“The Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:6). Wow! That’s a heavy sentence. However, when I look at it, I feel two things: 1. God had a regret. It’s not a regret that I love to think about because here I am in all my sin, but it’s a regret, and I can feel that deeply. When I look back at the way I handled certain situations or conversations in my life, I feel regret. I wish I would have done or said _____________ instead of ________________. I should have responded with love instead of anger. I should have prayed harder. I should have been more excited, etc. The list goes on and on for me, and I can confidently say that I haven’t made it through a day, especially regarding motherhood, without a regret. I wish I wouldn’t have yelled so much. I wish I would have played more instead of focusing on the house. I wish I would have ________________. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Anyways, Genesis 6:6 was the first time the Lord had regretted something He made. The people during this time were totally corrupt. Men were taking women to be their wives, forcefully, left and right, and God was sad and angry about the evil that was running rampant. This is what caused Him to move in a destructive way towards humanity with the flood.
The second thing I feel when I look at the initial sentence is that God also felt grief. In my experience with grief, it’s fluid. It causes every emotion. It’s hard. It’s ugly. It hurts. It haunts us. In that though, this sentence is a reminder that we are not alone in our feelings. We have a Father in Heaven who knows regret and grief, among every other emotion we feel. We have a God, Jesus, who walked the earth and knows firsthand what it’s like to experience these emotions in human form. He is not unlike us. In fact, we are like Him, like Them. Genesis 1:26 reads, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” We were created in the image and likeness of God and Jesus. We were created for the sole purpose to worship and walk in fellowship with God. BUT at this point in Scripture, we, mankind, had failed to do such things. Adam and Eve started the line of dominos; the murder of Abel carried it on; and that was followed by more murder, polygamy, and an obsession with evil. When I write it out like that and glance at the news, it seems like we’re not much different. We can save that for another day though.
Anyways, there was Noah. Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9). His faith saved him, as God found favor with Him. Most of us know of Noah and the flood, but did we know it says twice between chapters six and seven that “Noah did everything God had commanded him.” Did it make sense to Noah? Probably not. Did it make sense to the world? Definitely not. BUT he obeyed, despite his lack of understanding.
His obedience was powerful. He looked crazy by the world’s standards. He built a massive boat out of obedience. However, that very obedience saved his life. It saved his family’s life. It saved the world.
And though we aren’t being called to build a massive boat, we are called to obedience. We’re called to do things that don’t align with the world’s view. That looks different for each person. It may be speaking out about your faith, homeschooling, having faith in the darkest hour, moving unexpectedly, loving difficult people, going to a Bible study, leaving a job, starting a church or a ministry, writing a book, being joyful, or even failing at something, etc. The world doesn’t and won’t understand why we may do something out of obedience to God, sometimes at a high cost, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that when we hear that small, quiet voice, we discern through fervent prayer, Scripture, and guidance that God is calling us. When we get that confirmation, we move. We build the ark (whatever God is calling us to), regardless of how silly we may feel, regardless of the opposition we may face, regardless of how many “Are you crazy?” questions we get. We are called to act in obedience.
Why? Because we serve a God who moves, who acts on His promises, and who requires work from us. God doesn’t approve of complacency.
We’re called to fear God and walk with Him in His ways (Deuteronomy 8:6).
We’re called to “walk in decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy” (Romans 13:13).
We are called to not get tired of doing good (Galatians 6:9).
We are called to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Jesus (Mark 8:
Those are not easy things. It’s not easy. It's not supposed to be easy. In fact, it’s impossible… but Jesus. He’s there, in all of His glory and grace, in our obedience and in our disobedience. When we fail (and we will), we are called to get up, pick up that cross, and keep walking. We serve a God who moves. If we believe we’re made, as Scripture declares, in His image, we, too, should be moving where He leads, despite the circumstances, difficulty, and hardship. We are called to be a Noah in a world that doesn’t understand. And just like Noah’s obedience, that obedience will continue to reap a bountiful harvest, if not on this side, then on the next.
I hope this encourages your heart this week to walk where God is calling you. You are not alone in the hard places, friend. God is in it, right there with you. Please reach out with any prayer requests or praises you feel led to share. Happy Sunday!