Saturday, March 2, 2019

2019.03.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 6:6-12

Questions for Littles: Who was sorry in Genesis 6:6? What was He sorry about? How does the verse say that God felt? In what does it say that He felt that? Who says something in Genesis 6:7? To whom does He say it? But whom is He telling about it, as you read it? Whom did He say that He would destroy? What else does He say that He will destroy along with man? Why? Who was different (Genesis 6:8)? What did he find that made him different? Where did he find this grace? Of whom is Genesis 6:9 telling us the outcome? What kind of man was Noah? Among whom was he blameless? How does verse 9 summarize the activity of his life? How many sons did Noah father (Genesis 6:10)? Who were they? What does Genesis 6:11 say was corrupt? Before whom was it corrupt? With what was it filled? Who looked upon the earth in Genesis 6:12? What did He see? How had the earth become so corrupt?
In the Scripture for tomorrow’s sermon, we are surprised to have the Bible tell us that God was “sorry.” It’s a word that means to counsel oneself into a different mindset. Depending upon the context, English translations sometimes say “repent,” sometimes “comfort,” and sometimes (as here) “was sorry.”

Now, obviously God knows everything that will happen before He does anything, so why speak to us in this manner? Perhaps for the same reason that Genesis 6:6 goes on to say that He was “grieved in His heart.” Does God have a heart? Of course not—He has no parts at all. These two ideas are connected when we confess that God has neither parts nor passions (WCF 2.1).

But God created us with parts so that in our own finite way, we might be able to learn more about Him. When the Bible speaks of Him using language borrowed from our parts, it’s called an anthropomorphism. Similarly, when the Bible speaks of Him using language borrowed from our passions, it’s called an anthropopathism. The fact of the matter is that God is always in perfectly holy relation toward His creation. So, of course He is displeased by the wickedness of man. That is the (literally) perfect response to sin!

Really, there is a much bigger surprise than to find the Scripture talking about God being sorry that He has made man. That surprise is to find the Scripture saying that Noah was a righteous man—even calling him blameless in his generations and telling us that he walked with God. If Genesis 6:5 was true, how can these other things be? More to the point, How can God rightly permit this if what Noah deserves is to be given over to his own wickedness?

The answer is found in that remarkable Genesis 6:8. Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh. Or, to put the action upon the correct party, “Grace found Noah.” God determined that He would be gracious. He had made promises that demanded the covenant line be preserved. Sometimes that line hangs by a thread. But if that thread is the determination of God to bring about what He has promised in Christ, then the thread has an infinite “test weight,” and it will hold. Amazing grace!
What is the only way that you could end up righteous, blameless, and walking with God?
Suggested Songs: ARP33A-B “What Blessedness” or TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths to You I Cry!”

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