The Biblical God’s Indecision, Confusion with Salvation


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

After the creation of the universe, planets, earth, humans, animals etc, God according to the Bible states that everything created was very good:

Genesis 1:31
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Proceeding to Genesis 6: 5-7 , after Adam and Eve are both cast out of paradise for eating from the fruit of knowledge and thus sent to earth, humankind becomes plentiful on earth. God (in the Bible) then notices that the human race was full of wickedness, so He regretted creating man (or feels sorry for creating man on earth, depending on the translation) and decided to eradicate all men, save for Prophet Noah and his household.

Genesis 6: 5-7
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. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

After Noah and his house build the ark, they along with animals enter it. God then sent rains, flooding the earth and killing every living thing.  After the flood ends God tells the Prophet Noah to come out of the ark and so he does (as well as Noah’s household and the animals). Noah then offers a sacrifice to God and God responds:

Genesis 8:20-21
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 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.

When we read the following passages, we should wonder if the Biblical God knows what he is doing !

(1) God destroys the earth except for a handful because man is born evil.

(2) After destroying the earth and every living thing (expect for Noah, his household and some animals), God notes that all of mankind are evil and He (God), won’t repeat this action of punishment again.

We ask:

(a) Who created man? Doesn’t God know how evil man’s heart is? Why create them evil by nature and then punish them? Why then, change your mind on not punishing the future generation, despite noting that man has the same evil within him.

(b) If mankind is inclined to evil by nature why has Noah and his household not been killed as well?

(c) If Jesus is the reason, please refer back to question (a).

(d) Why flood the whole planet? Did Noah manage to spread the message throughout the planet ?

Christian Biblical Commentaries on Genesis 8:21:

John Gill’s Commentary:

“for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; his nature is depraved, his heart is corrupt, the thoughts of it evil, yea, the imagination of it, and of them, is sinful, and that originally, even from his birth; from the time he is shook out of his mother’s womb, as Jarchi interprets the phrase: man is conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and is a transgressor from the womb, and so a child of wrath, and deserving of the curse of the law upon himself, and all that belong to him; and yet this is given as a reason why God will not any more curse the ground for his sake: that which was a reason for destroying the earth, is now one against it, see Genesis 6:5 which may be reconciled thus, God for this reason destroyed the earth once, for an example, and to display his justice; but such is his clemency and mercy, that he will do it no more to the end of the world; considering that man has brought himself into such a condition, that he cannot but sin, it is natural to him from his birth; his nature is tainted with it, his heart is full of it, and all his thoughts and imaginations are wicked and sinful, from whence continually flow a train of actual sins and transgressions; so that if God was to curse and drown the world as often as man sins, he must be continually doing it; for the words may be rendered, “though the imagination of man’s heart is evil”, &c. (h); yet I will not do it; and so they are expressive of the super abounding grace of God over abounding sin:”

Gill points out that man is evil and due to his evilness, God drowns them up (related to Genesis 6:5)

Gill goes on to say:

neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done; this hinders not but that there might be, as has been since, partial calamities, or particular judgments on individual persons, towns, and cities, as those of Sodom and Gomorrah, or partial inundations, but not a general deluge, or an universal destruction of the world and creatures in it, at least not by water, as has been, but by fire, as will be; for that the earth will have an end, at least as to its present nature, form, and use, may be concluded from the following words.

 

So if God won’t drown the entire planet as a punishment, how then will He burn them on Judgment day? Despite noting that He created them evil by birth, sparing Noah, his household and their offspring, also have the same evilness in them.

We see similar commentaries below, Clark and Jamieson-Fausset-Brown  try to solve the problem by stating that Jesus is the reason (God sends himself to die for the sin [evil] he created in mankind).  This does not resolve the problem or the questions asked above (a, b, c and d).

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

The Lord smelled a sweet savor – That is, he was well pleased with this religious act, performed in obedience to his own appointment, and in faith of the promised Savior. That this sacrifice prefigured that which was offered by our blessed Redeemer in behalf of the world, is sufficiently evident from the words of St. Paul, Ephesians 5:2 : Christ hath loved us, and given himself for its an offering and a sacrifice to God for a Sweet-Smelling Savor; where the words οσμην ευωδιας of the apostle are the very words used by the Septuagint in this place.

I will not again curse the ground – לא אסף lo osiph, I will not add to curse the ground – there shall not be another deluge to destroy the whole earth: for the imagination of man’s heart, כי ki, Although the imagination of man’s heart should be evil, i.e. should they become afterwards as evil as they have been before, I will not destroy the earth by a Flood. God has other means of destruction; and the next time he visits by a general judgment, Fire is to be the agent. 2 Peter 3:7.

2 Peter 3:7

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 

 

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour-The sacrifice offered by a righteous man like Noah in faith was acceptable as the most fragrant incense.

Lord said in his heart-same as “I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth” (Isa 54:9).

for-that is, “though the imagination is evil”; instead of inflicting another destructive flood, I shall spare them-to enjoy the blessings of grace, through a Saviour.

