One surely can understand why some question how God can claim to be good when practically killing all of humankind in a Flood. How can a good God possible ask Abraham to sacrifice his own son on an altar (Gen. 22) or kill the firstborns of the Egyptians (Ex. 12)? It can be challenging to have a close connection with one’s Creator when they question the morality of their God or struggle to possibly explain their God to others.
I won’t take the easy way out by only suggesting that the Flood is not a literal story.
It is possible that the Flood did not literally happen. Scholars who believe in the trustworthiness of the Bible disagree whether this Genesis story was meant to be taken literally or figuratively. Common ground is best sought since proof of one’s view cannot be proven if depending upon historical writings thousands of years ago without eye witnesses. Most can agree at least that OT stories were written for spiritual food for thought.
The story of the Flood, similar to Jonah and the whale if not literal, can lead to spiritual discussions.
Does God oppose evil so forcefully at times for our own good as opposed to selfish or power reasons? Can evil be so progressive that the horrendous impact on future generations is inevitable unless drastic measures are taken? Evil in the beginning of history may have progressed to the level of sacrificing children to gods as it was with the Canaanites. Evil today has progressed where those in power satisfy sick pleasures by raping, torturing, or enslaving.
But, if the Flood is literal does this make God immoral?
My answers may not satisfy but are certain explanations plausible where God latter may be able to answer all our concerns? Story writers don’t include all the details for they assume their readers know what they know. If a Flood was necessary to begin anew for future generations, the writers assumed God always changes their mind if people change. God’s desire to always show mercy is splattered all over the OT. God didn’t empower Noah to preach in hopes no one would respond (I Peter 3:18-20). Did God perform miracles during Noah’s day, which are not included in the story, similar to when God turned the Nile into blood with the Egyptians? Sometimes, we are just “preaching to the choir.”
Terrorists in the 21th Century may give us a glimmer of what evil out of control can look like.
Extremists are planning to come to your country and kill because you don’t worship their God. These same extremists threaten their own with atrocities such as beheadings and sex slavery. They teach their men that God promises after death a lustful paradise at the expense of women. Is it always wrong for a nation to wage war against evil leadership of other nations for the protection of human lives, despite the loss of innocent lives?
The rest of the story may include that there is a better place after death more merciful than abandonment or starvation when adult evildoers are annihilated. Death today is not always a horrible consequence of life here on earth as it allows being reunited with our loved ones. Is it possible there are explanations for OT stories, even if taken literally, which allows understanding and explanations of a good God? I am convinced if a good God exists, such a God would love your challenges if seeking a relationship with God for help being the person you desire to be.