What does Genesis 6:6 mean “The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled?”
This is a really hard part of Scripture. It’s especially hard for us as Christians living in God’s grace to understand why he would feel this way about his own creation, about the pinnacle of his creation.
But look at the context of what has been happening in Genesis 6. It opens by telling us about what we can best interpret as fallen angels marrying human beings, a violation of how God ordered his creation (Genesis 6:1-4).
When God made Adam, nothing in creation could be suited for him (Genesis 2:18-20). If none of the animals were suitable for Adam, and God made woman as a perfect and suitable companion for him, compatible with him in every way, the angels violated God’s order by marrying the daughters of men.
Beyond this wickedness that seemed to cross the line more than anything else humans found they could do do for themselves, their wickedness continued to spiral downward. Now, they not only did wicked things, but every thought of their heart was evil and wickedness all the time (Genesis 6:5).
This was not what God intended for his creation. He wanted a holy and blameless creation that freely chose to worship and serve him, to have relationship with him. But sin ruined all of that. It marred his image that he placed in humanity.
He could see from the way things were going and the intention of humanity that there was no redeeming quality in his creation. In just six short chapters of Scripture, humanity had completely become corrupt and was unredeemable.
So he found the one person in all of the world who was still righteous, Noah, and made a plan to start over with him and his family. He regretted making humanity and creation because of the corruption and how quickly it happened.
There was no way for him to have any relationship with humanity because of the sin and wickedness that was rampant not only in human actions, but also in human thought.
It gets even worse, as he says he is sorry for making humanity and all his creation because of the sin and corruption that was upon the earth (Genesis 6:7). We can’t even fathom how bad sin got throughout the earth.
But it all defeated his purpose for creating everything in the first place. So he was going to start over my making a flood to wipe clean the entire earth and start over again. He would need a redemptive plan that was bigger than just re-creating earth the next time.
This is why Jesus came to earth, to be the redemptive Messiah who would wipe away the sin itself instead of just fixing the outside. He is the perfect fulfillment of God’s plan to restore creation to himself.
Much of the situation of God being unable to relate to his creation the way he wished, and the wickedness that went on in those days before the flood is summed up in Genesis 6:3. There, God says that is Spirit will not always abide with humanity
Jesus has opened the door for all who believe in him to have eternal life once again with God forever. One of the greatest refrains of all of Scripture is, “I will be their God and they will be my people.”