Why Did the Flood Happen?

William Etty's 'The World Before the Flood'

Short answer: As a judgment for the wickedness of mankind

Bible Reference: Genesis 6:5-7, 11-13, 17

The Bible records that after Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden that sin entered into the world, and death by sin. Adam’s firstborn son, Cain, became the world’s first murderer, killing his brother Abel. From there, things simply got worse and worse.

The Bible records on Genesis chapter 6 that:

“GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7

These verses reveal that God sent the Flood as a divine judgment against man’s sin. Mankind had gotten so bad that his every thought and imagination was always pure evil! Furthermore, God notes that the earth was filled with violence because of man. This was a dark time for humanity. Imagine a world where every day was filled with crime, murder, hate, war, theft, extortion and pretty much any other sin man can come up with!

Perhaps a comparison would make things a little clearer. God told Abraham in Genesis 18 that He intended to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness. Abraham prayed on behalf of those wicked cities, asking whether God would destroy the righteous with the wicked? God promised He would not destroy those cities if He found even 50 righteous men. Abraham knew of Sodom and Gomorrah’s sinful reputation, so he asked God to lower the number… and to make a long story short, God promised that he would spare the city if there were even 10 righteous men to be found. Unfortunately, when God sent two angelic emmisaries to Sodom, only Abraham’s nephew Lot, his wife and daughters were escaped the cities’ destruction by heavenly fire… and Lot’s wife had her heart so set on Sodom that she forfeited her life to look upon it one last time [Genesis 19:26; Luke 17:32-33].

It should be noted that God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but He would rather that sinful men would repent of their sin and turn to Him and live [Ezekiel 33:11;  2 Peter 3:9]! Yet sin cannot go unpunished. Every man, woman and child knows this is true when they stop to think about it. Imagine a world where anyone could steal from you, hurt you, or even kill you or those you love… a world where sinful men are free to do as they please without punishment. It’s not a pretty place, is it? Laws are necessary in a sinful world to protect people from crime as much as to punish criminals. A loving and just God must punish sin, but our Creator also provides a remedy for our sin.

The Bible records that Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD and that God instructed him to build an Ark so that he and his family might be saved. Likewise, God has made a way that we might be saved from the punishment our sin deserves. His only begotten Son Jesus Christ died on a cross for the whole world’s sin, taking our punishment in our place so that we could be forgiven and be restored to right standing with God. Then  Jesus rose again from the dead to give us the promise of eternal life. Whoever confesses the Lord Jesus and believes in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead shall be saved.

My you, like Noah, find grace in the sight of God.

32 Responses to Why Did the Flood Happen?

  1. Thomas Gray says:

    This is so utterly stupid, no rain water could flood the entire earth except in one of mans made up stories!!! The earth would of had to be already flooded for rain to reflood it, because rain water starts out as water on earth then evaporates and forms clouds which start releasing the evaporated earth water back to earth only when they can not hold any more water because it eventually gets heavier than the atmosphere around it!!! Man is the top story teller in the universe so far!!!

    • Tony Breeden says:

      To be fair, the Bible does not say that the Flood was merely caused by rainfall. rather it says that:

      ““In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” [Genesis 7:11]

      In other words, underground water was a major contributing factor as well.

    • ana says:

      You really do not know your facts. History would not be in existence without the flood and many of the historical events. First, even the scientific method of higher-critical theory know that the flood was indeed real. Research the studies they found how the sands from South America match the sands of Africa but no other land fit perfectly when generated by computer simulation. Before you judge and say something is stupid I think you should understand stupid is as stupid does. Man is not the top story teller in the universe only those who care to challenge the truth.
      There is so much to learn from the Bible and other historical literature but you have to stop allowing your thoughts to control your emotions and challenge yourself to research peer-evidential sources and facts, you would be amazed what you can learn when you listen first.

    • David says:

      Thomas Gray, the Bible refers to Jasher several times. In one occasion, it even says in Job, “it is written in the Book of Jasher”, referring to the sun standing still. So, in Jasher, it explains how the earth broke open under the water and water came forth. So, it wasn’t only rain, but water also came from inside the earth. I realize you think everyone is stupid, but the Bible explains what you don’t u deratand becuae you never looked. Want another example of how people think the Bible is wrong but it is exactly true? Look at the Bible where Joseph was sold. It says he was sold to the Mideanites in one place and in another, that he was sold to the Ishmaelites. But if you look in Jasher, you will find out both is true. It’s just a matter of reading and understanding. Also, the Catholic Church threw out a lot of books of the Bible. But Enoch and Jasher were specifically referenced. Jesus Himself even referenced Enoch when He said to the Sadducees, “you err because you do not know the scriptures”. It seems we are still doing that today. And some people think the Bible is foolishness because they have been decieved as you have.

  2. Albert says:

    Russell Crowe said the flood was our punishment for climate change, how did Noah’s generation increase the co2 in the atmosphere ?

    • Tony Breeden says:

      If that’s what he said, Russell Crowe wasn’t quoting the Bible, which says that God sent the Flood in judgment because Man’s every thought was continually evil.