 

From an Islamic perspective:

(1) Unlike Christianity in Islam every human is born with a Fitra (an inclination to submission to God), it is society’s influence and man’s freewill (Choice) that leads him/her to evil.

The Prophet Muhammad {saw} said, “No babe is born but upon Fitra . It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also informs us: “Every child is born upon the natural way. It is then his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1296)]

Quran 30:29

But those who wrong follow their [own] desires without knowledge. Then who can guide one whom Allah has sent astray? And for them there are no helpers.

Quran 45:15

Whoso doeth right, it is for his soul, and whoso doeth wrong, it is against it. And afterward unto your Lord ye will be brought back.

Quran 17:15

“Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit: who goes astray does so to his own loss: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another …”

(2) In the Qur’an, Prophet Noah was sent to a specific civilization and they refused to believe in God’s message.

Quran 7:59-7:64

We sent Noah to his people. He said: “O my people! worship God! ye have no other god but Him. I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful day! The leaders of his people said: “Ah! we see thee evidently wandering (in mind).” He said: “O my people! No wandering is there in my (mind): on the contrary I am an apostle from the Lord and Cherisher of the worlds! “I but fulfil towards you the duties of my Lord’s mission: Sincere is my advice to you, and I know from God something that ye know not. “Do ye wonder that there hath come to you a message from your Lord, through a man of your own people, to warn you,- so that ye may fear God and haply receive His Mercy?” But they rejected him, and We delivered him, and those with him, in the Ark: but We overwhelmed in the flood those who rejected Our signs. They were indeed a blind people!

In the end we notice what doubt and confusion the Bible provides, Islam answers with clear cut , extant responses. Islam states we are not born sinners but with the Fitra, and we will be judged according to our good and bad deeds. Islam shows God is in control and knows what he is doing and God’s word is always accurate.

– Authored by Brother Hamza A., a former Maronite Christian from Lebanon.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

3 comments

  • =========================================
    a) Who created man? Doesn’t God know how evil man’s heart is? Why create them evil by nature and then punish them? Why then, change your mind on not punishing the future generation, despite noting that man has the same evil within him.
    ============================================
    Christian answers
    -Questioning God decision for creating man with evil nature then being punished for that , frankly is a sort of question which shouldn’t have been asked if you had considered yourself as true Muslim, it’s either you are an ignorant muslim who has elementary understanding of Islam or you are just being deceitful. THE REALITY IS MUSLIMS ESSENTIALLY BELIEVE ALLAH PURPOSELY HAS CREATED MAN AS EVIL AND PUNISH THEM FOR THAT.

    Sahih Muslim 2687, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” [http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-426-3787.htm]

    From reading above hadith the conclusion is If man wouldn’t ask for forgiveness then they would be punished, now the similar question for you why would Allah has been demanding man to be responsible for their sin when the one who has purposely created their sinfulness is Allah?

    -Different from Islam, the true God created man perfect and good along with their free-will, Adam’s fall to sin was a consequence of his free-will and not because God initiated it.

    -Not as your narrow Islamist way of thinking this is not a matter of dealing with human’s sins only, rather it is about preservation for lineage of Christ The Savior ,that’s why God didn’t punish the future generation.

    ==========================
    (b) If mankind is inclined to evil by nature why has Noah and his household not been killed as well?

    (c) If Jesus is the reason, please refer back to question (a).
    ==========================
    Christian answers: Those two questions practically related, so I explain them in one inclusive answer
    Continuing my previous explanation The real focus is about Christ the Saviour and preserving the line who would bring Christ to the world. Its not because as if Christ would be corrupted but instead it would prevent the possibility to corrupt the human vessel who would bring Christ to the world. The “corruption” which being spoken of here is total lawlessness and not just fallen nature.

    This total lawlessness is type of condition when sinful nature inside mankind is fully manifested ad not only that it happened in mass scale or all over the world to be exact. It was a world where man rejected civil moral law and totally consumed with their lust , acted like beast and be perverted as possible as they could.

    Considering how small Noah and his family were compared to the rest of these lawless men then the chances of Noah’s future generation in being totally lawless would’ve been unavoidable , then it means there would’ve been no saints such as Abraham ,Moses nor even Mary cause they would’ve also been overwhelmed by the wickedness of society. In that wisdom God in fact were more in saving Noah and his descendants from those wicked people rather than saving Noah from flood. Although generations after Noah many were eventually become pagan nevertheless seemingly their moral were far more honorable compared to people in Noah’s time (eg. csn be seen from Pagan Rule such as Hammurabi Code)

    So there’s no reason to punish Noah since his sinful nature hadn’t been fully manifested as others, this fact is obvious by the fact that He had put his faith on God , and a man who had had his sinful nature fully manifested wouldn’t have that capability.

    =============
    (d) Why flood the whole planet? Did Noah manage to spread the message throughout the planet ?
    ==============
    Answer : People on earth in that time seemingly hadn’t yet been dispersed and still had been living closed together. Man’s dispersion happened only after the construction of Babel tower and not before that. And apparently Noah’s message did spread toward all mankind at his time , it will have been the same when Gospel is completely preach despite whether being accepted or not then judgement day will come.

