The Grievance of God (Genesis 6:5–6) - Radical

The Grievance of God (Genesis 6:5–6)

“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.”
-Genesis 6:5–6

We all know the world is not as it should be, but sin and its effects are not just external. We are all plagued to the core and need a new heart.

There’s so much that we could talk about in Genesis 6:5–6, and they’re so heavy. Just think about a couple of these phrases. That the wickedness of man was great in the earth. I don’t think anybody looks around the world and doesn’t realize this. Things are not as they should be when you see poverty like it is, when you see oppression like it is, when you see pride and the lust for power, the way that plays out in all kinds of different ways, when you see slavery, when you see sex trafficking, when you see wars, when you see so many pictures of sin not just around the world, but around our lives, like right around us. Things are not the way they should be. There is wickedness around us in this world.

This Verse Reminds Us That Our Own Hearts Can Be Evil

And then to look inside our own hearts. Every intention of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually. Just to realize, okay, wickedness, evil, it’s not just outside of me. It’s inside of me that there are intentions in my heart, like I’m prone to prioritize myself over anybody else. I’m prone to think, what’s best for me. I’m prone toward all of these kinds of pictures of evil and wickedness. They’re not just outside of me, like they’re separate from me. They’re in me, in all of us in different ways. Obviously, it looks different in different ones of our lives, but there are intentions of our heart that are not good. To see the way this grieves God. This text says, it grieved God to his heart.

Genesis 6:5–6 Prays In Confession

Let’s just pray in confession. God, we confess that our hearts are all too often prone to evil. God, we are so prone to prioritize self, to look for that which is best for us, to think that we know what is best, turn from your ways, to trust in our ways. We see it in our thoughts and the desires of our hearts, in our words, in our actions.

God, we need new hearts. We need new hearts, and we praise you Lord Jesus. We praise you for making this possible. Praise you for the promises to come in the Bible, in the Old Testament, that you would give your people a new heart and that, Jesus, when you came you told Nicodemus he could be born again with a new heart, a new life, that you’d tell us in 2 Corinthians 5 that anyone that’s in Christ is a new creation.

Genesis 6:5–6 Praises God For Paying For Our Sins

The old is gone. The new has come. God, may it be so more and more in our lives. We praise you, Jesus, for paying the price for our sins, for justifying us before God so that we can now pray and know God, have peace with God, but God, we know that there’s still in our sinful nature, in our flesh, evil desires in our hearts, selfish desires in our hearts and those evil, selfish desires grieve in a very real sense, your heart. God we don’t want it to be so.
We want you to cleanse our hearts more and more and more.

Please, cause us to be selfless. Cause us to be God-centered. Help us to center our lives on you and your worship and your glory. Help all of our desires. May the intentions of our hearts be pleasing to you. The things that nobody else sees that we think and we want, God, may they be honoring to you. Transform us, we pray. Help us to grieve over sin like you grieve, in a sense, over sin. Help us to hate it like you hate it. And help us to turn from it as you’ve given us power to turn from it, and help our hearts. Please make our hearts pleasing to you. We pray.

Oh, God, we pray all these things with total dependence on your grace, in your mercy, in your love for us. We praise you that though we are sinful you love us. All glory be to your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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