It is an astounding declaration for the creator of all things to make concerning a portion of His creation, “…every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Gen. 6:5). There could be no more abject appraisal of the human condition at any time. God looked down and saw the creatures He had made expending all their intellectual and physical energy to oppose Him. Every thought all the time was wicked. “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD” (Gen. 6:8).
Without an awareness of our sin it is impossible to enter into a period of dedication to the Lord with anything that resembles true contrition. We must confess that our hearts are “deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jer. 17:9). Even in our most honest moments we would not confess that everyinclination of our thoughts were onlyevil all the time, but God knows our hearts. For forty days we lay aside our appetites and formally take up our crosses. We confess our dependence on the sacrifice of Christ as the only means of surviving the outpour of God’s wrath and too enjoy fellowship with the Father.
After forty days and nights of rain, after God’s fury had been spent, the water began to recede and months later Noah walked on dry land. Then the Lord, “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin,” promised He would never again destroy the world through a flood (Ex. 34:6-7).
After forty days of rain, after the waters had receded. Of humankind only Noah and his family remained. While we dare not forget that God is just we rejoice that God is merciful. We deny ourselves that we might remember our sins and put on Christ that we might always remember the mercy flowing from the Father’s throne.
Lord, we “have heard of your fame; [we] stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).