Devotion

Stinking to High Heaven

by Greg Laurie on Feb 22, 2021
The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.
—Genesis 6:5
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I’m amazed at the things I read in the news today. The horrible acts people commit are endless. It’s heartbreaking, it’s disturbing, and it seems as though people always find new ways to do evil things.

That is what was happening in Noah’s day too. Genesis 6 gives us this description: “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart” (Genesis 6:5–6 NLT).

The original language indicates that their wickedness was full to the brim, sort of like an overflowing trash can or septic tank. It was bad. And it was stinking to high heaven. Interestingly, the book of Genesis can be divided into three sections: generation, degeneration, and regeneration.

First it was generation when God created all things and said it was good. Degeneration followed as sin entered into the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Then came regeneration.

We see phase two, degeneration, underway in Genesis 6. As a result, God said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them” (Genesis 6:7 NLT).

God was grieved, and you only grieve for those you love. This hurt the heart of God because He loves humanity. It also shows us that God is aware of the wickedness of humanity. He’s paying attention.

However, God takes no pleasure in judging people. He loves us and wants a relationship with us. Yet God sends judgment because He’s loving and just.

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