God’s Grief



painting by ErickHollander


Genesis 6:6-7New Living Translation (NLT)

6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”

Last week, we saw God is JOY.  He longs to bless us and wants to enjoy us and for us to enjoy Him.  This week we will look at another face of God.  I hope that as we look at the different emotions shown in scripture to describe Him, we will gain a more personal experience with Him.

The way in which scripture helps us understand God is through “anthropopathism” which is assigning human emotions and feeling to God.  We know that God made us like himself in essence.  That means our human emotions are like His only on a finite, smaller scale.  God in infinite, He is omniscient or all-knowing, He is omnipotent or all-powerful and He is omnipresence or not confined to space and time.  He has emotions and feelings as are described in every chapter of His Word.

The emotion of grief is one of the strongest emotions we feel as humans.  Love, hate, grief three of our strongest, most deeply felt emotions.

In Genesis 6:6-7, we see an example of God’s grief.  5 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.

John MacArthur explains it best:  Verse 6, “The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart.” This is what He felt. He felt sadness. He felt grief over what man had become. And the Lord expressed that sorrow in human terms. It was as if He was sorry He made them. Obviously God isn’t sorry in the sense that He was getting information He didn’t expect. He wasn’t sorry in the sense that it hadn’t turned out the way He thought it would, He knew exactly how it would turn out. But that didn’t make Him any less sorrowful and it didn’t make man any less guilty. And His sadness is not tied to some surprise, but His sadness is tied to the fact that He has no choice. His holiness demands destruction. It is necessary, it is inevitable, it is consistent with who He is. His holy nature has no choice but to punish him, and that brings Him grief. So we saw what the Lord saw and we read what the Lord felt.

God’s heart wants to bless his children, but He wants them to come to HIm  by free will.  It grieves his heart when we turn away from him in our rebellion.

One writer describes the response of God to our sin this way, “Grief is love’s response to sin.”(preceptaustin.org/Bob Deffinbaugh)  God loves you and me so much that His heart  is broken over our turning away rather than turning to Him.

If you have ever grieved over someone’s death or a relationship broken, then you have experienced an emotion that came from the Creator Himself.  The pain of losing a loved one to death or a broken marriage vow or splintered friendship lost can be devastating in our life. It is also devastating to a Holy God who is bound by an oath that cannot change; therefore, when we continue in our rebellion He has to discipline His children and bring judgment to mankind who refuses to repent.  His Holiness is the truest part of Him.  Because of that Holiness, he can be fair and just which means He is saddened when He sees the evil and rebellion of those that He created.

Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [but seek to please Him], by whom you were sealed and marked [branded as God’s own] for the day of redemption [the final deliverance from the consequences of sin]. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. 32 Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.”

I pray you will feel God’s presence this week.  Know that He loves you and longs for a personal relationship with you.  Read His word, listen for His voice and praise Him for making you with emotions. “Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”  These are the emotions and actions that please God.


Matthew West -Broken Things


Freda Reynolds

One thought on “God’s Grief

  1. Beth Brown

    Great message on God’s grief and how he also suffered the same way we do. God bless you and Mr Tommy!


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