From the throne room of heaven, “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” It was a very sad thing to see. The last time God evaluated the earth was on the sixth day of creation. He saw everything He had made, and it was very good. How things had changed since then!
More than 1,000 years after a very good creation, God looked on the earth and found that all He had made was very bad. Man was not living according to God’s design. He was not even trying. Rather, he desired to do evil all the time. He was not the same man God once saw in the garden.
This deeply saddened the Lord. He “regretted that he had made man on the earth,” but not like we regret doing something. Since God knows everything (even things that have not yet happened), He cannot be surprised and filled with regret like us. Instead, “it grieved him to his heart” to see what man had become. God was heartbroken.
The corruption on the earth had reached its limits. God had to intervene. He had to stop mankind from self-destructing. God’s fury with sin was also kindled. So He decided to wipe “man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens” off the “face of the land.” Though the animals had done no evil, they were created for man’s use and drawn into his destruction. This wickedness was a terrible thing for God to see, but it would soon come to an end.
- What does this passage tell us about the dangers of sin? What more does it say about the effects of sin and how it hurts others?
- How is God described in this part of the story? What do we learn about His feelings for mankind, evil, and holiness?
- How does this motivate you to please God with your life? Does knowing that sin saddens God’s heart motivate you to live according to His design?