And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
Years ago we were in New York City when the garbage collectors were on strike. There was trash everywhere—trash piled on top of trash—not to mention the vermin. It was a mess.
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That is a little what Planet Earth was like morally and spiritually in Noah’s day. It stunk to high Heaven. Genesis 6 tells us that God actually was sorry that He had made mankind. Why was He sorry? Verse 5 gives us the answer: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (NKJV).
It was only evil, not occasionally evil. There weren’t even occasional good thoughts that gripped them. It was evil layered upon evil layered upon evil. In fact, the Hebrew phrase used here could be translated to say that wickedness had reached a high degree, or the highest pitch. As a result, God was about to bring judgment on the earth.
Why would a loving God bring judgment? Because not only is God loving, but He is also just. As Abraham said correctly, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25 NKJV). If people can flagrantly and continually break God’s laws, murdering and destroying and perverting everything that is right, is it beneficial for God to turn away and do nothing? Actually, it makes no sense. God is good. God is loving. God is righteous. And God is just.
When God spoke to Noah, things were as bad as they possibly could be. Noah was a last-days believer who showed us that we can live godly lives in an ungodly world. He lived a righteous life in an unrighteous place, shining as a bright light in the darkest circumstances imaginable.