You know the old saying, “God don’t make no mistakes”, well in Genesis 6, it appears that might be rethinking his latest project-mankind.
At this time, mankind was beginning to multiply and inhabit the Earth. In Genesis 6:3, the Lord remarks that His Spirit will not remain with humans forever because they are corrupt (He’s got a point there) and states that their days will be limited. The Lord begins to see the spread of our wickedness. Genesis 6:6 states, “The Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” Talk about a putting a damper on the day. The Lord was grieved in His heart with the people He loved so dearly. Way to blow it mankind, you had one job-don’t screw up. Oops.
He decides to take action and in verse 7 states He will wipe man, animals, creatures and birds off the face of the Earth because He regrets making them, that is except for Noah who had found favor with the Lord. A few verses later the Lord elaborates to Noah the details for his annihilation of the earth and how Noah was to save his family. Noah is instructed to build a boat of gofer wood that was to be 450 feet high, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high and would house Noah’s family and all other creatures besides people. He is to build this boat and load up two of every kind creature and every king of food.
For a moment, I don’t want to focus so much on what Noah has done and how God worked through Noah and his family, but the fact that God literally regretted creating mankind. Reading this is a little heartbreaking. Can you imagine working so hard on something and for it to turn out beautiful, then it suddenly starts to decay into an awful, ugly, mangy mess that stinks up the place? You might regret your creation and want to scrap it and start over as well.
Regret (or ragret, waddup pop culture) is defined by Ole Merriam Webster as: to feel sad or sorry about something OR to mourn the loss or death of something. My study bible defines it as “to be pained”. God literally felt sorry for us and what He had created, and I think mourned the loss and death of the beauty of the world and his children. He lost them to themselves, the world and sin. The Bible talks about how God is our heavenly father and just as an earthly father would, He disciplines us because he loves us. This is one more example of that. He was disappointed with our us and our sin.
We see later in Genesis God’s promise to never flood the Earth again and what at face value seems to be a tragedy for the Earth turns out to be a beautiful picture of God’s love and faithfulness towards us, as well as an example in obedience for us to follow through Noah’s life. I wonder if God ever does have times where we have continually turned from him and those thoughts of regret arise again.
Picking up where we left off earlier with Noah. Him and his family stayed in the ark during the flood. Based on the numbers given in Genesis, it is said that they were on the ark for a grand total of 377 days (ain’t nobody got time for that). Noah sent a dove out day after day, until the bird finally did not come back, letting Noah know that the waters had receded. God told Noah to come out of the ark and spread over the earth and multiply (Genesis 8:17. 9:7). The Lord made a covenant with Noah that he would never again curse the ground because of man, even though man has an inclination for evil from birth, and He will never strike down every thing as He had just done (Genesis 8:21).
In summation, God’s one regret was mankind’s inclination towards sin and the sins and corruption they were partaking in on earth. He flooded the Earth to cleanse it, leaving Noah’s family in favor to multiply the earth. God made a promise that He would never strike down all of mankind again and left us a rainbow in the sky as a reminder of his promise to us (Genesis 9:13). God is almighty and very well could wipe us out with the snap of his fingers, yet He keep his promise to us and does not. No mo ragrets for da big man.
To me this biblical account is an image of God’s faithfulness towards us, as well as another incredible example of obedience shown through Noah. I mean, imagine being in his shoes, most people can hardly stand being in close quarters with their family for a few days, imagine being on a boat for over a year with them! Not only that, God straight up said hey Noah I’m flooding the Earth, build a boat, here’s the instruction manual and Noah said alrighty God sounds good. Like what the what?! But God proved himself (duh!!) and showed that Noah could trust him and He saved Noah’s entire family and provided for them afterwards, giving them the Earth. AND to top it off, God made a covenant (not just a promise, He went hardcore with a covenant), that He would provide for mankind and never destroy us again because of our sinfully inclined antics. The fact that God sees and understands that we are born with this evil heart and sinful nature is just awesome. Its so comforting to know that we will screw up and trip up, but God states He no longer regrets who we are and says that He will never strike us down like that again.