God’s grief at humankind’s sin is deep, but His love runs deeper
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
This passage is a heavy one to read. It is most explicit at verses five to seven. They represent a fairly all-encompassing condemnation of the human race at that time. For God to regret the creation of the human race, His most significant decision and activity, is no small thing.
But as I thought about the gravity of those verses, I remembered…God had a plan. And He knew what He was getting into, when He created. He could foresee the wickedness of the human race at that time and He could foresee the wickedness of the human race today. And so we see that, in the midst of his regret and sorrow at the human race, there was a man who found favour with God. Who God would carry out His plans through. Noah.
So many stories today about our world can deeply trouble our hearts. The war in Syria. Regular terrorist attacks. Rape and murder. To name a few. And evil isn’t nice and far away, it’s uncomfortably close to home. We think of our own hearts and the evil that runs through them, by default, and the sin that flows out into our lives. What does God think?
Well, He is deeply troubled, just like He was deeply troubled by the sins of Noah’s generation. The God of the Bible isn’t a God who doesn’t care about wrongdoing. He upholds the gravity of right and wrong. I think this can be a comforting thought.
But yet there was something underneath the deep trouble in His heart. There must have been for God to not wipe everything out. To persevere with the human race through Noah, to persevere with you and me, and the world in general today.
I think that something gets illuminated as the Bible continues. Through Noah, through Abraham, and eventually and completely with Jesus. His love. God’s love for humankind. God’s love for you and me. His grief at sin runs deep, but it doesn’t extinguish His love. His love runs deeper.
May that sink into our hearts.
Head: How does this passage echo earlier parts of Genesis (compare verse 1 to 1:28, and verse 2 to 3:6), and what does that tell us?
Heart: How does knowing God’s love for you runs deeper than His grief at your sin give you comfort and assurance?
Hands: How can knowing God’s love runs deeper than His grief at our sin shape the way we interact with those who might cause us difficulty or sin against us?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that Your love for me runs deeper than your grief at my sin. I pray that the depth of your love would sink into the depths of my heart, and stir me to conquer sin and love the people around me more deeply. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
A song to listen to: How Deep The Fathers Love
Dave Lather – Living Church Creek Road
This Grow Dailys was originally posted as part of the Bible in 10 series in 2017. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.