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. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
We are entering the season of Advent, where we celebrate the light of Christ coming into the darkness of our world. But how did the darkness get here? Why did Jesus need to come? In order to understand Christmas, we must start at the beginning of the story.
The story of a baby in the manger is actually rooted in deep sorrow in the heart of God. In order to understand the glory of Jesus coming, we must grasp some of the depth of this grief (Genesis 6:6). For us to see the beauty of the birth of Jesus, we must wrestle with the ugliness of our sin. In other words, the good news of Jesus coming becomes understood as we look squarely at the bad news of our rebellion against God.
Made to Love God
We were made to love God. This is something that our Creator hardwired into us. Everybody loves. We were made to find our pleasure and delight in God himself. We were made by Him and for Him. In fact, God made the entire universe to operate under his sustaining power and care (Col. 1:17). Furthermore, it is actually impossible for us to not love. We must love. There is no shut-off valve for love. You were made to love and your love is only fully nourished when it is centered on God.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it this way: Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. The word love itself has been massively trivialized in the way we use the word so casually (i.e., “I love my wife”, “I love this burger”). Love is something much more fundamental to who you are than you may realize. You may express your love for all those sorts of things, but at the core of your being you must love something supremely.
The Replacement Love
In Genesis 6, we see these horrific words, 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 (v. 5). Something drastically changed from Genesis 1 that says And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good (v. 31) to our portion in Genesis 6.
We were made to love God, but in our rebellion against God, we replaced love for God with love for self trusting our way instead of trusting God’s care. In our betrayal against God’s goodness, we broke this loving connection to God that holds us together. At this point in the story, corruption came into the world and the good creation starts to unravel into chaos.
God’s Heart Is Grieved
We come across some of the most disturbing words in all of Scripture. God says So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them” (v. 7). This declaration expresses the depth of pain that our sin and wickedness caused God. These verses sound like an end to the story.
There is a question here that we must address: Do we really understand the offense of our sin? All sin that we commit is vertical. David said, Against you, you only, have I sinned (Psalm 51:4). David sinned against another man by taking his wife as his own and then having that man killed. When David was confronted with the depth of his sin, he confesses that his sin was not ultimately against the wife or the husband who he murdered, but against God. Every sin is vertical because every sin is ultimately an act of rebellion against God and a declaration that His love is not enough to sustain us.
We see that God’s anger and sorrow are fully justified. It is a holy and righteous justice that unleashes the flood onto the earth. Sin destroys. The violence of sin affects our minds and hearts leading to bloodshed. The God of heaven looks down upon his marvelous creation and he sees a bloodstained earth, filled with violence, greed and wickedness. We filled the earth with blood and God sends the waters of the flood to wash it clean.
God’s Love Rescues Us
This would seem to be the conclusion of the story, but our text shows us that in God’s grace, he saves a chosen few. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (v 8). God did not completely destroy the earth, but he saved one family. He chose to bring this one family through the waters of death into new life. God’s plan of redemption was only beginning.
You may think that you are a sinner because you do bad things. This is not true. The problem of sin is much deeper. If this were true, you could just stop doing those bad things and get better. No, the problem of sin lies in the center of who we are. We were made to love God supremely, and in the beginning of the story we replaced this love for God with a love for self. We are unable to change ourselves and rectify this problem on our own. The story of God makes this resoundingly clear. We are in bondage to our sin and desperately need rescue from the outside. This is what God has done for us in Jesus. In Jesus, God himself entered our story to rescue us from the destruction and death that sin brings. Jesus coming into this world marked the greatest act of love toward us, that God’s love was so strong that he broke into our brokenness to save and redeem that which was lost.
This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing to discuss the implications of the message.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
Read: Genesis 6:5-8
Share a moment of grief in your own life. Describe your thoughts and feelings during this time.
How does the birth of Jesus directly correspond to the grief of God
Concerning sin, in what ways
NEXT WEEK'S PASSAGE: ISAIAH 59:1-21