I was reading in Genesis 6 this morning (as many of you may have been), and ran across these verses:
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Did it occur to you that this is a very strange thing to read in Genesis 6? If you are following a yearly Bible reading plan, you probably read just yesterday that God created the world and pronounced it all good. A day later, you read that God (this omniscient Being who knows all things from before the foundation of the world) is so perturbed by human sin that He regrets creating the human race and decides to destroy it almost entirely.
This is very hard for a reader to understand.
I'd like to share with you a quote from a book my husband is writing.
God’s regret over man’s sinfulness in Genesis 6:6 does not imply a change in God or that He wished He had done things differently. It simply communicates that God feels in time, when it occurs, what He knew in advance would happen.
In other words, God is watching events unfold. He has the ability to be grieved or to rejoice over them. In this passage we hear His cry of grief. When you and I sin, in real time, God (who foreknew each sin of our lives) is grieved over that sin.
I was struck with this truth today in a way I never had been before.
This would be a sad, discouraging thing for all of us to ponder if the next verse in the passage didn't exist.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Noah obeyed God. The passage says it over and over again. Genesis 6:8-9. Genesis 6:22. Genesis 7:1. Genesis 7:5. Genesis 7:16.
Noah heard the Words of God and obeyed them.
And just as God sees our sin in real time and grieves, surely He also sees our obedience and our worship in real time and rejoices.
It is a new year. New choices face us.
You and I have a choice today. We have a choice to hear the Words of God or not. We have a choice to obey or not. We have a choice to grieve God today. Or bring Him great joy.
What will you choose?
Tim and Laura
Timothy and Laura Berrey are missionaries with Gospel Fellowship Association. They share a passion for missions which has taken them to several countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They currently minister in the Philippines.
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