Genesis 6:5-13 is one of the most damning passages of mankind in all of Scripture. It describes the sheer depth of our sin, and the drastic consequences that our sin requires. Let’s look at them together, shall we?
6:5The 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.
What an incredible statement! Our wickedness was great, every intention of our heart was only evil continually. You can’t get much more depraved than that! Sin is a virus. We are dealing with the coronavirus right now, and the only way that we can stop it is by completely isolating ourselves from it until it dies. Sin is the same way—its contagious; it spreads; once it gets a hold of you, it infects your entire being and then spreads to everything and everyone that you touch.
Some people think, “surely its not that bad. Maybe their hearts were not following God, but it surely must have still been a functioning society, right?” Yet, later in the passage, we read:
11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
What was the earth filled with? Violence. Everyone had become corrupt and was seeking after their own way. This attitude of selfishness and pride bore fruit of violence and wickedness. So much so that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. They did nothing to honor God. Paul described it further in Romans when He says “None is righteous, no not one… no one seeks for God. All have turned aside… no one does good, not even one… their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood… there is no fear of God before their eyes” (3:11-18).
This was certainly true of those who lived before the Great Flood, and it is still true for us today. Apart from a faith-based relationship with Jesus Christ, who alone has the power to save us from our sinful nature, mankind is still desperately wicked, to the point that every intention of the thoughts of our hearts are only evil continually. This is bad news, because the consequences of sin are severe. Genesis 6 tells us:
6And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”… 13And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
I see in these verses 3 consequences for our sin. They were true of the pre-flood inhabitants of the earth, and they are still true for men and women today: (1) our sin grieves God, (2) our sin will lead to our destruction, (3) our sin will destroy everything that we care about.
The first point is clearly established in verse 6: “it grieved Him to His heart.” God desires for all of us to live in harmony with Him and with each other. Like a loving Father, God wants His children to be one big happy family. But, we constantly choose to rebel against Him, and hurt both Him and all of the people around us. Though God created us for joyful fellowship with Him, our sin ends up grieving Him.
The second point is emphasized in the New Testament, when Paul writes that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). In only a few short chapters in Genesis, God has gone from declaring that everything which He has created was very good, to deciding that it all needed to be wiped out. Why? Because we had gotten so utterly sinful that we deserved to be destroyed. The same is true for every person who sins today: we will have to one day face the judgment for our sin, and it will be a terrible sight of destruction. The Good News is that Jesus took this punishment upon Himself so that we don’t have to bear it, but only if we are willing to turn from our sins and put our faith in Him. However, if we remain in our sin, we will end up experiencing the third consequence of sin.
Remember that the flood would not just wipe out all of humanity. God declared “I have determined to make an end of all flesh” (6:13). Every animal, every bird, every tree, every field of crops, everything that mankind knew would be destroyed in the Great Flood. Archaeologists tell us that this massive cataclysmic event even transformed the earth: its biology, its geology, its meteorology, and its topography. We don’t see any universal floods today because God promised that He wouldn’t do that again, but we see all kinds of personal floods. Ask any addict how their relationships are with their family. Ask them about their success at work. Ask them about their children. Ask them about their hope for the future. As anyone who has hit rock bottom can assure you: sin destroys not just you, but also everything you love.
The depth of our sin is severe, and it has some serious consequences, but there is hope. Ultimate hope is found in Jesus Christ. Thank God if you have a relationship with Him, and if you don’t you can have it today! But immediate hope within the context of Genesis 6 came through Noah, whom we’ll talk about tomorrow. Until then… God bless!
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