Genesis Day 14: God regrets
Human emotions: there are days I embrace my emotions, and days I wrestle with them.
Many a self-help book has been written in an effort to help us get control over our emotions. Many a prayer said.
Does God have emotions? Absolutely.
One of my mother’s phrases was, “She/He, they are just high strung.” That was mom being polite when someone was having what today we call a “meltdown”.
Is God “high strung”? I am not trying to be disrespectful, but we are about to read how God destroys the world with a flood.
Which makes me ask, “What’s going on?”
God shares His emotion: His regret. If I surveyed the average person who claimed the label Christian, and asked them, “Do you think God regrets?” I wonder how they might answer.
I expect some (maybe even many) would think that God does not regret. We understand regret as an emotion that is negative. We might expect that God doesn’t have negative emotions.
However, God regrets. And His regret is not for something small. No, God regrets creating humankind…to His very heart.
That is somewhat painful to read.
Why does God regret? Because “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.” (v. 5) It makes me ask myself… has there ever been a time where the intentions of my heart were “only evil continually”?
How about you?
As I said, somewhat painful to read. But pause for a moment. Consider the news. Do you ever get discouraged with the suffering we humans cause each other? Do you ever get tired of hearing there really is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet somehow, we can’t get out of our own way to do it? Do you ever close your eyes at the pictures of children in refugee camps, or the report of the young people being sold into, or stolen into, the sex trade? I could go on, but I’ll stop.
We, who are parents, can make it even more personal. Do we get discouraged when our kids make poor choices? We never stop loving them. We do, however, look in the mirror and wonder what we might have done to better help them. If those are our thoughts, what must God think when His children make poor choices?
That is the best I can come up with as I try and ponder that “God regrets”.
Today’s blog post is not one that tries to give all the answers. Rather, it is a post that pauses to reflect on an aspect of God. God “regretting” does not fully define Him (just as one of our emotions does not fully define us).
But this all leads to one other point. God will not tolerate evil. Sure, we see it build over days, weeks, months, years, and beyond. So does God. How many generations did we just read in chapter 5? But at some point, God says enough!
And that point, that point where God says, “Enough!” …it begins with deep regret for what He must do.
Those emotions you have, they come from your Father.