By Bruce James
God the Son grieved at the tomb of Lazarus, over Jerusalem, and when the widow woman came out of the city with her dead child. In these instances he had compassion for those in their loss. In Genesis 6:6, God looked at the world and he was grieved, that is, his heart broke in two.
If there was ever an expression of divine love, it was in the knowing of the potential of his rebellious child and how he was moved to grief again and again and again. Most parents can understand this as they plead, reach out, long for, and weep for the wayward son or daughter. Patiently they wait as did the father of the prodigal son. All he longs for is to see in the distance the shadow of his child coming home. He runs to meet him at breakneck speed. He kills the fatted calf, welcomes him home, and there is much rejoicing. That is the heart of God.
How many parents have waited up night after night for their child to come home? What do they feel inside? A little anger, but, oh, the grief. Hearts melted by disappointment. Those that are parents can find consolation in the fact that God understands a parent’s grief. He says, “I have nourished and brought up my own children, but they have rebelled against Me” (Isa. 1:2). As grieving parents we can lay our heads on the shoulder of our grieving heavenly Father. He has been there! He understands! In fact, he is there today! Now, multi-ply your grief over one rebellious child a million times ten million and you will have just a fraction of the grief God felt when he looked on Noah’s or Lot’s generation. When God looked down, he saw the heart of man and his heart broke in two. Can you imagine how God feels today? Since Adam, Cain, Noah, and Lot, he has paid the ransom to set his children free. He bought our freedom and it cost him all he had, his only Son. The only one who never broke his heart died for all who ever had. Now we, like Adam, have it all. Paradise of the heart is ours for the asking. Paradise in eternity is ours; it is coming. Isn’t it only right that his expectation for those who have tasted the cup of redemption is greater than his expectations of Noah’s day? Nevertheless, what does he see as he looks on the world as it is today?
God sees scoffers, immorality, decadence, apostasy, violence, contempt, and business as usual. When the heart of God is broken and grieved to tears over the sinfulness of the world, how can those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb go on living as though it were business as usual? Have God’s standards changed since the cross? The church of the Lord ought to be on its knees before God, not joining in the pursuits of the world, renewing our commitment to the One who loves us so much. As God had a plan for Noah, he has a plan for us today. He wants us to build the ark according to his specifications that we can bring those seeking peace, freedom and security into the refuge of God. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord because Noah walked with God. He wants us to walk with him too.
We ought to be laying aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us. We ought to be seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness at any cost. We ought to be men and women with only one goal, one purpose in life. That is to walk with God. We cannot live with a “business as usual” mentality. We have work to do! Our task, our mission, is not to sit around in little groups condemning society for its ills. God said it would be like this. His is not a call to complain, but a call to battle.
Instead of being discouraged, let us understand that these are exciting and wonderful times to be alive. We have the privilege to pioneer as Noah with the pattern for salvation, worship, and work of God’s kingdom etched in the eternal scrolls of God’s word. We have this power to enable, to lead, and to guide us, We have the example of the worlds of Noah and Lot to remind us. We have it all! All we have to do is fall down before our precious God and make ourselves totally available! All the while we must realize that we are on a mission, “to seek and to save the lost.”
Guardian of Truth XLI: 18 p. 5
September 18, 1997