The man, who obviously loves his kids, pulled to the side of the highway, fed up with the bickering and fighting in the backseat of the car. What parent has not come to one of those exasperating moments when they wonder who these children are that they have brought on the earth? Of course, I can do a 55 year rewind of history and remember my own father stopping the car somewhere on the interstate highway in Indiana as we made one of our long treks from New Jersey to Iowa. When I saw him opening the back door of that Chevy station wagon … the fighting stopped. We knew Dad was not happy when he leaned in to set things right!
Genesis says that the sensuality and violence of humanity grew so terrible that God regretted having created the human race. “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:5-8, NIV)
How does an all-knowing God regret anything? He knew, in advance of Creation, what would happen on the earth. What made God sorrowful was not His mistake. He does not make mistakes! It was humanity’s abuse of the gifts He gave them. God made us free, able to choose, and like any good parent, He is filled with sadness when we abuse our freedom to make the choice to sin against Him and one another.
He is not a passive Parent that looks on, shrugs, and ignores our sin. He acts, perfectly justly, to correct and to restore. In Genesis 6, He acted with judgment that should strike holy awe into our hearts, but let’s not forget He also acted with grace. Noah found grace, redemptive favor, in God’s eyes. He was called to a faithful response of obedience. When the Lord laid out His plan to destroy the world, He also extended a covenant of salvation which Noah received by faith. The Word tells us that “when warned about things not yet seen, (Noah) in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7, NIV)
Let’s make our Dad glad! He has prepared a plan of salvation for us, offered through Christ Jesus, so that we need not fear His coming judgment. Oh yes, we do not hear much about God’s willingness to judge in our time, when pulpits are full only of sweet songs of divine love. There is not much ‘fear of the Lord’ in the land. But, He is not a passive, permissive Parent. He is a patient God, desiring that all of us come to repentance. The day will come when He drops the curtain on history and calls all to account. Will you stand with those who are ‘in Christ,’ having received the gift of life in Him?
Just as Noah’s faith moved him to obedience, I pray that my faith will cause me to desire to love Him, to serve Him, to trust Him. How about you?
Here is a word from the Word. As you meditate on it, may it be a call to become the delight of the Heavenly Father, one of His children who made Him glad.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.
Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:15-20, NIV)
Abba, thank You for Your enduring, amazing grace.
I pray that I will not abuse it, testing Your patience with willful disobedience.
Lead me, Father, to love that delights in Your will,
That finds me faithful to Your every direction and desire.
Thank You for giving me the promise of life in Christ,
For making me Your heir, a son of righteousness.
May I live a life that is worthy of that high calling,
And that reflects honor on You, I pray.
In Jesus’ holy Name. Amen