And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Long ago in the days of Adam and Eve, God’s heart was first pierced by the sin of mankind. As He looked upon His perfect creation marred by that iniquity, surely He was grieved by it. And it only got worse from there. It didn’t take long for murder and rebellion and pride to creep in, for evil to permeate hearts and minds, for sin to abound in the earth. And the heart of a holy God cannot tolerate man’s darkness when all He wanted was a relationship with him, that perfect bond of Creator and creation living in harmony.
So God judged the world for its collective sin, sparing only Noah and his family, but it didn’t take long for sin to once again rule upon the earth. Even among His chosen people, sin would ultimately seem to win out. Everywhere He looked, He found evil and wickedness. And His heart was so grieved by sin and its effects, by what it had done to the hearts of His beloved people, that He sent Jesus into this sinful place to make right what the flood couldn’t. Only Jesus could shine a light into the darkness of a man’s heart. Only He could produce a change in a heart of flesh consumed by sin. Only He could tear down that wall and unite us once again to our Creator.
But God is still grieved by sin. As it yet abounds in our world today, it hurts Him. Perhaps it hurts Him most, as with Israel before us, to see sin in the hearts of His people, His church. Those same sins that sprung up quickly from the Garden of Eden still permeate our world. The evil one still spreads his influence into the hearts of men. The sin within all of us battles against the Spirit for control of our hearts. And all the while, God looks on grieved, unable to tolerate it, unaccepting of it, hating the sin of our world that damages us and tears us from Him.
Can we stand to grieve the heart of our loving God? Does it matter to us that our sin hurts Him? And will that knowledge perhaps lead us to be more careful and diligent about the things that we do and the choices we make? Sin isn’t new. The sinfulness of mankind isn’t new. And how God feels about sin hasn’t changed. But how do we feel about it? And what are we going to do with it? We can confess it to Jesus. We can receive forgiveness for it. And we can surrender to Him and depend on His Spirit to lead us in the paths of righteousness and away from the paths of sin.