“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. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 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’” (Genesis 6:5-7, NIV).
There have been times that I have wondered if God regretted making me–times when I knew that I had fallen short of who He had created me to be. Many times we don’t take responsibility for our own actions. In fact, we fault others without looking inside the motives of our own hearts. When God spoke regret in these verses, He had just had enough of the evilness that resided in the human heart. God looked at His rebellious and angry creation, and said He would wipe the human race from the face of the earth. But God saw something in Noah's heart that was worth saving. What does He see when He looks at my heart and at yours? Although deeply troubled with our sin, He sees that we are worth saving, too. That is why He gave His son so that we might live.
Just like God saved a remnant (Noah's family and the animals He had created) from the flood, God also rescues us from the waters of sin. Just as He made a covenant with the remnant He saved from the drowning flood, He makes a covenant with those He rescues now. “I now give you everything,” God said to Noah (Genesis 9:3b, NIV). God also says to us through the sacrifice of His son, “I have given who I am for you; I, who had no sin, became sin, so that you may be free” (paraphrase, 2 Corinthians 5:21). Today I look inside my own heart, and realize that He gave His life so that I might not have to battle the ugliness of my past–of its remembrances. Today I give Him any thought that is not of Him, and any feeling that would destroy the closeness of my walk throughout the day. I want to be part of those who believe and are saved.
In the parable of the prodigal son, the father tells the older son who has remained faithful, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours” (Luke 15:31, NIV). God tells His child who remains faithful the same thing. But how wonderful to read what the father says to the older son about his younger brother who has been lost! “Celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:32, NIV). I have been lost and now I am found. Have you been found? Are you part of the remnant who believes and knows that God has given everything so can be free of the battles in your own heart? The promise of peace for your life is real, and it comes through Him. Just as a dove delivered a sign to Noah that the promise of life was genuine, the Holy Spirit comes to you, and brings His promise of new life. Reach for that promise, and let go of all the pain of the past and pain of the present that has claimed your heart. The drowning waters will disperse, and in His grace you will walk on new ground–reclaimed just for you by the love of Jesus Christ.