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Don Stewart :: What Were the Reasons for the Flood?

Don Stewart
Why would God send a Flood to destroy the entire world of humankind and beasts? Does the Bible tell us the exact circumstances that led God to perform such a drastic act of judgment?

Corruption Of The Race

It is argued that the sons of God marrying the daughters of men was the cause for the Flood. Those holding the angelic interpretation of the sons of God argue that only something so terrible as angelic interaction with humanity could be the cause for the Flood. This is one possible interpretation of the text.

Rulers Demanded Worship

Those who hold that the sons of God were ancient rulers argue that the kings of the earth had corrupted themselves to the point that they was claiming to be half-god and half man. These so-called offspring of the gods were worshipped by their people. The entire earth became corrupt to the place where God had to destroy it with a Flood. In the New Testament Noah is called a righteous man in contrast to the rest of humanity.

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (Hebrews 11:7).

Increase Of Wickedness

Scripture makes a tremendous emphasis on sin as the cause of the Flood. Humankind was multiplying and people were making decisions on marrying based upon fleshly choice rather than the will of God.

Furthermore, the Bible clearly says wickedness increased to the degree that God had no choice but to wipe out all of humanity and start over. The Scripture stresses that humankind's wickedness had come to the place where judgment was necessary. They were not only evil, they were evil continually. There was no shame whatsoever and no desire for godliness. Compare the statements of Genesis 6:5 with 1:31. Also compare Genesis 6:5 with 1:4 where God, at first, saw all things good, and then saw all things bad.


There is another factor that enters in-violence. The idea of violence in this context is more than the unavoidable warfare that arises between human beings. It is the malicious, oppressive violence that anyone would recognize as sinful. It is interesting to note that Jewish interpreters in the past have believed that this violence or lawlessness arose from too much ease and affluence. These people had everything that they wanted and consequently had to invent new type of distractions. They lived with no thought of God or their fellow man. This cruel way of life, where evil was continually on their minds, called for the judgment of the Flood. The people on earth had ruined themselves and God was now going to wipe them all out and start over.

Picture Of Future Judgment

This brings us to a final reason for the Flood. In light of the conditions that brought the Flood in Noah's day it is a sobering thought that this Flood is a picture in Scripture of the final judgment of God. Jesus used it as an example of what the world will be like before He comes and sets up His kingdom. The unexpectedness hit them because they had not paid attention to the warning of God. Jesus said:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (Matthew 24:37-39).

Conditions similar to the Flood will be in the world during the time of His Second Coming. People were marrying without any concern for God.

Why Specifically A Flood?

Why did God choose to destroy the world with a flood of water? Several suggestions have been made to answer this question.

1.Often Uses Nature

First, Scripture indicates that God has often used nature to judge humankind. For example, God, who is sovereign over His creation, used the waters of the Red Sea to save the Israelites and destroy the Egyptian army.

2.Cleanse The Earth

The Flood was also an effective way of cleansing the earth of its sin. Every semblance of evil could be washed away and Noah, his family, and the animals, could make a new start on the newly cleansed earth.

3.Start Over

Furthermore the Flood was used by God to begin His new creation. The commandments given to Noah and his family after the Flood have many parallels with the commandments given to Adam and Eve. Noah, as Adam, was to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth. Unfortunately Noah inherited a sinful world while the world Adam found was perfect.


Something happened in the world that was so terrible that it caused God to send a Flood to destroy it. Scripture emphasizes rampant sin that was on the earth was the cause for the judgment.

The Flood in Noah's day is a picture of the future judgment that God will send upon the entire earth. Conditions will be similar in the last days as in the time of Noah.

Though the Bible does not specifically tell us, there are several possible reasons as to why God chose a Flood as His means to destroy the creatures on the earth.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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