  3. Chris Little says:

    The flood most likely happened because of nephilim or giants. These were the sons of fallen angels. These fallen angels noticed the daughters of man to be beautiful and took them as wives creating nephilim or demigods. This was a extremely evil race that taught man sin, weapons, and cannibalism. At the rate the nephilim were reproducing it ran the risk of The Son of God not being born. This flood was to preserve the human race. There is evidence of nephilim all over the world and throughout various bibles. This is my beliefs and I’m not forcing it on anyone just making it known

    • Tony Breeden says:


      Regardless of one’s position on the nephilim they are NOT the reason for the Flood. While they may have been a contributing factor, the reason given by God is that man was wicked and his every thought continually evil [Gen 6:5], that the earth was filled with violence and that all flesh had become corrupted because of man[Gen 6:12], so much so that Noah alone was seen to be righteous before God [Gen 7:1]

      • Charles Henry says:

        The Floods came from Glaciers,,mountains glaciers

      • Tony Breeden says:

        That seems insufficient, especially when the Bible specifically says that “the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.” [Genesis 7:11]

  4. Great answer! I love how you made it clear that Jesus is the payment for our sins!

  5. Raj says:

    All the animals and birds in existence at that time, except one pair each, were drowned to death by God for sins for human species.
    What did the poor animals and birds do?
    God is lucky that there was no animal welfare societies then! God should be behind bars for cruelty to animals!!

    • Tony Breeden says:

      I’m sorry, but based on what objective moral code would you condemn the Creator for destroying or saving the world as He sees fit? What is YOUR basis for morality?

      • Dee Worth says:

        If Raj had his way, God would be in prison for creating cannabis, too. People today seem to have lost all logic and common sense.

      • With due respect, a reasonable basis for morality is not punishing other species for humans’ supposed sins. That’s a fair point that Raj makes.

      • Tony Breeden says:

        You’re looking at morality on an individual basis rather than a sovereign basis. Adam was given dominion over all creation. When a king falls, his kingdom suffers

  6. Freethinket says:

    So your all knowing god screwed up so badly he had not one, but two do-overs? Really?! How gullible can you be?

    • Tony Breeden says:

      You’re blaming the Creator for the screw-ups of his creations. I’m guessing you’re one of those guys who blames all their mistakes and flaws on their parents then?

      • Eleanor says:

        First off, I have to say, everyone, that I respect all of your beliefs. I am agnostic, meaning I do not specifically believe in the Christian God, but I do believe in some type of creator. Even though, I do not necessarily believe in the God the Bible depicts, it does not mean I do not respect the religion and God. This is just my opinion, but I find this story to be quite interesting. I am not speaking of the story itself, but of the moral behind it. I see the theme as being a classic, such as do not lie, or perhaps, take responsibility for your actions. Maybe, the Bible is just attempting to say, “Get your act together, humanity!” I just wanted to share my viewpoint, and possibly earn some KIND FEEDBACK on what you believe. Have a nice night!

      • Tony Breeden says:

        And what then do you make of all the Flood legends that are found the world over?

  7. Larry D says:

    Why would God send the flood? Why not create a virus to wipe out humanity, that way none of his other creations would have to suffer. How did all the vegetation survive under water for a year? In the original Sumerian and Babylonian stories the ark was round, seeds were brought on board, the flood lasted 2 weeks and the reason for the flood was there were too many people making too much noise. The world might not be so horribly overpopulated if the Bible had stayed with the original story.

    • Tony Breeden says:

      You have several questions here. I will answer in brief:

      1. Because the Earth was filled with violence and the every imagination of man was wicked. It’s actually in the Bible.
      2. God had already chosen to spare mankind at the Garden; He could have done so there; this was not His plan. Why don’t you ask Him why He so stupidly spared you? The Earth was created for mankind, according to the Bible, not the other war around. If this is true, the affects on mankind’s environment make sense.
      3. The Bible’s account mentions seeds being brought aboard, too.
      4. You’ve made the mistake of presuming that because one story was written down first that it came first. Why would you assume that the less realistic, more fantastical story was the original? The round ark would’ve killed everyone aboard as they tumbled about inside [one of many unrealistic elements], while the Biblical Ark was actually given at seaworthy dimensions. Again, the further from the real history one gets, the more legendary/unrealistic elements tend to get into the story.
      5. So God should’ve saved fewer than 8 people to avoid present-day populations??

  8. CruciFICTION says:

    I wonder what the carnivores on the ark ate. 40 days would be an awful long time without food.

  9. Dee Worth says:

    Science today makes note of the fact that there is enough water in the polar ice caps to cover the better portion of the land on the planet. Throw in a few violent storms and you have total annihalation of whatever is here. Remember, we are so puny and insignificant, when you consider the grand scale and scheme of the Universe(s), that our petty egos and hubristic self importance is nothing but the Fool’s Folly. As they said in the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Universe; “The Universe is laughing at us, behind our backs”. We mean exactly SQUAT, and I hope we see a huge meteor takes this planet out, just to prove it (IF it HAS to happen!).

    • Tony Breeden says:

      Wow. The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a work of fiction. You seem to be taking it as more than that. If God doesn’t exist, you’re right. If He does exist, you’re very, very wrong… and thank God for that!

  10. Dee Worth says:

    It was a quote, nothing more. I didn’t refer to it like it was gospel, and you’re really giving me no credit as a person and a Christian, if you believe that. God IS real and we both know this.

  11. Jamesgarrity says:

    No matter what happens in the future i thank god for the chance he gave us.i only hope that we all make it heaven.thank you god for the forgiveness i need so badly.i have faith in god.

  12. Ken Willoughby JP,FBIS, FRAS. says:

    Anyone who believes in God is totally stupid!

    • Tony Breeden says:

      The evolutionists of old were more honest and less dogmatic about things science cannot really comment upon. I’m unimpressed with your bald-faced assertion, especially since many of the scientific disciplines and significant inventions were founded by Bible-affirming Creationists trying to “think God’s thought after Him.” But nice try. Does this sort of baseless screed work with the crowds on your little island?

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