if we are in Christ (if we have truly repented and believed the Gospel), our soul will live on for eternity with Him in Paradise!

Romans 8:1-2 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”