Why would God ruin the environment to punish people for their sins? (Psalm 107:33–34) 33 He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, 34 and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
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I would say that God's treatment of the environment was an integral part of His punishment of the people who lived in that environment for their sins, since those people depended upon the environment for their sustenance. It would not have made sense for God to judge the individuals for their sins, but yet to still allow the land in which they lived to produce bountiful crops and abundant sources of water for them (both of which would have been a sign of His blessing, rather than a punishment). This same effect on the environment was also noted in Genesis as a consequence of Adam's sin (Genesis 3:17-19), as well as of Cain's murder of Abel (Genesis 4:12). Also, I would say that God would, of course, have been equally capable of restoring by His command the condition of any land that He had adversely affected, at such time as its devastation was no longer required as a judgment for the sin of the people living in it.
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