God’s Grieving Heart

I wanted to write about an all too familiar story to most believers, and thanks to the movie business, to a vast and diverse audience from all around the world as well. We all know the story of a man who was asked by God to build an Ark! We know of a man who was recognized by God. A man who spoke for God. A man who obeyed God! But the story of Noah is always told with a focus on Noah. I mean the story should revolve around Noah since he is the center of attention. He was commissioned by God to do some great things, but I wanted go through parts of this well-known story with our focus on God.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5 NASB)
Did God not see this before? Isn’t God Omniscient? Didn’t He know that this was what was happening? Why did He see it only now?
It seems like this instance of seeing was just too much. God knew that this was going to happen, but it must have been very different to experience it before His eyes. This point in time was so devastating and so heart wrenching that it caused the emptiness of the heart of His creation to push Him to a point past His mercy. At that particular moment, when God saw the heart of man, it was so horrible that mercy was no longer an option and that judgment was the only response. The wickedness running rampant through the whole of mankind caused Him to feel distressed.
The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Genesis 6:6 NASB)
Goodness!!! God is “grieved” in His heart! If ever there was a time that God’s heart was so openly displayed other than on the cross, this would be it! It is boggling to think that our just and mighty, all-powerful God is distressed to the heart at the sight of a wayward mankind. He looked upon the world that He had created, and in the depths of His heart he was sorrowful because it had lost its way. The magnitude of mankind’s failure was so great that it warranted a just reaction from the Lord.
The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.’ (Genesis 6:7 NASB)
This is the response of a holy God who is grieved in the heart. It is interesting to see that it wasn’t just man who was judged, but it was ALL of creation. Our wicked condition had an effect on all of creation, as if God’s perfect creation and not just man was completely set off-balance the moment that sin and death entered into this world. The sight of which was hard for God to witness without having a just response. Imagine taking a step back in your own life and look at the entirety of it. I can easily see myself painfully looking at the many times that I have failed and followed the wrong path. I would be grieved in my own heart to look at those times as a whole. It would be so hard to see every deed and every thought and every word that I would probably have to look away or try to focus on the moments when my life was filled with the Spirit and not the flesh. Now imagine God look and hearing and feeling every single thought of every person on the face of the earth. It would be near impossible to look at that marred and repulsive image without having a response, but our merciful God constantly searches high and low, near and far, for a merciful way!
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:8 NASB)
And…cue the mercy. God’s mercy is so kind and so great that it required only one man to [temporarily] save mankind. It is almost like He was searching for anyone or anything to stop the impending erasure. He was looking for hope in His creation, and He found it in Noah! He was so grieved when looking at the whole of mankind that He was ready to destroy all of creation because of our wickedness, but all it took was one man to stop all from being destroyed. One man to bring out a glimpse of God’s mercy. One man to ensure that the human race remained.
That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5 NASB)
Remember this verse? Did the flood change this? Did killing all of the wickedness of mankind and only leaving the cream of the crop stop this from happening? No it didn’t. And the all-powerful, omniscient, merciful, and mighty God who displayed all of those characteristics in bringing a flood to wipe away filth from this earth knew that it wouldn’t! So why did He do it? I can think of two reasons:
  1. God in his Holiness and Justice saw that the only way to stop the evil heart and wickedness of man was to completely wipe mankind off the face of the earth. But holiness and justice are not His only characteristics! His mercy and grace consume Him when He looks at Noah, and through Noah mankind was able to remain.
  2. I think that this had to happen to show us something. It showed us that sin is clearly in the heart of every man! Sin cannot go away by ridding the world of those that are “bad”. It will remain and spread because it has engrained itself in the very flesh that we live in. The flesh that is reproduced at every birth. God responded in this instance and displayed more than his holiness, justice, mercy, and grace. He revealed, clearly and without a doubt, how depraved mankind is, and how completely necessary it was for God’s mercy and love!
The course of this world wasn’t permanently changed until a new ark was commissioned. Christ was called as Noah once was. He was commissioned to build an everlasting ark that will lift anyone and everyone safely to the other shore. Now I find grace in the eyes of the Lord because He looks at me through the lens of Christ’s sacrifice. You find grace in the eyes of the Lord because of the same. He finds grace in the eyes of the Lord. She finds grace in the eyes of the Lord. We all find grace in the eyes of the Lord just as Noah did!
We just need to make sure that we step inside that Ark!

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