God, The Murderer?
(This was previously posted on The Black Lemon)
Today, I came across a YouTube video highlighting the ‘body count’ that God has—the video was over two hours long. Posted five months ago by ‘The Friendly Atheist’, the YouTuber does his best to highlight every single event in which God killed people. And trust me, it’s a lot.
But the real question is: are we even allowed to hold God to the same moral standards He holds us to? And an even bigger question—do we even know who God is?
Because, you see, people who don’t have a clue who God is ask very ridiculous questions, then highlights the Bible and God as some unforgiving murderer. What’s worse, they say things like ‘if God is so loving, why does He kill so many people?’
But here’s the catch: the same God who gives life is the same God who determines when that life ends and by those standards, we’re all facing an imminent death in which God has ordained. It was the rule He gave us in Genesis chapter two—‘if you eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you will surely die’.
This doesn’t sound promising at all.
But then, ask yourself this: who is God? If we define God as a Supreme Being who created time and space itself, then we’re essentially saying God exists outside the framework of this universe, making Him timeless, ageless, and omnipotent. If He is omniscient and omnipresent, then we’re saying He exists outside our dimension, and His timeless nature allows Him to exist in all times simultaneously.
We’re talking about a Supreme Being whose own inherent essence is eternal—that is, without beginning and end. And if we claim Him as the Creator of all things, then we’re also giving thought to the fact that He is outside of our own social constructs and ideas of morality.
So, what does that mean?
Well, it means this. God can do whatever He wants. And if He can do whatever He pleases, that includes creating AND destroying.
Why do the nations say,Psalms 115:2-3 NIV
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
He does whatever pleases Him.
Lots of people would then go on to say, ‘then why doesn’t God destroy evil/Satan?’ At first, I struggled with this question myself in my younger years. Why doesn’t God just get rid of evil?
Genesis 6:5 sums it up best:
The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.Genesis 6:5
Back in the Garden of Eden, when man fell, he broke a commandment—he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, meaning that all people who come from Adam have both good and evil thoughts, thus embedding evil (and sin) within our DNA. The Bible says “for all has sinned and fall short of the glory of God (more on this).
If God were to ‘destroy’ evil and Satan, then essentially He would destroy all of humanity. He could, but there’s a reason why He refuses to do this. And, as a matter of fact, He has done this once, during the flood.
The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”Genesis 8:21
However, there is something greater than just His promise not to destroy us—it’s His love for humanity. He created us for a reason. He created us for companionship, for friendship, but because of the disobedience of mankind, that relationship was destroyed. Evil saturated the heart of man, and our evil caused us to hate, discriminate, and destroy each other and this world.
Humanity has sold it’s soul to the Evil One, allowing him to now own our lives. This unfortunate situation made it even tougher. For God to destroy evil, He needs to completely destroy us, but His love for us prevents Him from doing that. The negative essence (evil) in our DNA, slowly kills us, and when we die our souls are forever gone.
God refused to allow this. He couldn’t let His beautiful creation, His friends, His lost family go to waste. So, He did something about it. He made a plan to buy us back. Throughout the years, evil has consumed humanity, leading God to make the decision to drastically remove some of the worst humans, so that He could save the majority of us, but He had a plan to save all of us—even those who died in ancient times.
The heart is deceitful above all things,Jeremiah 17:9-10
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”
His plan was to wrap His promise to humanity in flesh—His Son, who He sent as the example of the perfect man. He died in the place of us, purchasing the rights to our souls that was lost to evil, so that we may enjoy eternal life. Though our flesh dies, our spirit lives on with God through that promise, the Word wrapped in flesh.
Those who accept His son, are not only spared from agonizing death, but they’re given the seal of the Holy Spirit, which marks them as renewed. God does ultimately have a plan to get rid of evil once and for all, but that is after He ensures that all His creation is safe and marked with His Seal.
So, to answer the question: if God is so loving, why did He kill so many people? Or to those who claim God is evil because He kills, I say this:
Can we judge God by the moral standards He has set for us? Because if God judged us by the moral standards He created within us, then we all should have been dead a long time ago. The fact that this world is still turning and you’re still breathing proves that there is hope for humanity. Those who died during ancient times saw death because of the saturated evil within their hearts. He, the LORD, searches the heart of man and He tests their minds. Then, He gives to every man according to their actions.
The heart of man plans his way,Proverbs 16:9
but the Lord establishes his steps.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.Romans 3:21-26