I was spending a little study in Hebrew this afternoon in Genesis 6 (do not be impressed, I am woefully rusty in Hebrew!). By God’s grace, it was not merely an “academic study,” but God pierced my heart with what Moses recorded there under the inspiration of the Spirit. Listen:
Gen. 6.5 ¶ 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. 6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
It was that last piece of verse six that struck my heart. That the great sin of man grieved the Father to his heart.
We must be careful. I don’t think God’s grief and my grief are the same. But don’t swing too far the other way either. The word says what it means. God was grieved. Hurt. The NLT-SE says “..it broke his heart.”
Application? My sin against God breaks the heart of my Heavenly Father. Knowing the grief of my Father helps me to rightly see my sin, and that knowledge grieves me. I hope it will help the next time temptation comes.
Furthermore, that sin deserves the response of (an albeit grieving) Father in judgment. In this, my love and gratefulness to God increases – he has put that right judgment of my sin on his Son, and delights to rescue the very one who grieves him!
I have an amazing Father, who is filled with unmerited favor towards me.
P.S. – Just coming from a conference on Calvin, it was helpful to read what he had to say about this text. I share it for your benefit:
…concerning grief; that God was so offended by the atrocious wickedness of men, as if they had wounded his heart with mortal grief: There is here, therefore, an unexpressed antithesis between that upright nature which had been created by God, and that corruption which sprung from sin. Meanwhile, unless we wish to provoke God, and to put him to grief, let us learn to abhor and to flee from sin. Moreover, this paternal goodness and tenderness ought, in no slight degree, to subdue in us the love of sin; since God, in order more effectually to pierce our hearts, clothes himself with our affections.