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The thief comes to kill and destroy… but does God do that as well?

Joh 10:10 NKJV  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Luk 9:56 NKJV  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

It is clear from  this passage and others that Satan and his demons steal, kill and destroy. But some people take this to the extreme and argue that all death and destruction today comes directly or indirectly from the Devil.  

This position can be shown false by identifying instances in the Bible where God either destroys or kills or threatens to do so.  There are many such instances. Some are shown below.

Please note what the following verses do not imply. 

  1. God takes no pleasure in death or destruction
  2. God never kills or destroys arbitrarily. He has good reasons for what He does or commands others to do.
  3. God’s actions are always just and so can never be blamed or accused of evil.

God destroys

God does not wish to destroy

Eze 22:30 NKJV  So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

God created the spoiler to destroy

Isa 54:16 NKJV  “Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy.

God will destroy those who defile the ‘temple of God’

1Co 3:17 NKJV  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

God will destroy houses

Pro 15:25 NKJV  The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

Eze 26:7-12 NKJV  “For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people. … 12 They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water.

Amo 3:14-15 NKJV  “That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel; And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground.  15  I will destroy the winter house along with the summer house; The houses of ivory shall perish, And the great houses shall have an end,” Says the LORD.

God has destroyed many people throughout history

Gen 6:7 NKJV  So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Gen 6:13 NKJV  And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

God will destroy those who come against Israel

Zec 12:9 NKJV  It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

God will destroy kingdoms

Jer 51:20 NKJV  “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; With you I will destroy kingdoms;

God will destroy the unrighteous in the final judgment

Eze 34:16-17 NKJV  “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”  17  ‘And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.

Jas 4:12 NKJV  There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

Rev 11:18 NKJV  The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.

How God destroys

With famine

Eze 5:16-17 NKJV  When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.  17  So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.’ “

With Nations

Jer 51:20-21 NKJV  “You [Cyrus or Babylon] are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; With you I will destroy kingdoms;  21  With you I will break in pieces the horse and its rider; With you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider;

In Hell

Mat 10:28 NKJV  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Why God destroys

That people would know Him

Eze 25:6-7 NKJV  ‘For thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel,  7  indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

That people would repent

Eze 14:9-11 NKJV  “And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the LORD have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel.  10  And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired,  11  that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord GOD.’ “

God kills

God takes no pleasure in killing

Eze 18:32 NKJV  For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”

God states that he ‘kills’

Deu 32:39 NKJV  ‘Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.

1Sa 2:6 NKJV  “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.

God injures

Psa 50:22 NKJV  “Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, And there be none to deliver:

Job 5:18 NKJV  For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.

Hos 6:1 NKJV  Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.

1Sa 5:6 NKJV  But the hand of the LORD was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He ravaged them and struck them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory.

Examples of God killing people

We could fill pages with examples of God killing people in the Old and New Testaments.  Below are just a few examples:

1Sa 6:19 NKJV  Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter.

2Sa 12:15 NKJV  Then Nathan departed to his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. … 18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died.

Act 12:23 NKJV  Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

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