How Many Times Did God Destroy the World?
How many times did God destroy the world? Once the Flood had receded, God made an oath to Noah and his family (Genesis 9:1-17) promising not to again destroy all life on Earth with global flooding.
He then instructed Noah and his family, as well as animals, to repopulate the world through Noah and set forth a rainbow as a sign of His promise.
1. The Flood of Noah
The Flood of Noah stands as a pivotal event in God's story of creation, showing that sin corrupts and destroys everything it touches - in this instance it destroyed Adam and Eve's great work, which had been perfect until its introduction into their lives.
Genesis 6-9's narrative of the Flood shows us that, at one point in human history, man's wickedness became so extreme that God decided to send a flood. Not as an act of revenge against sinners but rather as a just and loving response from a just God.
Also read: "Why Was God So Cruel in the Old Testament?
God instructed Noah to build an ark and take with him his family as well as two animals from each species living on Earth. Once the Flood had subsided, He instructed him and his family to plant and cultivate the land, be fruitful and multiply while dominating all sea fishes, air birds and terrestrial beasts alike.
Many readers of the biblical flood account try to apply modern interpretations to it, such as suggesting it happened only locally rather than worldwide due to our knowledge that Earth is now an oceanic planet. However, this misinterpretation misreads Scripture because "all" animals in Genesis refers to all populations at that point in time.
2. The Fire of Sodom and Gomorrah
God did not destroy the world with fire at this time, but rather through punishing two cities known as Sodom and Gomorrah. According to scripture, God punished these cities to set an example for mankind of how He punishes those who violate His laws - not universally of course because some inhabitants were righteous as well - but nonetheless as a warning for others that God's laws cannot be disobeyed for long.
Gordon Wenham believes there are striking parallels between the Noah and Sodom narratives and believes they were written from one source text. According to him, these narratives share various similarity characteristics including:
One element in the story of Sodom that does not appear in Noah is where Lot's daughters s*xually abuse him; this may not necessarily indicate that these two narratives used similar source documents, as such elements can also be found elsewhere such as in Tower of Babel account.
Sodom and Gomorrah is famously depicted in biblical accounts for many reasons beyond homosexuality; greed, prosperity, failure to help poor, pridefulness and other forms of social injustice all play a role. Jesus warns us against becoming like those from Sodom.
3. The Story of Nineveh
Nineveh was one of the world's premier cities at its fall. A bloodthirsty empire that inflicted violence and death upon those around it as well as against its own subjects, Nineveh repented upon hearing prophet Jonah preach the impending doom they faced; God held back His judgement as they returned to old ways eventually though and Nahum gave a prophecy about how this powerful city would eventually crumble under pressure from outside sources.
God's judgment came in the form of a "flood", which brought down this great city. This may refer to both literal flooding or army invasion that completely decimated its population - either way, this resulted in total destruction of Assyria and its capital city - it never rose again and now lies buried among other Assyrian cities as rubble.
Nineveh is an example of our planet being interdependent, while also serving as an instruction on listening to God and following His lead, rather than succumbing to Satan and following his destructive influence, which ultimately results in destruction for all creation. Therefore, the Bible describes an intertwining plan of redemption which points forward toward Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
4. The Great Tribulation
Genesis 6:6 reads as though God regretted creating humanity, suggesting He felt sorry about bringing us into existence. Yet upon further consideration we see this is due to sin entering God's perfect creation - thus initiating a chain reaction which eventually brought about its demise along with everything it contained - including Earth itself.
The Bible foretells of an impending seven year final period of tribulation which will be the most horrific period ever witnessed on planet Earth, including war, famine, earthquakes and demon armies who will wreak havoc across it all. While terrifying for those still living, those already deceased will feel even greater fear at what awaits them during that final seven year tribulation period.
Jesus called this period of immense suffering and death the Great Tribulation. Matthew 24:21 notes: 'For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been experienced since the creation of the world until now or ever shall be.
This seven year period will commence with the reveal of an antichrist figure known as an abomination of desolation (another name for antichrist). As per Revelations, seven seals, trumpets and bowl judgments will bring about destruction throughout earthly society during this period - For further study in this regard I highly recommend - Great Tribulation PT 1 & 2.
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