Written by Daniel Hazard
Excerpt from Genesis 6:6-8
"...the Lord said, 'I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created – people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.' But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord."
Reflection by Kenneth L. Samuel
I can't speak for everyone, but for most of my life I believed that the providential will of God was settled and fixed for eternity. I believed that there is absolutely nothing I could ever do to change or to move the heart of God. I believed that the immutable or unchangeable nature of God rendered any attempts to alter God's plan futile and sacrilegious.
I'd never really reflected much on a God who creates humanity and then repents over that creation. A God who has second thoughts about what God has created, and then decides to wipe it out. Completely. Could there be any stronger resolve from God than that found in Genesis 6: 7? "I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created – people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them." This providential plan meant death and destruction for all of us. This divine intention spelled annihilation for the whole human family. Had this divine plan been executed, none of us would be here today.
What altered this providential plan? What was it that unsealed our predestination toward destruction? What moved the heart of God? One person, called Noah, found favor in the sight of the Lord. Favor, not because of human merit, but because of divine mercy. God's favor and mercy toward one opened an avenue of renewal and reconciliation for all. And God, who had repented because God made humanity, repented again, and decided to redeem humanity.
My concept of God's immutability has changed. My prayer life is a continuous attempt to move the heart of God away from the judgment we deserve toward the favor we receive by grace. I am confident that the heart of God can be moved, and that whenever God's heart moves, it moves toward mercy.
Lord, I know that the wages of my sins call for death, but today I appeal to your unmerited favor and your immutable mercy. Please open the door to new life for me, and for all others, in your name. Amen.