    =====================================
    (1) Unlike Christianity in Islam every human is born with a Fitra (an inclination to submission to God), it is society’s influence and man’s freewill (Choice) that leads him/her to evil.
    ==================================
    My Objection : A Muslim who makes above statement again I must say, he is either still in elementary level of understanding islam or he’s just being deceitful!

    Those statement is just partly right, it’s true Islam believe in Fitra that IN BEGINNING ALL MEN ARE MUSLIM, BUT that’s not the whole story because IN THE END WHETHER THEY STAY MUSLIM OR NOT WILL BE EVENTUALLY ALLAH”S WILL!

    In Islam Man’s action of being Muslim until the end is not determined by his own free will but instead solely because Allah’s initiative. (REFERENCE :Sahih Muslim Book 33(Destiny) No.6406).

    Please be honest and not ignorant in representing your belief, thx

  • As Salaamu 3ala man ittaba al huda,

    [From reading above hadith the conclusion is If man wouldn’t ask for forgiveness then they would be punished, now the similar question for you why would Allah has been demanding man to be responsible for their sin when the one who has purposely created their sinfulness is Allah?]

    Your eisegesis of the hadith is incorrect. Allaah did not create mankind (an nas) as sinful, but this hadith does show that He created us with freewill and that because He is Al Alim (The All Knowing), then He knew we would sin if given freewill. It does not say however that God created us with sin, but rather it does day that God created us with knowing we will sin with out freewill.

    [Different from Islam, the true God created man perfect and good along with their free-will, Adam’s fall to sin was a consequence of his free-will and not because God initiated it.]

    If your concept of God created man perfectly, then that implies the original sin is a lie. For if we are perfect, how can we be born with sin? This isn’t a paradox, but a contradiction in thinking.

    [Not as your narrow Islamist way of thinking this is not a matter of dealing with human’s sins only, rather it is about preservation for lineage of Christ The Savior ,that’s why God didn’t punish the future generation.]

    So just to get this right, God according to the Bible, did not cause the great flood to only punish sins, He flooded the earth for what then? If we read the Bible, it says what he punished them for, “evil upon the earth”.

    [So there’s no reason to punish Noah since his sinful nature hadn’t been fully manifested as others, this fact is obvious by the fact that He had put his faith on God , and a man who had had his sinful nature fully manifested wouldn’t have that capability.]

    Yet your God who is supposed to posses all knowledge, allowed Noah to live, and his children, only for Noah to become a drunk and pass out naked upon a rock and then cursing his son’s lineage of Canaan? So God allowed a man to live, only for evil to manifest after the flood, causing the cursing of an entire community? If God flooded the earth to destroy evil, why did God wait for after the flood for the one he saved to cause more evil, according to your scripture?

    [And apparently Noah’s message did spread toward all mankind at his time , it will have been the same when Gospel is completely preach despite whether being accepted or not then judgement day will come.]

    Please give a Biblical reference to show that the Noahide faith (based on the 7 Noahide laws) was international, thanks.

    [Those statement is just partly right, it’s true Islam believe in Fitra that IN BEGINNING ALL MEN ARE MUSLIM, BUT that’s not the whole story because IN THE END WHETHER THEY STAY MUSLIM OR NOT WILL BE EVENTUALLY ALLAH”S WILL!]

    It’s a misconception of Christians to think that the fitra means that one is born Muslim. Incorrect, as Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadhul Haqq [db] has explained, the fitra is an innate affinity towards haqq (truth) in faith/ religion (iman/ deen). The concept of qadr (predestination) does not negate freewill. Again, Allaah’s will meaning ‘what God has allowed to happen’, therefore if God is Al Alim (all knowing) and He knows that should He give you freewill that you will be a sinner or a believer, He has allowed for you to become those things, therefore it is His will. It does not mean that God created you and said “SINNER”, rather it means God created you, knowing you will be a sinner, if given freewill.

    The Biblical God however, has run into a conundrum, see Genesis 6:6, He could not be all knowing in this case.

  • I just read the comments, either way Barak’Allah Fikum Brother Ijaz for the response.

    I will just add :

    //In Islam Man’s action of being Muslim until the end is not determined by his own free will but instead solely because Allah’s initiative. (REFERENCE :Sahih Muslim Book 33(Destiny) No.6406)//

    Response:
    ————-

    Quran 45:15
    Whoso doeth right, it is for his soul, and whoso doeth wrong, it is against it. And afterward unto your Lord ye will be brought back.

    Quran 18:29
    Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place

    Quran 73:19
    Lo! This is a Reminder. Let him who will, then, choose a way unto his Lord.

    //Please be honest and not ignorant in representing your belief, thx//

    Response:
    ————

    What was it you said ? Ohh yes, “I must say, he is either still in elementary level of understanding islam or he’s just being deceitful!”

    Welcome.