Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 8 2011 - E100.3a – Genesis 6:5-7, Sorrow in the heart of God

It's only a few pages from Genesis 1 to Genesis 6, but what a contrast there is between the two passages. When God first made the world it reflected his own character and glory. God pronounced it to be good, very good. And on the seventh day God rested in satisfied enjoyment of all that he had made.

But now everything has changed. The earth is filled with violence and wickedness: "And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart" (Genesis 6:6). So much does this spoilt world grieve the heart of God that he determines to do away with it.

What picture or mental image do you have of God? To many a philosopher, god is the unmoved mover. To many a theologian he remains impassive before all that he has made. The Bible paints a very different picture of God. The living God is a God who lives in relationship. Father, Son and Spirit are bound to one another in the bonds of a love that passes our understanding. And it is out of this love and in this love that God has created all that he has made. God is a God of passion: passionate love and concern for his creatures and particularly for humankind made in his image, made to share his heart.

And love can hurt. The heart of God is grieved over a world gone wrong. He is not grieved simply because his creation has been spoilt – like a child upset when their sandcastle is trodden on. No, he is grieved at a world that no longer returns his love, as of the grief of a deserted lover. Nor is his judgment an act of spite; it is, if we could but understand it, an act of kindness in putting an end to a world that has lost its way – putting an end to violence and wickedness.

This passion in the heart of God finds its ultimate focus in the passion of the Christ. This is where grief threatens to tear apart the heart of God and judgment falls on a world gone wrong. Here is love. This is our God.

Father, forgive and consume my small and idolatrous views of you. Make me sensitive to the influence of your Spirit that I may flee from everything that grieves him. Show me your glory and set my heart aflame with love for you.

Peter Misselbrook