Have you ever given thought to verse 5 in Genesis chapter 6 that states “ …every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time….” referring to the status of the inhabitant’s on the earth during the time right before the Great Flood?
I have to stop there and really ask myself the question, ‘How can EVERY inclination be ONLY evil?’ How could there not be any good thought, at one time or another, in ANY of these people? What had occurred on the earth to cause such a degeneration of society to this degree? We know from the genealogy in Chapter 5 that thousands of years had passed since the Creation of man and the Garden of Eden. So what exactly happened? Were there no good people on the earth besides Noah? I pause to ask you to think of our country, America. Can you imagine within our population there being only ONE good person that God finds favor with enough to spare that person from destruction while pronouncing judgment on all the rest? It is almost an inconceivable thought. Yet this is what is written in the Bible.
I am more inclined to believe that the idea here that is being conveyed was that man’s moral compass had degenerated to such a degree and they had no remorse for their sins or the sins of their generation, nor did they consider God in anything they did. God was a non-existent entity for them at that time. Very similar to what is happening in our country and countries around the world today. What exactly do I mean?
Take a simple example when I was in high school during the 80’s. A pregnant girl was considered shameful and you thought of her with less than good thoughts. You simply didn’t hang around with her. In the same way, there was a certain respect that you had for parents and teachers and adults. To attend church was a common practice and sin was considered exactly that – sin. You simply didn’t have torture and murder as a commonplace news item. Today, we accept pregnant teens as “normal” and disrespect to others as “common”. Most people don’t attend church or attempt to help those less fortunate. Videotaping torture is something people enjoy posting to social media. We live in a very morally sick society. Our moral compass today has degenerated drastically from even what it was even during my own short lifetime. So it is not difficult to believe that after thousands of years since the Creation, it is more of a moral degeneration of society that is being described here than it is that man sat around and only thought of evil thoughts. I believe this is the idea behind the “thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” idea. I can back up this thought process by looking at verse 11, “now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” And, in contrast, God looked at Noah’s heart and realized he still had a good moral compass, and that out of all the inhabitants on the earth, Noah still had a heart for God and wanted to please God and do right – which is why Noah is written about as a righteous man. However, even Noah had his faults and he could not have been perfectly good because we know that just shortly after the ark landing his sons find him drunk. And while drunkenness was not a becoming quality, it was not a disqualifying character quality to condemn him to a watery grave as the others were condemned to.
But more so than any of this, I see in this passage how God hints to us as Noah being a pre-cursive type of savior to the preservation of the human race on the earth, just as Jesus Christ would be, but only Jesus Christ would be the perfect righteous man to save the human race for eternal salvation.