Genesis 6:5-6—The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
‘Nacham’ means comforting sorrow, regret, pity. That describes God’s heart over man’s condition in that day. Seeing man choose sin and its destructiveness, grieved the heart of God. It ‘atsab’ (pained or vexed) God’s heart to see our choices. Something had to be done to stop man from torturing himself and his fellow man (vs. 11). A cleansing of the earth had to take place. I have the same feeling, to a degree, when I must spank my children. I cry and hurt with them, but I know it will be better for us all in the future. This verse reveals the heart of God against sin and what it does to us through our own choices. God does things that He knows will be painful to Him and to His creation at times but with a good end in mind. Sin had mastered most of mankind, like it mastered Cain. God works to bring about the least amount of pain within the boundaries of His justice. He works with this end in mind, bringing many sons to glory. The flood came to spare mankind from themselves. At times, we question God’s justice, but we can always be sure that His heart is for man, who is made in His image. It was with a grieved heart full of pain that He directed Noah to build the ark. It will be with a grieved heart that the next great purging of the earth takes place by fire (2 Peter 3:7-12) under similar conditions among mankind. We are watching the rapid erosion of man’s thoughts and inclinations. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:37