Consequences of the Flood: Capital Punishment

Another Consequence

In terms of geologic impact, no other event has done more to change the landscape of our world since it was created by God than the Great Flood of Genesis 6-9. The impact of this event led to a number of consequences which continue still today. In this article, we will examine the consequence of capital punishment.

Capital Punishment?

The question of whether capital punishment is a moral right or wrong, or in a more practical sense, is expedient for a society has been examined for many years. It has been lauded as a deterrent to further crime on one hand, and it has been attacked as a form of senseless killing or murder itself on the other.

Not Man’s Decision

While it is not surprising for those of a secular mind to espouse whatever opinion happens to be favored by popular culture, it is distressing to hear those who claim a belief in God being dismissive of capital punishment. The reality is, despite man’s opinion on the subject, it was something which came as a direct result of the Great Flood.

After the waters subsided, God spoke to Noah saying:

Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. Gen. 9:5, 6 (NASU)

This statement predated the Law of Moses with its commands for execution, and every other state which has been in existence since! This describes not an option, but a new principle for man to follow before God.

A New Principle

What is most striking is that this was indeed a new principle after the Great Flood. One of the most famous murders in history was also the first: when Cain slew his brother Abel. What is of note in that circumstance was that Cain was not put to death but instead both banished and protected from harm (Gen. 4:11ff). Some suggest that this was a more “humane” approach. However, this event occurred before the Great Flood, and God’s words to Noah changed this.

An Interesting Question

With that said, the question becomes again: Was this a good or bad consequence? Was requiring death for murder a positive or negative direction for mankind? Before answering the question based upon personal desires, it is important to consider what kind of world existed before vs. after the Great Flood. Perhaps a world without capital punishment is not such a great world after all!

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