6 ¶ And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
What does the idiomatic expression, it repented the Lord, mean?
Judges 2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
Something is presented to God that, by His very nature, He will not ignore, even though He knew, by virtue of His omniscience, that it would happen. The wickedness of mankind grieved God at His heart and demanded a certain path which He had prepared in His foreknowledge. Because the expression, it repented the Lord, like most idiomatic expressions, has a meaning that goes beyond simply the definitions of the individual words strung together it requires us to use our reasoning ability, something we do not like to do when someone is willing to spoonfeed us their own careless reading.
By the context the creation of mankind repented the Lord because it grieved Him at His heart and His purpose is to erase the life He created, not just man, because it repented Him.
The word repent clearly in other contexts in the Bible means to turn from something or to change one’s mind about something. Here, as part of this expression it means more than that. By viewing this context we see that the Lord was grieved by mankind’s wickedness as the definition of how the Lord was repented by something. The Lord did not repent or change His mind or turn from something He planned. Something repented Him with the Lord being the object of the phrase and not the subject, as mankind’s wickedness caused Him to grieve. We all understand this. We have known something sickening was coming in our minds but still were sickened by it when it came to pass and we required ourselves to go to the next action. I know my child is going to fall down but he must learn. Still, it anguishes me when it happens. I know I must grow old and weak, if I am to live, but it is not an easy thing to experience. Man has disappointed God, but He knew He would. It doesn’t make the experience any more comfortable. From before the foundation of the world God knew He would come to live in a body and be tortured and murdered on the cross at Calvary but that foreknowledge didn’t make it any more pleasant.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
We must understand that God is not a disinterested bystander to our affairs. He dearly loves His creation and loved all mankind, even the most wicked, at the cross of Calvary. What we do affects Him profoundly. If it were not so He would not have let us so much as touch Him.
Man’s wickedness disgusted God and, in His disgust and grief, man and the animal life, which God had created and which mankind’s sin had corrupted, must be eliminated. The next word, though, one of the most important words in the Bible, has great implications for God coming to earth in the form of a man to deliver us from eternal loss and suffering. That word that follows is But……