God saw that the wickedness of man was great and there was only evil in his heart continually. This grieved the Lord. God decided to bring a judgment to the world. Noah was the only one who found favor in God’s sight.
Verses five through eight serve as the introduction to the flood story. God saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth. It was more than the corruption of human nature, it was open, daring sin, and rebellion against God.
In Genesis chapter one, God prepared the earth for Adam and Eve. With the flood, God takes back the earth because humankind became corrupt and did not walk in God’s ways. God was sorry that He had made man. Because Adam and Eve sinned, their life would be filled with pain. But sin in the human race brought pain to God. He was grieved in His heart, literally, “it pained into His heart.” We might say that the terrible sins of man offended Him so much, “it broke God’s heart.” The creation of mankind was not an error on God’s part; it was what mankind made out of it himself that caused remorse in God.
Both man and beasts were to be destroyed. In Genesis 6:7 it is interesting to note that the term “blot out” means to wash away, similar to wiping off a teacher’s blackboard. Here, God was going to wash away mankind with a global flood. In God’s eyes, the whole earth (man, animals, and birds) was polluted by the wickedness of man. With the exception of Noah, there was no one to call upon the name of the Lord. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
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