“The Lord saw that humanity had become thoroughly evil on the earth and that every idea their minds thought up was always completely evil. The Lord regretted making human beings on the earth, and he was heartbroken. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe off of the land the human race that I’ve created: from human beings to livestock to the crawling things to the birds in the skies, because I regret I ever made them’” (Genesis 6:5-7, CEB).
It didn’t take long after the Creation for people to become so evil that God was sorry He created them. Evil must have spread among human beings at an exponential rate.
Evil seems to have grown simultaneously with the human race because God wanted to destroy the whole human race. Apparently everyone, or almost everyone, was evil!
Did God make a big mistake when He created human beings? If the humanity that God created had become thoroughly evil, then did God create evil?
God couldn’t have made a mistake because there can’t be a perfection more perfect than what God has created; otherwise, there would be “something” greater than the Creator.
To explain evil, we should question God’s purpose rather than His perfection. What was God’s intent in creating the human race (and all of His Creation) the way that He did?
At first glance we might read these verses from Genesis 6 as an angry God expressing displeasure and threatening to act with severity towards the human race. Maybe He’s mad at Himself because He realizes He made a mistake in creating people or else He’s mad at the people He created because of their disregard for what He has done for them.
But read a little closer. If God was angry, it was because He was heartbroken about the condition of the human race!
God created the human race (and the universe for that matter) out of love because God is love (1 John 4:8). Because God is love, His nature is to have fellowship or be in a relationship with others. You have to love somebody.
God’s creative love didn’t make humans like little robots who can only do what they are programmed or commanded to do. God’s creative love made human beings who can do anything they want to do. They can choose to love God and each other… or NOT!
So, when we start trying to determine the origins of evil, we need to look no further than ourselves. God did such a good job in creating the human race that it didn’t take them long to figure out how not to be good.
God created people and people perverted God’s good creation.
Thus, evil is corrupted good. It’s good that is not done or done the wrong way.
I suppose it was inevitable that evil would enter into the picture. Evil is a possible (and probable) outcome of free will. Because, with love you don’t have to love, you choose to love.
So, true love runs the risk of not being loved.
In creating from love, God ran the supreme risk of not being loved by His own creation! And, as expected, His creation let Him down!
To account for this cosmic let-down by the human race, God included two important features in His plan for His creation: redemption and remnant.
In the biblical record there’s always a pathway to fellowship with God–redemption–and there’s always somebody choosing it (or whom God is choosing, depending on your theological leanings)–remnant.
God’s plan wasn’t to create an evil-less world. God’s plan was to create a world that would receive and return His love. Some would choose to love Him and some would not.
So, these verses from Genesis 6 are the introduction to the story of Noah. The story of Noah is the next step in God’s redemptive plan.
Noah and his family were God’s remnant. “But as for Noah, the Lord approved of him” (Genesis 6:8, CEB).
Noah and his family were the people God would use to work out His redemptive plan. “‘As for you, be fertile and multiply. Populate the earth and multiply in it.’ God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘I am now setting up my covenant with you, with your descendants'” (Genesis 9:7-9, CEB).
God didn’t make a mistake in His creation. God didn’t make evil. There were no evil intentions for His created order.
God’s plan has never been to exterminate people because of their evil-doing. God’s plan has always been to save people from their evil-doing.
Those who choose to love God, His remnant, receive His favor and then God uses His remnant to proclaim his redemption to others.
So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. (Hebrews 12:1-2, CEB)
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