Please read Does God Change His Mind: Genesis 6 as an introduction to this study.
In Genesis 6, everyone on earth became so evil that “everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil” (verse 5).
“So the LORD was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the LORD said, 'I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth.'” (verses 6-7)
This passage expresses God’s great sorrow, and it reveals some interesting things about God and man.
1. God has incredible perseverance with mankind.
God knew the events of Genesis 6 when it was still Genesis 1. He knew how evil mankind would become but He still created us. That says something about God's love and commitment to rebellious humanity.
Psalm 103:8-18: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
See God's Gracious Love.
2. Man has an incredible propensity for evil.
Genesis 6:5 isn't exaggerating when it says that “everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” It's hard to imagine that kind of evil and how much it must have hurt God's heart.
We need to realize that without God's Spirit all of us have the ability to do great evil:
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
This describes the entire world when God destroyed mankind with a flood, and it describes much of the world now:
Romans 1:21: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
See Living in the Midst of Deception.
3. God's mercy has limits.
Daniel 8:23 says that God waits to destroy nations until their rebellion has reached its full measure. But He does not wait forever.
Nehemiah 9:30: For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.
This is also true for individuals. God will eventually condemn men to hell for rejecting His offer of salvation. For Scriptures on hell, see What Jesus Said about Hell.
4. God's plans always provide redemption for the godly.
Genesis 6:7-8: 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.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Even though God carried out His plan to destroy all the wicked people on earth, He had a plan for saving a godly line through Noah.
See Crushing Satan's Head.
Studying these Old Testament stories gives us wisdom and hope:
"Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4
Does Genesis 6 give you inspiration to persevere in your faith? I pray it does.
This Bible study is part of the Bible Love Note's series: "Does God Change His Mind?"
To read others in the series:
Does God Change His Mind: Nineveh
Does God Change His Mind: Hezekiah
Does God Change His Mind: Polygamy
copyright, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com