Who is God?
Genesis 5:1-7:24; Matthew 3:7-4:11; Psalm 3:1-8; Proverbs 1:10-19
Today in the story of Noah, at the point at which God decides to wipe out all living beings from the earth I came across Genesis 6:6. Tucked away in that verse is this little line," It broke His (God's) heart." I am reading the New Living Translation this year, and that is how it translates that line. The NASB says, "and He was grieved in His heart." God's heart is capable of breaking. I know what that feels like. But what was breaking His heart? Verse 5 of chapter 6 tells us. "The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil." And then we come to the description of Noah in verse 9, "Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God." Other translations only mention he was blameless in his generation and walked with God, but I think it is okay to assume that since Noah seems to be the only one who found favor with God according to verse 8 he alone stood out among all the wickedness of the world at the time. This is the world that is" grieving God to the heart." (ESV translation). Just two days ago I read about how God made everything good. in fact very good. He provided everything that was needed for Adam and Eve to thrive but they chose another path. And that choice has led this wonderful creation down a devastating path and it breaks God's heart to see people in this condition. This is one of those times where God may seem harsh and without mercy. I don't know. He knows the end of those who are consumed with wickedness so I have to wonder if it is indeed a mercy that He saves them from further harm-the harm that they would do to one another if they were allowed to continue on with their lives. But does this look like love? Is a heart breaking over evil and the devastating end to man an indication of the deep love God has for mankind? Just a thought to ponder today.
At any rate, then I come to the book of Matthew where Jesus has come to be baptized by John. Before Jesus' arrival John makes this statement, "Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am--so much greater that I'm not worthy even to be His slave and carry His sandals." At our church we celebrated communion yesterday and as I thought about what Jesus did for me, this thought did not occur, that I am not worthy to even be His slave, and yet, here I am. Jesus made me worthy because of God's great love for me. Yet John goes on..."He (Jesus) is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with His winnowing fork. Then He will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into His barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire." That is not a picture of Jesus that many are comfortable with. But this is the Son of God with whom God is very pleased (Matthew 3:17) so this aspect of Jesus is all a part of God's great plan for the world. This is who God has revealed Himself to be. It's easy to like the aspects of His nature that feel good to me.