Thursday - Week 1
Sin of the Nations
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Why was God displeased with man?
[Man’s wickedness was exceedingly great.]
What does this tell us about all mankind?
[Man is inherently sinful (not basically good, as some would like to believe) and in need of a Saviour.]
In verse 6 it says "The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled." Stating that God had ‘regret’ or ‘grieved’ are figures of speech called anthropopathy—attributing human feelings or emotions to God. This allows humans to understand in terms that we can relate to, that man’s behavior did not meet God’s holy standard.
Does this mean that man’s sinfulness took God by surprise?
What does this tell us about God?
[Answers vary. He foreknew that some, though not all would choose to accept the gift of the Saviour, but He desires a willing relationship with us, and thus gave us free will, something the angels were not given (Romans 9:22-24).]
For Further Discussion
One need only watch the news for a short time to see that the world is filled with hatred, malice, inequity, hypocrisy and injustice. Sadly, these traits are not confined to those who do not believe in the gospel. The very people who claim to follow Jesus have been complicit in action and/or by their silence.
What do these verses tell us about God's priority of discipline?
[He is more concerned with how His children behave than those who do not belong to Him.
If you find yourself justifying the wrong actions or motives of yourself or even others by what your enemy has done/does, understand that those justifications do not satisfy God and do not absolve you or those you're defending of the wrong.]
"But Noah," is a powerful transitional clause to the last verse of today's passage. It contrasts the character and ministry of one singular man to that of the unrelenting godlessness of those around him. Genesis 6:9 tells us that Noah was a just and blameless man.
What are some ways you can be an exception to the wickedness that surrounds all of us? How can you go even further and be an agent of change?
[Walk with God (Micah 6:8)
Look after others (James 1:27)
Care for others (Philippians 2:4)
Help those who cannot repay you (Luke 14:12-14)
Fight for the oppressed (Proverbs 24:11)
Give to the poor (Matthew 5:42)]
Live like Jesus--not 21st century American Jesus--but 1st century Jewish Jesus (1 John 2:6)
Close In Prayer
When the people of God have ceased to be salt and light, they serve no purpose (Matthew 5:13). And, when the people of God are more focused on the appearance of godliness, than love and mercy (Matthew 23:23, 25), the world will reject the message they try to proclaim. God's patience with us is immeasurable-- He desires to give every person who has ever lived every opportunity to do what's right. However, even God gets to the point where He's had enough (Matthew 7:21-23).
Pray that your actions, thoughts and words would be a true reflection of Christ, so that you do not hinder the work of the Lord.
Make A Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent- Week 1 or choose one of your favorites.