Genesis 6:5-8: Grief and favour.
“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 favour in the eyes of the Lord. ” NIV
Before the flood, life on earth deteriorated so badly that ‘Genesis’ paints it in colours of utter depravity (5,6). Things had come to such a pass that God resolved to start from scratch with one man and his family.
The God of the Bible is not impassive. He has feelings. He has deep feelings. To have emotions is one of the facets of being made in the image of God. Our passage twice speaks of God being ‘’grieved’’ (7,8); and there is the heartbreaking statement: ‘’…his heart was filled with pain’’ (6). As someone said, it’s like a parent, broken in two over a wayward child. Reading this, I can understand the preacher who said, ‘Never preach about Hell except with tears in your eyes’. God’s judgment is real and it is a crying matter.
But against such a dismal backdrop, there is hope (8). It remains the case that even in a wicked and chaotic world, God is choosing out a salvation people. It is worth noting that Noah ‘’found grace’’ in the eyes of the Lord; He did not earn it. Noah may have been a godly man, but this was a mark of God’s grace in his life; it was not the basis of it.