As sin multiplied, “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” (6:5-6). Now, that’s an interesting statement, i.e., that this situation “grieved God to his heart.” I cannot imagine the meaning to signify that God thought to himself, “Shucks, I made a big mistake. Wish I had never done that. What was I thinking?” Rather, God must have been thinking, “That which I created and saw as very good is now filled with sin. I am sorry to see that.” And, of course, the Bible regularly reminds us that God is grieved by our sin.
Asaph remembered Israel’s unfaithfulness and announced, “How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!” (Psalm 78:40). Jesus himself, when opposed on the Sabbath and wishing to heal the man with the withered hand, “looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart” (Mark 3:5). God does not like sin. He is disappointed when we disobey him. His heart breaks over the sins of his people. Oh, we are glad to read that, among all the sinfulness, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (6:8). But we would be amiss to overlook the sorrow sin causes God. Too often, we are only lightly sorrowful about sin. Perhaps our prayer, today, should be something like, “Lord, make me to be sorrowful about the things that make you sorrowful. And, though greatly sorrowing, cause me to turn to Christ in order to find joy.”
Say, sinner, hath a voice within
Oft whisper’d to thy secret soul,
Urged thee to leave the ways of sin,
And yield thy heart to God’s control?
Sinner, it was a heavenly voice—
It was the Spirit’s gracious call;
It bade thee make the better choice,
And haste to seek in Christ thine all. -- Abby Hyde (1824)