Tag Archives: Worship

Every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually

“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 was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (Genesis 6:5–6 ESV)

Just six chapters prior to this section, we see Adam and Eve enjoying a peaceful existence in the perfect paradise of the garden of Eden.  They walked in the presence of the Almighty and enjoyed His favor and provision; life was not fraught with hardship, difficulty and discord.  Life functioned harmoniously and in rhythm, like that of a spectacular symphony.  But that is no more.  The consequences of sin are catastrophic:  death (Genesis 2:17), difficulty in child-rearing (Genesis 3:16), distorted roles in marriages (Genesis 3:16), creation opposing man’s efforts to cultivate it (Genesis 3:17-20) and the creation itself is broken (Romans 8:20).  So in Genesis 6:5-6, we find ourselves a far cry from the “very good” of Genesis 1:31.

There is no more comprehensive assessment of the total depravity of mankind than what we see here in verse 5.  The verse tells us not that man’s behavior or periodic inclinations were evil, but that their evil was so deep seated that it saturated every intention of the thoughts of his heart.  The heart’s motivations and drives are evil continually, that is in opposition to God and His glory.  Natural logic would lead us to think that the difficult circumstances outside of the garden would have led man to repentance – to throw himself on the mercy of God.  This is not the case, sin becomes more perverse and more depraved and without God’s grace-filled intervention, this is the pattern of the human existence.  And in case you think that things have gotten better, Paul reminds us that ““None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”” (Romans 3:10–12 ESV).  What is painted for us here is the picture of the fallen soul – and it is not a pretty one!

God’s response to the total depravity of those who were created in His image is interesting, “and the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”  Contrary to God being a distant and disconnected deity that created all things and then just lets them play out, we see a God who is greatly invested in His creation – so invested that it grieved Him.  God’s grief is connected to his loving care for His image bearers.  Matthew Henry’s comments help us here:  “He did not see it as an unconcerned spectator, but as one injured and affronted by it; he saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, which not only angers him, but grieves him, and makes him wish he had been written childless.”1.  The more jarring question here is the fact that the text tells us that God “was sorry that he had made man on the earth.”  This is interesting, is God not soveriegn in His rule and reign?  Did He not know that this would be the outcome?  Is God shocked by the way things are playing out?  Of course not!  God’s immutable (unchangeable), sovereign rule and reign is one of the central themes of the bible.  Malachi 3:6 tells us “For I the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6 ESV).  Additionally, “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.” (1 Samuel 15:29 NIV).  So what is going on here?  Why does it say that God was sorry (or repented in some translations)?  Moses is using what is known as an anthropomorphism which is the use of human terms in an attempt to describe God.  This is limited and falls short, but that is how we should view this section of scripture as Moses attempts to describe how God views humanity.  It is important to understand the Hebrew word, “nacham”, that is translated “sorry.”  The primitive root of this word means to sigh or breath strongly; to express remorse.  So the picture that the text is conveying is one of a Holy sigh over the total depravity of his image bearer’s hearts.  It is the physical manifestation of the sorrow and pain that is within, like when one receives bad news and all that can be mustered is a deep sigh that is marked with guttural tones.  God feels pain, remorse and hurts over the wickedness of His creation – and a heartfelt sigh is what is the result.

It amazes me that God did not destroy the entire human race at this point, I would have.  But God was (and still is) willing to experience profound grief at our wicked hearts that rebel against Him and He still provides us with a way to be reconciled with Him.  He not only provides the way, but also provides us with the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8-9).  If this does not move you to be absolutely grateful then you don’t understand the meaning of the text!

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An insatiable desire

The bible paints the portrait of the soul’s panting, thirsting, yearning, longing, desiring after God.  Regardless of whether life is going well or not, there is an overarching drive to know God more deeply and walk with Him more fully.  We see in the pages of scripture a lusty, greedy, insatiable desire to get more of God.  Why is it that we are so easily content to compartmentalize our faith, to do it on Sundays and live morally clean lives in mechanical obedience?  Paul seems to be greedy for more of God and says that asking whether something is right or wrong is the wrong question to ask.  Paul, instead asks, does this get me more of Jesus or does it rob me of knowing Him more deeply?
If the biblical standard is a pursuit of God to chase Him, love Him, follow Him and be conformed into His image at all cost because of the surpassing greatness of knowing and loving Him as our ultimate Treasure, then why don’t we?  Why is it so unusual to find the man or woman in the church that has an insatiable desire to know God?

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalms 42:1–2 ESV)

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalms 63:1 ESV)

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:17–19 ESV)

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8–11 ESV)

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” (Romans 8:19–24 ESV)

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) by Casting Crowns (itunes)
Songwriters: John Mark Hall; Michael Jr Bleecker

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

‘Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day, oh, glorious day