After having destroyed all of the rebellious people on the face of the earth in the days of Noah, God says something that at first perplexed me. He states that He will never again cause total destruction on the face of the earth because of man, for (read: because) the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Doesn’t that seem illogical? As a parent, I confess, I have used the “If you try that again, I will be right here to deliver the same consequence–do you hear me?” strategy. I always thought that was the epitome of consistency. Here, however, God shows His hand. He does not threaten. He knows that the human heart is full of evil, not righteousness. Total destruction is merited, but God declares that He will withhold the weight of His righteous judgment. He offers the enduring picture of grace instead of a power-struggle. God doesn’t struggle for power; He is the Almighty.
We have already seen how God blessed Adam and Eve at the creation. God is unchanging. Look at His interaction with Noah and his extended family. God also blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. God gives life and commands us to live that life. When the floodwaters receded, God promised Noah’s descendants that, despite the wickedness of man’s heart, He would not utterly remove humankind from the earth again. However, the rebellious soul should fear the eternal removal of God’s very goodness as he embraces the the vast darkness of Satan. Satan, after all, delights in death, not in life.
“Then Noah built and altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.’
“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.'” – Genesis 8:20-9:1