Wednesday, January 2, 2013

His Heart Was Grieved

              As most of you know I have started the One Year Chronological Bible study. A very dear sister in the Lord gave me a link to the Chronological Bible Blog, which sends me emails with notes and questions to ponder during my reading time. Today, I found myself in Genesis chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 5 is basically a listing of the generations of Adam and Eve. There is an interesting verse mentioned about Enoch, the man who pleased God so God took him. But that is not where the Lord had me camped out today, instead, I found myself intrigued by six words nestled in chapter 6.
                “…He was grieved in His heart…” These six, simple words stopped me and that is where I picked up my tools and began digging. Chapter 6 begins telling us that man was multiplying on the face of the earth. There were many people now walking around the earth, and they were marrying and having children right and left. Verse 3 tells us that the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh, yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Lord God shortens the life span of man at this point; man goes from living for more than nine hundred years to no more than 120 years. Man was getting worse, they were falling farther and farther away from God.
                Chapter 6:5-6 tells us that “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord God was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”  There it is again, the Lord God was grieved in His heart. The word grieved means “pain, hurt, to grieve oneself”. God was hurting in His heart because of the wickedness of man. Did you know that what we do can grieve God? The bible tell us that we can “grieve the Holy Spirit” Ephesians 4:20 urges us not to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” What we do affects God’s heart for us.
                My study notes pointed out this same word, grieved, and stated that “God suffers on account of the failures and pain of His people…Scripture often likens God to a parent who suffers pain and grief on account of children.” (Chronological Bible Notes 1.1) God is our Father, He created us, and He made us to be vessels for His glory and for His pleasure. When we go against His word, when we rebel against Him, it grieves Him. Just like when your children do something or say something that hurts you, we also do that to God our Father.
                As I thought about these things, I began to pray and ask the Lord what areas of my life grieve Him. To know that I may cause God grief or that I may act out and hurt Him, well, that hurts me deeply. My one desire in life is to be pleasing to my Lord. When we acknowledge how much He loves us, and how deeply He cares for us, our desire to please Him becomes a natural response. But, much like the people who lived before the flood, I can become rebellious and selfish, seeking my own instead of seeking God.
                There are many areas in my life that need God’s compassionate touch and mercy filled grace, and I am confident that He will complete the work, if I lay these areas at His feet. God is invested in our lives. He did not create us just for the sake of creating us; He created us, each one of us to have a relationship with Him, a personal, intimate, loving relationship. “God is not the one detached from His creation; He is the one who has emotionally invested in it. He enters into the world’s pain and brokenness. And in that anguish God resolves to begin again.” (Asbury Bible Commentary) God, even though He was grieved over the sins of man, and the evil that was in their hearts, He still chose to save and show grace to a very small family, Noah’s family. Even though we may grieve God, He still chooses to save us and show us grace through Jesus Christ His Son.
                Today, we are headed in much the same direction as the people before the flood were. Look around us, look at the evil intents of the world, the evil that is in the hearts of mankind, and tell me that we do not grieve God. God, in His longsuffering, is giving us every opportunity to turn from our sins and repent, to turn back to Him. Every day I have an opportunity to please the Lord God in all that I do, or to grieve Him and go about doing my own thing. Our time here on earth is running short; the day of the Lord is fast approaching.  I think about the world that we live in and I see the evil that is in it, and all I can say is “Thank You Jesus for saving me from the wrath to come.” For the wrath of God will be poured out again, just as it was in the days of Noah. The Lord God was longsuffering then, as He is longsuffering now, but He will only wait so long. He will only strive with man a little longer before His heart can no longer take the evil of man and the rejection of His love for us.
                I do not know where you are in your walk with the Lord, or even if you have one. But, if we can take anything from the word of God today, let it be that we no longer grieve His heart. Let us turn from our sins, our disobedience and turn to the One True God, Jesus Christ, Who came into this world of evil and brokenness and took upon Himself the wrath that we deserve. Let us no longer look to our own selfish desires, but let us seek to please Him, our Creator, our Father God, let us strive to live our lives in glory and honor of Him; then and only then will the world around us be able to see the love and the compassion that Jesus Christ has for each one of us. Then, maybe then, many will be saved from the wrath to come.
                Father God, I pray that whoever reads this blog today, that they would see the grief that we have caused You, that their hearts would be pricked, that my heart would be pricked so that we would turn from our own ways and back to You, the One True God, our Father, our Creator, our Jesus. May Your word go forth, and may it not return to you void. In Jesus Christ’s name, I do pray. Amen and Amen.