The world had become quite populated during the 1,500 + years since Creation. And unfortunately, sin had increased greatly as well. In Genesis 6, God tells of His sorrow that He had created man- His heart was grieved.
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. And the LORD said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” ~Genesis 6:5-9
Here is another man who “walked with God”- Noah. It says that he was blameless in his time, but the Bible also tells us “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.'” ~Romans 3:10. So this must mean that the intent of Noah’s heart was good, and he desired to walk with God. He stood out in God’s eyes in a world of men where “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.
It is interesting to me that God has regrets about creating man. In the King James version, verse 6 reads~ “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” The Hebrew word used here for the phrase “And it repented” is nacham, meaning “to be sorry, repent, rue, grieve”.
God is all-knowing, so He knew this would happen, yet He still created man…
I don’t know for sure what was in God’s heart, but when I see a person I love headed in a direction that is sure to end in disaster, I still love them but regret that they are going to make those choices and pay those consequences. Sometimes I regret even knowing them, or about their decisions, because of the pain it causes me. But in the end, I still love and care about them. Maybe that is how God felt. God created man in His image, as a Father, yet man walked away from Him, and chose to follow after Satan, the wicked enemy.
Dare I say that God had a broken heart? It doesn’t sound to me like He sent the flood in anger, but because He had to, because He is a just and holy God. Man had walked away completely, except for Noah and his family. “‘Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?'” ~Ezekiel 18:23
God was pained, grieved, hurt, broken-hearted. I am so sorry that my sin causes Him pain like that, too. Thankfully, I have the gift of Jesus’ righteousness covering me, and I am saved by His grace. I want to have the intent of my heart be good, and I want to walk with God.